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Current Bills

Welcome to the NTRA Legislative Advocacy Center. With your participation, we can foster horse industry growth through governance.

Use the links below to access current bills and legislation affecting the horseracing industry and to contact your federal representatives in Congress.

Ask your representative to join the Congressional Horse Caucus. This bipartisan group was formed to educate members of the House of Representatives and their staffs about the importance of the horse industry in the economic, agricultural, sporting, gaming and recreational life of the nation.

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Bills of the 113th Congress

2013-2014

Taxation

H. R. 998

Equine Tax Parity Act

Introduced by: Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY)

Legislative Action: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to reduce the holding period used to determine whether horses are section 1231 assets to 12 months.

Bill Referral(s): House Committee on Ways and Means

Key Issue(s): Unlike most business assets that must be held for more than one year before gains from their sale are eligible for a lower capital gains tax rate, horses must be held for at least two years before the more favorable capital gains rate applies. This legislation would create parity between horses and most other business assets.

H. R. 2212

Race Horse Cost Recovery Act

Introduced by: Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY)

Legislative Action: A bill to make permanent for all race horses the three-year depreciation schedule which is subject to expire at the end of 2013.

Bill Referral(s): House Committee on Ways and Means

Key Issue(s): The 2008 Farm Bill included language that allowed all racehorses to be depreciated over three years, regardless of their age when placed in service. That provision expires at the end of 2013.  A horse is generally deemed to be placed in service when it begins training. Depreciation is a means of recovering the cost of property, including horses, used in a business through deductions of portions of the horse’s cost over a period of years. Generally, the recovery period approximates the estimated useful life of the property. The horse industry believes a three-year depreciation schedule more accurately reflects the actual time a horse will race.

Internet Gaming

H. R. 2282

Internet Gambling Regulation Consumer Protection & Enforcement Act of 2013

Introduced by: Rep. Peter King (R-NY)

Legislative Action: To regulate Internet gambling, to provide consumer protections, and for other purposes.

Bill Referral(s): Referred to the House committees on Energy and CommerceSubcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade;  Financial Services, and JudiciarySubcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations.

Key Issue(s): The bill sets up a federal structure to license and regulate entities, including race tracks that might offer forms of gambling online, except sports betting. Internet gambling operators could obtain licenses from federal, state or tribal authorities authorizing them to accept wagers over the Internet. The bill would not apply to current interstate bets on horseracing “permissible under the Interstate Horseracing Act (IHA) of 1978”. A track or operator would not need a federal license under this bill to offer interstate off-track wagers under the IHA.

H. R. 2666

Internet Poker Freedom Act of 2013

Introduced by: Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX)

Legislative Action: To establish a program for the licensing of Internet poker by states and federally recognized Indian tribes, and for other purposes.

Bill Referral(s): Referred to the House committees on Energy and CommerceSubcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade; and Financial Services.

Key Issue(s): The bill addresses the uncertainty of laws of the United States governing Internet poker by establishing an “Office of Internet Poker Oversight” and requiring all Internet poker facilities to go through a licensing process. The momentum of online poker has been increasing and some states are considering the idea of passing their own laws to legalize online gambling. The bill is not applicable to laws governing Internet sports betting.

Animal Welfare

H.R. 1094

Safeguard American Food Exports Act of 2013

Introduced by: Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA)

Legislative Action: Prohibits the sale or transport of equines and equine parts in interstate or foreign commerce for human consumption.

Bill Referral(s): Referred to the committee on Energy and CommerceSubcommittee on Health; and Agriculture - Subcommittee on Livestock, Rural Development and Credit, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

Key Issue(s): The bill would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to make it illegal for anyone to sell, transport, export or import horses or horse meat if they "know or should have known" the horses were to be slaughtered, or the horse meat was to be used for  human consumption. 

Companion bill to S. 541

S. 541

Safeguard American Food Exports Act of 2013

Introduced by: Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)

Legislative Action: Prohibits the sale or transport of equines and equine parts in interstate or foreign commerce for human consumption.

Bill Referral(s): Referred to committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Key Issue(s): The bill would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to make it illegal for anyone to sell, transport, export or import horses or horse meat if they "know or should have known" the horses were to be slaughtered, or the horse meat was to be used for  human consumption. 

Companion bill to H. R. 1094

H.R. 2012

Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2013

Introduced by: Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA)

Legislative Action: To improve the integrity and safety of interstate horseracing and for other purposes.

Bill Referral (s): Referred to the committee on Energy and Commerce - Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade.

Key Issue(s): The bill designates the U. S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), a non-governmental agency, as the authority to permit/prohibit the drugs and medications that may be administered to a horse in a race subject to an interstate off-track wager and set the withdrawal period for its administration. The legislation prohibits any horse from receiving any drug within 24 hours of a race. The bill does not amend the Interstate Horseracing Act (IHA); rather it prohibits wagering under the IHA without the “consent” of the USADA. Race tracks must have an agreement with USADA that includes terms and conditions regarding compliance with rules and specifies payments to  USADA to fund the costs of regulation and enforcement.

