What: All Issues : Environment : Wildlife/Forest/Wilderness/Land Conservation : (H. Res, 653) Legislation designed to protect wild horses and burros - - on whether the House should move to an immediate vote on the rule setting the terms for debating the bill (2009 house Roll Call 574)
 Who: All Members : New York, District 2 : King, Pete
(H. Res, 653) Legislation designed to protect wild horses and burros - - on whether the House should move to an immediate vote on the rule setting the terms for debating the bill
house Roll Call 574     Jul 17, 2009
Member's Vote
or not)
Progressive Position
Progressive Result
(win or loss)

H.R. 1018 was aimed at preventing roundups during which horses and burros were mistreated, promoting adoption of wild horses and burros that are taken off the range, and banning their sale or transfer for processing into commercial products by the Bureau of Land Management. This was a vote on a motion to move to an immediate vote on the resolution or “rule” setting the terms for debating the bill.

Rep. McGovern (D-MA), who was leading support for the rule, described H.R. 1018 as restoring “important protections for wild horses and burros.” The Republican minority had been expressing its strong opposition to the fact that the rules setting the terms for debate on a series of bills, including this one, limited the number of amendments that could be offered. McGovern claimed that “(R)epublican and Democratic amendments were offered and accepted through the regular order.”

Rep. Foxx (R-NC) was leading the opposition to the rule and also opposed the underlying bill for which the rule set conditions for debate. Foxx characterized H.R. 1018 as “a $700 million welfare program for wild horses”, and said that it was being brought up “at a time when more than 2 million Americans have lost their jobs since the Democrats' $1 trillion stimulus bill became law and that it is somewhat of an insult to those people.” McGovern answered by arguing that “this bill will have no cost.”

Foxx added: “(W)e have a 9.5 percent unemployment rate and a budget deficit of more than $1 trillion which is predicted to go to $2 trillion before the end of the fiscal year. Given those facts, it's a little unclear to know what exactly are the priorities of the Democrats in charge of this Congress.” Referring to the fact that H.R. 1018 did not deal with the economic crisis, Foxx argued: “(T)his is just another example of how out of touch Washington Democrats are . . . I hardly think this is what the American people expect us to be doing these days as they face the many challenges that they're facing.” McGovern answered, “in response to (Rep. Foxx’) question about what the Democratic priorities are, they are to create jobs, they are to pass an energy bill to create more jobs, and to deal with climate change. Our priorities include passing a health care bill that will lower the cost of health care for average Americans.”

Rep. Rahall (D-WV), the Chairman of the House National Resources Committee that developed H.R. 1018, responded to Rep. Foxx’ remarks by saying that his committee takes very seriously its responsibility as stewards of America’s animals, which he said “are important responsibilities that the American people value . . . .”

Rep. Foxx countered that the difference between Republicans and Democrats is that “we don't believe in growing government.” She said that the subjects of H.R. 1018 “are not the things the Federal Government should be about. The Federal Government should confine itself to the very narrow set of issues laid out for us in the Constitution . . . which says that if it isn't mentioned in the Constitution, then it's a province of the States . . . .”

Rep. King (R-IA) opposed the rule and the bill, claiming that the legislation was driven by the Human Society of the United States. King said: “(T)hey have hundreds of millions of dollars, and they have an agenda. They are seeking to take meat off the plates of the American people and all around the globe. So we just dance to this tune in this Congress because they say so.” Rep. Chaffetz (R-UT) noted that, in several western states, there are “Indian tribes who have a vested interest in the management interest of the horse and burros. For the Democrats to actually deny us an opportunity to allow Native Americans to be represented on the board (overseeing the horses and burros) is just ridiculous”

The resolution passed by a vote of 232-188. Two hundred and thirty Democrats and two Republicans voted “aye”. One hundred and seventy Republicans and eighteen Democrats voted “nay”. As a result, the House moved to an immediate vote on the rule setting the terms for debate of H.R. 1018.

Issue Areas:
Key: Y=Yea, N=Nay, W=Win, L=Loss