Tonko Horseracing Reform Bill Advances to House Floor
House legislation amended to reflect latest agreement with Senate companion
Amsterdam, September 9, 2020
AMSTERDAM, NY—Congressman Paul D. Tonko’s national horse racing reform bill H.R. 1754, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act is poised to advance to the House Floor following a bipartisan 46-5 vote today to approve the legislation in the House Committee on Energy & Commerce. The bill advanced with amendments that match legislation introduced today by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). The House bill has long been co-led by Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) and would designate the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority to design and implement uniform national horse racing medication and racetrack safety standards.
“Today’s vote is a major step forward for our bipartisan drive to bring greater safety and integrity to the sport of horse racing,” Congressman Tonko (NY-20) said. “Our bill delivers commonsense medication and track safety standards that protect America’s horses and jockeys, needed progress that will put this popular and historic sport on track for a strong recovery and a bright future. Horse racing is more than the sport of kings, it also supports countless jobs and drives vital economic activity in communities all across America. I thank my friend and colleague, Congressman Andy Barr, for leading with me for all these years in our push for sensible, compassionate reform. My thanks to our colleagues on the Committee on Energy and Commerce for advancing this critical bill and I look forward to a vote in the full House and hopefully the enactment of our Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act into law later this year.”
Tonko’s longtime partner and co-lead on this bipartisan legislation Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) also cheered the bill’s progress:
“Today marks a major milestone in our bipartisan efforts to implement historic and lasting reforms for the horse racing industry,” said Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06). “Our amended legislation incorporates feedback from an expanded group of industry stakeholders to create essential uniform medication and track safety standards to protect the safety of our equine and human athletes. I want to thank my colleague Paul Tonko for his continued work and advocacy on this issue, as well as the over 250 Members who co-sponsored this legislation for their support. The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act has momentum in the House, and I look forward to getting it across the finish line and sending it to the President’s desk.”
Last week, Tonko celebrated the announcement made by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to introduce the Horseracing Safety and Integrity Act in the U.S. Senate to strengthen standards for the nation’s horse racing industry. The Senate legislation adopted many key reform measures established in H.R. 1754, while adding additional track safety measures and program establishing safety standards for training and racing, racetrack surfaces, injury-related data analysis, safety violation investigations, hearings and sanctions.