To recess or not to recess; to call or not to call

US Capitol Dome and Flag.
US Capitol Dome and Flag. Click to donate to The Horse Fund. Thank you.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — August is typically a time when Congress adjourns for the month and lawmakers return to their constituencies — or in other words, go home.

This is not a typical Congress and August it seems will not be a typical month. Senators are probably the least likely to get out of town even though they seem hard to find except for Sen. Mitch McConnell who is probably afraid to go home.

It may not seem like a good to call. Anytime is a good time!

Offices continue to be staffed regardless of our lawmakers’ whereabouts, so please continue to call. If you cannot connect with anyone at your lawmakers’ D.C. offices, then please call them at their local office nearest you.

Look up your two U.S. Senators here »

Look up your U.S. Representatives here (need your zip +4 code) »

Please continue calling the U.S. House to end horse slaughter »

Join the Horse on the Hill™ Gang »

In the meantime, D.C. appears to be melting down quicker than the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz.  And not from the heat outside.

The Washington Post reports:

Talks between the White House and the Senate’s top Republican and Democrat broke up Tuesday with no progress on raising the country’s debt ceiling, an impasse that threatens a financial crisis if left unresolved.

The Senate and House have 12 joint working days before Sept. 29, when the Treasury Department says it would no longer be able to pay all of the government’s bills unless Congress acts. A default would likely set off a major disruption to the world financial system, with a stock market crash and surging interest rates that could send the economy into a recession.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has urged Congress for months to raise the debt limit, but the White House has lacked a unified message and run into resistance on Capitol Hill, where Democrats and Republicans are at odds on key tax and spending issues.

Diversionary Tactic?

This is possibly a diversionary tactic so we worry while certain among them go about their dirty work unnoticed.

Stay Focused

Do not let this allow you to take your eye off the ball. Keep the pressure on legislators. Don’t let them get away with a darn thing.

Calling all Americans to call their lawmakers in Washington to take a strong stand on behalf of American horses. Photographer unknown.
Calling all Americans to call their lawmakers in Washington to take a strong stand on behalf of American horses. Photographer unknown.

Online Contact

We are not unsympathetic and realize there are some of you who do not feel comfortable making phone calls.

This is a good time to use your lawmakers online contact form. Use the “Look up …” links above to find them. Tip: Write up what you want to say. Review it until you are comfortable. Copy and paste!

Our Legislative Wish List

Here are a few items on our Legislative Wish List for horses. We feel they are all reasonable and doable. What do you want? Add yours in comments.

  1. We want horse slaughter banned.
  2. We want the export of horses for slaughter banned.
  3. We want federally protected wild horses and burros left on public lands to live out their lives at liberty, unharassed by the federal government, as the original law intended.
  4. We want a humane plan developed and implemented to relocate wild horses and burros currently stockpiled  by the federal government and its contractors back to their original lands, or lands similar to the ones they were taken from.
  5. We want our wild horses and burros made safe from any form of human use or interference.
  6. We want the Horse Protection Act strengthened so there is not a single loophole wherein serial animal abusers can get away with the obnoxious and grossly cruel practice of horse soring.
  7. We want a federally appointed Commissioner of Horse Racing to govern what has become a massively abusive and murderous industry rife with drugging and cheating who is also empowered to work with federal authorities to send its culprits to jail for race fixing among other egregious crimes.

What would you like to see? Join us in comments.

Take Action in Your State

Action at the State level concerning slaughter and live export for slaughter is also critical in case we have any sort of failure at the Federal level.

Learn how here »

Thank you everyone. You are massively important to the success of these campaigns and we appreciate your efforts.

Join the Horse on the Hill™ Gang

Join The Horse Fund's Horse on the Hill™
Join The Horse Fund’s Horse on the Hill™

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Horse Slaughter) — The Horse on the Hill™ was created by the Int’l Fund for Horses in 2005 to raise awareness in the nation’s capitol and lobby on equine related legislation.

The Horse on the Hill™ established itself just two years later as legislative experts concerning equine matters successfully influencing federal lawmakers through powerful grassroots lobbying [1] in 2007.

To promote this work The Horse on the Hill™ set up a recognized giving program called the Horse on the Hill™ Gang.

The Horse on the Hill™ Gang is a group of supporters who contribute their time and donation dollars lobbying for the passage of needed equine protection laws and defeating anti-equine legislation.

Today our Horse on the Hill™ Gang is still the single most influential grassroots voices for horses in the halls of Congress.

For the past ten years we have been going diligently about our work with your support.

However, the stakes have never been as high as they are right now. Yes, we employ professional lobbyists now also. But believe us, we need you more than ever. Our nation’s horses need you more than ever. It is your particular voice that is so necessary.

Will you join us and continue to help with us with this critical work during these unpredictable and dangerous times for horses?

Recognized giving options online range from $25.00 to $500.00.

Your name will appear as a member of the Horse on the Hill™ Gang under your level of giving on our website.

