On Tuesday, September 29, United States Trotting Association President Russell Williams issued a statement in regard to the passing of H.R. 1754, which is more commonly referred to as the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act.
The contents of the USTA's story on the matter appear below.
Russell Williams’ Statement Regarding Passage of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act in the House
Editor’s Note: Following is the statement from U.S. Trotting Association President Russell Williams regarding passage of H.R. 1754, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday (Sept. 29).
“We’re disappointed but not surprised that the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act was passed by the House; bad legislation gets passed all the time. Sadly, HISA will be devastating to harness racing and put horses at risk. More than that, the bill is unconstitutional. The USTA remains focused in its opposition and will continue the fight in the Senate.”
Following is the press release from Congressman Paul Tonko’s (D-NY) office, who co-sponsored of the bill with Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY):
Congressman Paul D. Tonko’s bipartisan national horse racing reform bill, H.R. 1754, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, passed the U.S. House of Representatives today. The 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.
“After nearly six years working to advance this bipartisan legislation to modernize horse racing in the United States, we are at long last rounding the final turn,” Congressman Tonko said. “Our Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act puts the health and well-being of our equine athletes and jockeys firmly at the centre of the sport, and delivers commonsense medication and track safety standards that will lift this noble sport to higher standards of integrity and safety. These long overdue reforms will help restore public trust in the sport and put it on a path to a long and vital future, supporting countless jobs and driving economic activity in communities across our nation. I thank my longtime collaborator and friend, Congressman Barr, for leading with me in this effort to restore integrity to this sport of kings. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to advance their companion legislation without delay and deliver it swiftly to the President to sign into law.”
“With today’s HISA passage in the House, we continue our momentum and move one step closer toward historic reform for the horse racing industry,” said Congressman Barr. “This legislation, developed through a highly deliberative and bipartisan process, will ensure the safety of our equine athletes and increase the popularity, public confidence, and international competitiveness of the sport. I want to thank my House colleagues for supporting this legislation which will usher in a new era for this great Kentucky, and great American, industry.”
The bill approved by the House today also has companion Senate legislation introduced recently by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martha McSally (R-AZ), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).