Humane Society Scorecard
I am pleased to report that I received a perfect score on the Humane Society’s legislative scorecard for 2015. I am a lifelong lover of animals -- our family includes two beloved cats -- and protecting pets, wildlife, and livestock from harm remains an important priority for me in Congress.
I am proud to be a co-sponsor of the PAWS Act (H.R. 1258), a bipartisan bill that would provide new protections for the animal companions of domestic violence victims. Three-quarters of domestic violence survivors report that their abusers have also threatened or harmed their pets. The PAWS Act would help ensure that these animals receive safe shelter and provide new legal protections against domestic animal abuse. I will continue advocating for this bill’s passage over the coming months.
I have also been actively involved in efforts to protect wild animals from harm and to protect their habitats. I am a co-sponsor of the Global Anti-Poaching Act (H.R. 2494), which would strengthen the federal government’s ability to combat wildlife trafficking and make combating poaching a foreign policy priority. I voiced my support for these efforts and my concerns about trafficking in a letter to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
In order to ensure the safety of wild animals, we must also protect their habitats. On the Appropriations Committee, I continue to strongly oppose efforts by House Republicans to dismantle the Endangered Species Act and to roll back the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency. I will continue to fight for conservation efforts designed to defend wildlife and our nation’s wild places, including robust funding for conservation programs. I also inserted language in the Fiscal Year 2015 Homeland Security Appropriations bill urging Customs and Border Protection to increase their efforts to stop wildlife trafficking at our ports of entry.
Finally, we must work to ensure that we are preventing abuse of working animals and livestock. I have heard from hundreds of constituents about the plight of Nosey the Elephant, and I joined several of my colleagues in expressing concern about circus animal welfare to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. I have also co-sponsored numerous bills to eliminate cruel agricultural practices like horse soring and slaughter.
You can rest assured that I will continue to be a vocal congressional advocate for animal welfare.