Votes Against Animals Put Reps in the Doghouse

By on September 6, 2007 with 0 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

You might call them friends of Michael Vick. Or friends of Cavel International—the Illinois horse slaughter plant. Or perhaps friends of Safari Club International—the group whose members hunt down and kill rare animals throughout the world to decorate their dens and win a place in the pantheon of trophy hunters.

Their record speaks volumes about their concern for animals—or, to be more clear, their lack of concern. Listed below are the 31 members of the U.S. House of Representatives with consistent and unmistakably harsh voting behavior on policy proposals designed to prevent needless animal killing and cruelty.

During 2007, there have been three major animal protection measures to come up for consideration by the full House.

brindle pit bull dog
© iStockphoto

On March 26, the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act, H.R. 137, was approved by a vote of 368-39. The measure upgraded federal penalties for illegal dogfighting and cockfighting activities to a felony. Republican Rep. Elton Gallegly of California and Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon were co-authors of this legislation. The bill passed the Senate unanimously on April 10, and President Bush signed the bill into law on May 3.

On April 26, the Wild Horse Protection Act, H.R. 249, was approved by a vote of 277-137. The measure sought to stop the slaughter of wild horses for export for human consumption. Democrat Nick Rahall of West Virginia and Republican Ed Whitfield of Kentucky were co-authors of the bill. Action on the measure is pending in the Senate.

On June 27, there was a polar bear protection amendment, H.R. 2643, offered during consideration of the Interior Department spending bill. Specifically, the amendment by Democrat Jay Inslee of Washington and Republican Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey sought to block American trophy hunters from importing into the United States the heads and hides of polar bears killed in Canada. This amendment was defeated 188-242. The Senate Appropriations Committee did, however, approve an identical amendment, offered by Democratic Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, but the full spending bill has not yet come up on the Senate floor.

Of the 435 members of the House, there were 31 individuals (7 percent of House members) who voted against each of these measures. In short, they took the anti-animal position at every turn, defending dogfighting and cockfighting, the slaughter of wild horses for human consumption, and the needless killing of imperiled polar bears by trophy hunters.

Their antipathy for the protection of animals from cruelty and needless killing could not be more apparent.

There are 10 Texans among the group—about one third of the 32-member delegation from the Lone Star state. There is just one northeastern member on the entire list—Rep. Scott Garrett of New Jersey. There is only one Californian on the list—Rep. John Doolittle, even though California has 53 representatives. And there are two Floridians—Reps. Connie Mack and Cliff Stearns. 

There is only one Democrat on the list—Rep. Dan Boren of Oklahoma; all 30 others are Republicans, including nearly the entire Republican leadership in the House—Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, Minority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole of Ohio, and Chief Deputy Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia. 

If one of these elected officials represents you, take the time to write a letter to let his constituents know about this disturbing and indefensible record.

1. Joe Barton (R-Texas, 6th)
2. Roy Blunt (R-Mo., 7th)
3. John Boehner (R-Ohio, 8th)
4. Dan Boren (D-Okla., 2nd)
5. Kevin P. Brady (R-Texas, 8th)
6. Eric Cantor (R-Va., 7th)
7. Tom Cole (R-Okla., 4th)
8. Mike Conaway (R-Texas, 11th)
9. David Davis (R-Tenn., 1st)
10. John T. Doolittle (R-Calif., 4th)
11. Scott Garrett (R-N.J., 5th)
12. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas, 1st)
13. Sam Graves (R-Mo., 6th)
14. Robin Hayes (R-N.C., 8th)
15. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas, 5th)
16. Sam Johnson (R-Texas, 3rd)
17. Steve King (R-Iowa, 5th)
18. Jack Kingston (R-Ga., 1st)
19. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo., 5th)
20. Frank Lucas (R-Okla., 3rd)
21. Connie IV Mack (R-Fla., 14th)
22. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas, 19th)
23. Ron E. Paul (R-Texas, 14th)
24. Ted Poe (R-Texas, 2nd)
25. Michael D. Rogers (R-Ala., 3rd)
26. William T. Sali (R-Idaho, 1st)
27. James F. Sensenbrenner (R-Wis., 5th)
28. Adrian Smith (R-Neb., 3rd)
29. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla., 6th)
30. William “Mac” Thornberry (R-Texas, 13th)
31. Don Young (R-Alaska, At Large)

Farm Animals, Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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