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  • News Release, Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo

Cockfighting ban in GOP's just passed 2018 farm bill

Bordallo opposes Federal cockfighting ban that 'dictates' to U.S. Territories

Washington, D.C.-- Guam Delegate to the U.S. Congress Madeleine Z. Bordallo announced that the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (also known as the Farm Bill) on a mostly party-line vote of 213 to 211. The bill would cut billions in SNAP benefits and imposes a draconian work requirement on adult SNAP participants that would kick many beneficiaries off the program. The bill also would impose a federal ban on all cockfighting in U.S. territories.

Last month, Cong. Bordallo took to the House floor with her colleagues, Cong. Stacey E. Plaskett of the Virgin Islands and Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon of Puerto Rico to oppose this federal ban.

This is the second vote House Republicans have held on the 2018 Farm Bill, after the first vote failed by a vote of 198-213, due to universal opposition from Democrats over cuts to important federal nutrition programs like SNAP (commonly known as food stamps). Some conservative Republicans voted against the Farm Bill in May, demanding that the House first vote on hardline anti-immigration legislation. Earlier today, House Republicans considered two bills targeting illegal immigration at U.S. borders and undocumented immigrants living in the United States. Cong. Bordallo joined her Democratic colleagues on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to oppose the Trump Administration’s policy of separating young children from their parents when apprehended at the U.S. border.

The House-passed 2018 Farm Bill will be re-worked into a compromise Farm Bill with the U.S. Senate, after the Senate passes its own version of the Farm Bill (S.3042, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018). Congresswoman Bordallo has made clear to the Senate Agriculture Committee that she strongly opposes any effort to impose the federal cockfighting ban on U.S. territories without local consent. The version of the 2018 Farm Bill (S.3042) reported by the Senate Agriculture Committee, does not include provisions imposing the federal cockfighting ban on U.S. territories. However, any Senator may offer such an amendment to the bill (S.3042) on the Senate floor in the coming weeks.

“In addition to gutting food stamps for our neediest families in this Farm Bill, House Republicans chose to override Guam’s local laws regulating cockfighting and backhand U.S. territories in a way they would never attempt for the 50 states. Forcing this ban on Guam and the other territories against our will and without even allowing us a vote on the House floor is paternalistic and deeply unfair,” said Bordallo.

“All 5 members of Congress from the territories strongly oppose this federal cockfighting ban and were never consulted on this provision. I have made clear to the U.S. Senate that the territories oppose any highhanded effort to override our local laws,” Bordallo added.


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