Companion to Bill S. 973

S. 973

Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2013

Introduced by: Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM)

Legislative Action: To improve the integrity and safety of interstate horseracing and for other purposes

Bill Referral(s): Referred to the committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation

Key Issue(s): The bill designates the U. S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), a non-governmental agency, as the authority to permit/prohibit the drugs and medications that may be administered to a horse in a race subject to an interstate off-track wager and set the withdrawal period for its administration. The legislation prohibits any horse from receiving any drug within 24 hours of a race The bill does not amend the Interstate Horseracing Act (IHA); rather it prohibits wagering under the IHA without the “consent” of the USADA. Race tracks must have an agreement with USADA that includes terms and conditions regarding compliance with rules and specifies payments to  USADA to fund the costs of regulation and enforcement.

Companion to Bill H. R. 2012

H.R. 1528

Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act of 2013

Introduced by: Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR)
Legislative Action: To amend the Controlled Substances Act to allow a veterinarian to transport and dispense controlled substances in the usual course of a veterinary practice outside of the registered location.
Bill Referral (s): Referred to the committees on Energy and Commerce - Subcommittee on Health; and JudiciarySubcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations.
Key Issue(s): Amends the Controlled Substances Act to prohibit a veterinarian who is registered to manufacture or distribute controlled substances from being required to have a separate registration in order to transport and dispense controlled substances in the usual course of veterinary practice at a site other than such veterinarian's principal place of business or professional practice, as long as the dispensing site is located in a state where the veterinarian is licensed to practice.
Companion to Bill S. 1171

S. 1171

Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act of 2013

Introduced by:  Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS)

Legislative Action: To amend the Controlled Substances Act to allow a veterinarian to transport and dispense controlled substances in the usual course of a veterinary practice outside of the registered location.
Bill Referral (s): Referred to the Senate Judiciary committee.
Key Issue(s): Amends the Controlled Substances Act to prohibit a veterinarian who is registered to manufacture or distribute controlled substances from being required to have a separate registration in order to transport and dispense controlled substances in the usual course of veterinary practice at a site other than such veterinarian's principal place of business or professional practice, as long as the dispensing site is located in a state where the veterinarian is licensed to practice.
Companion Bill to H. R. 1528

S. 1459

Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2013

Introduced by: Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL)

Legislative Action: A bill to amend Title 49, United States Code, to prohibit the transportation of horses in interstate transportation in a motor vehicle containing 2 or more levels stacked on top of one another.

Bill Referral(s): Referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

Key Issues: The bill would prohibit the transport of any horse in a double-deck truck, including ones specially designed for horses. This bill is identical to the one Sen. Kirk introduced in the 112th Congress.

Immigration

S. 744

Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act

Introduced by: Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)

Legislative Action: A bill to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes

Bill Referral(s): Passed by the Senate on June 27, 2013. The bill now awaits action in the House of Representatives.

Key Issues: The bill addresses comprehensive immigration reform, and includes language to replace the H-2A visa program currently utilized by horse farms. The new, temporary agricultural foreign worker program would be easier to use and be administered by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) rather than the Department of Labor (DOL). Under the proposed legislation, there would be two work visa options: 1) a portable, at-will employment-based visa; and 2) a contract-based visa program. The visas would be viable for up to 3 years and could be renewed one time. H-2A visas are currently valid for only 10 months.

Agriculture

S. 954

Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013

Introduced by: Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Legislative Action: An original bill to reauthorize agricultural programs through 2018.

Bill Referral(s): This bill passed the Senate on June 10, 2013.

Key Issues: With the 2008 Farm Bill expiring on September 30, 2012, Congress passed an extension of the programs in the 2008 farm bill through the end of 2013.  Democrats and Republicans have disagreed about where spending cuts should be made in agricultural programs and how big they should be, with the biggest divide found in nutrition programs. This bill includes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that the House version of the bill does not contain. The bill now goes to a conference committee of the Senate and House to resolve the bills’ differences. 

H. R. 2642

Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013

Introduced by: Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK)

Legislative Action: Provides for the reform and continuation of agriculture and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through fiscal year 2018, and for other purposes.

Bill Referral(s): This bill passed the House on July 11, 2013.

Key Issues: With the 2008 Farm Bill expiring on September 30, 2012, Congress passed an extension of the programs in the 2008 farm bill through the end of 2013.  Democrats and Republicans have disagreed about where spending cuts should be made in agricultural programs and how big they should be, with the biggest divide found in nutrition programs. Republicans passed this bill without the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that the Senate version contains. The bill now goes to a conference committee of the Senate and House to resolve the bills’ differences.