Campaigner $25.00
Legislative Aide $50.00
Legislative Director $100.00
Representative $250.00
Legislative Aide $500.00

See more levels and current Members »

We track your donations and move you to the next level of recognition as you reach it. Make a donation online now.

Thank you everyone helping to rid our horses of the threat of slaughter, soring, horse race doping abuses and freeing our wild horses and burros from ritual bureaucratic mismanagement, cruelty and murder.

“Activism begins with you. Democracy begins with you.
Get out there. Get active! Tag, you’re it”.

[1] Grassroots lobbying is an approach that separates itself from direct lobbying through the act of asking the general public to contact legislators and government officials concerning the issue at hand, as opposed to conveying the message to the legislators directly.

Horses walk on Washington

Cross-posted from The Tennessean

ROY EXUM. Source image.
ROY EXUM. Source image.

A group of Tennessee Walking Horse owners, shocked and angered over any opposition that would thwart badly-needed reform in an industry where sadistic torture and a half-century of cheating still runs amok, have just announced the group is going to Washington next month in a public protest they hope will catch the nation’s eye. And, this time, the horses are going, too.

Calling their impressive group of trainers, owners and riders the All-American Walking Horse Alliance and representing 45 of the 50 states that are governed in Washington, an array of speakers and six World Champion horses will gather at Union Square Park across from the famed Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool on June 18 in hopes of pushing the PAST Act into law.

Thus far 54 United States senators have endorsed the “Prevent All Soring Tactics” bill and Texas Republican Kenny Marchant just became the 278th member of Congress to cosponsor legislation in the House. But leaders of the All-American Walking Horse Alliance are worried about the “homestretch run;” after all, not one Republican lawmaker from Tennessee has endorsed the legislation that is – in fact – targeting the seedy “Big Lick” headquartered in the Volunteer State itself.

“We have made great strides opening eyes in Washington,” horse trainer Jeannie McGuire said from her home in Virginia on Sunday, “but we are worried that momentum must be stepped up if America is going to finally push the Big Lick out of business. I firmly believe you can’t achieve the exaggerated gait without soring a horse. Everyone who has been caught has admitted as much under oath but it is still prevalent in the industry.”

The PAST Act would eliminate the dreadful stacks, the chains and action devices and step up inspections that would imperil those who cheat, particularly in Tennessee, but the Big Lick has cultivated the state’s politicians to the point Tennessee’s other Republican Congressmen, including Chattanooga’s Chuck Fleischmann and Jasper’s Scott DesJarlais, have joined the ruse. Tennessee Senator Bob Corker has yet to take a stand on the issue.

The ceremony in support of the PAST bills will begin at 1:30 p.m. on June 18 and among the speakers will be Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL), and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). Others will be named and thus far six sound World Champion horses – all flat shod – will be brought from Virginia and Pennsylvania for demonstrations of a healthy gait.

“Mikal Stooner, a third-generation trainer, and her daughter Ariel will bring their world-champion stallion to show how beautiful a ‘clean horse’ can perform,” said McQuire. “Every horse that will be there has been born, raised and trained in a way they have never been once abused. It is imperative that Tennessee Walking Horses must never be tortured again. Read full report >>

Pay to play in Congress and the horse slaughter bill

Milt Toby, writing for The Horse blog, analyzes the monetary contributions that influence politicians, and why or why not certain pieces of legislation pass quickly and easily, and some, like the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, languishes year after year in Congress, often not even getting a vote.

Toby opens with:

Eight out of 10 American voters oppose slaughtering horses for human consumption according to a new poll sponsored by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), one of the country’s leading advocates for animal welfare. This overwhelming opposition to slaughter crosses gender lines, geography, political affiliation, and whether people live in the country or in the city.

With that much voter support, passing antislaughter legislation should be a slam dunk in Congress. But it isn’t, never has been.

So why does federal anti-slaughter legislation stall every year?

It’s a puzzling question, without an easy answer.

Toby concludes with this question:

Do campaign contributors exert too much influence on decisions—good or bad—made by Congress?

His analysis is interesting, but admittedly it looks at only one aspect of political cash manipulation, the transactions “above the table”.

We like this comment from Monica:

Clearly our system isn’t working when the pay to play can so effectively skew legislative action on an issue with such overwhelming consensus in this country. We need to find ways to expose this legal form of bribery and ensure legislators are actually representing the will of the people, not the well-funded special interest lobbies.

and this from MonicaW:

In addition to this generally accepted practice, the ugliness extends beyond the legislative chambers to committees and to individual actions of committee members. This past November, three individual members of a joint committee acted unilaterally, fully silencing the voices of their peers on the Appropriations Committee, and ultimately, the voices of hundreds of their peers on Capitol Hill. Well, after all, that’s the only way that horse slaughter could ever continue in America.

Shame on Senators Kohl and Blunt, and Rep Kingston. It wasn’t right, it wasn’t honest, and it’s not defensible.

Worth a read. Full article here >>