House Rules Committee Votes on Two Horse-Related Amendments in Budget Bill

We’re continuing to track the progress of two key issues at stake for horsemen in the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget bills: here’s the scoop on the latest amendments concerning horse slaughter and wild horses.


Just a few weeks before the deadline of October 1, the budget bills for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 are moving slowly but steadily through the process towards becoming law. Two key issues — the fate of America’s wild horses and the potential re-opening of horse slaughter facilities in the US — have been at stake in early appropriations bills. Here’s a quick review of how these issues played out:

The House Rules Committee met on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss H.R. 3345, the Department of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriation Act, also titled “Make American Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act, 2018.” Included in this hearing were two amendments of interest to horsemen:

  • A bi-partisan amendment from Reps. Titus, King, Polis, Curbelo and Grisham that limits funds related to the slaughter of healthy, wild horses and burros
  • A bi-partisan amendment from Reps. Buchanan, Roybal-Allard, Royce and Blumenauer that prohibits federal funding for inspections at horse slaughter plants in the United States

Both of these amendments were defeated by the Rules Committee, meaning that the bill will now go to to the full House of Representatives for debate without language that would keep horse slaughter plants in the United States closed and prevent the destruction of healthy wild horses and burros.

The Senate Appropriations Committee could hold its hearing on the Interior appropriations bill as early as next week. At the end of these processes, any differences between the spending bills will need to be addresses in reconciliation committee until one final bill can be presented to the executive branch to be signed into law.

If you feel strongly about either of these issues, the best way to make your voice heard is to contact your elected legislators: you can find your representatives here and your senators here.

We will continue to follow the progress of these key issues as the appropriations bills move through their processes.

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