U.S. Senate knocks cockfighting ban out of Farm Bill
Senate version supports Delegate Bordallo opposition to ban in U.S. territories
Washington, D.C. – Guam Delegate to the U.S. Congress Madeleine Z. Bordallo says the U.S. Senate version of the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (also known as the 2018 Farm Bill) passed by a vote of 86 to 11 without any provisions imposing the federal cockfighting ban on Guam or the other U.S. territories.
Bordallo, along with her colleagues from other territories, worked to defeat an amendment offered by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) that would have imposed the federal cockfighting ban onto the territories without territorial consent. Senator Wyden is the Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee responsible for U.S. territories. U.S. Senators Susan M. Collins (R-ME), Cory A. Booker (D-NJ), Dean Heller (D-NV), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) cosponsored the Wyden amendment, which was ultimately not considered by the Senate.
On May 18, 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a similar amendment by a vote of 359 to 51, despite Cong. Bordallo’s strong objections and those of her House colleagues from the other territories.
The Senate and House will now reconcile their respective bills into a single, compromise 2018 Farm Bill, which will then be put to a final vote likely later this summer.
“Cockfighting is a longstanding cultural practice on Guam, even if other parts of the country do not appreciate that. Forcing any federal ban onto the territories, without our consent or vote, is deeply offensive to me and all Americans who call U.S. territories home,” said Bordallo.
“As the U.S. Senate and House negotiate a compromise 2018 Farm Bill, I will continue working to defeat any highhanded effort to impose this federal ban against our will. Congress must not dictate to the territories, while also continuing to deny us a full vote on the House floor,” said Del. Bordallo.