Latest News


Find all the latest news about the equine industry below


Array ( [pressrelid] => Array ( [0] => 3678 [1] => 2988 [2] => 3677 [3] => 2970 [4] => 3675 [5] => 3676 ) [pressreltitle] => Array ( [0] => Successful Barr Amendment Gives $5 Million Boost to Equine-Assisted Therapy for Veterans [1] => DHS Sets High Bar for 15,000 Extra H-2B Visas for Racetracks, Horse Farms, Other Seasonal Employers [2] => Bill Introduced in Senate in Response to ELD Mandate [3] => Sens. Crapo (R-ID), Warner (D-VA) Lead Bi-Partisan PAST Act of 2018 [4] => AHC to Host Special Fall 2018 Congressional Ride-In [5] => Supreme Court Opens State Sports Betting Flood Gates, Sen. Hatch Offers Federal Framework ) [pressrellink] => Array ( [0] => https://www.horsecouncil.org/washington-report/successful-barr-amendment-gives-5-million-boost-to-equine-assisted-therapy-for-veterans/ [1] => https://www.horsecouncil.org/washington-report/federal-regulators-release-15000-extra-h-2b-visas/ [2] => https://www.horsecouncil.org/washington-report/bill-introduced-in-senate-in-response-to-eld-mandate/ [3] => https://www.horsecouncil.org/washington-report/sens-crapo-r-id-warner-d-va-lead-bi-partisan-past-act-of-2018/ [4] => https://www.horsecouncil.org/press-release/ahc-to-host-special-fall-2018-congressional-ride-in/ [5] => https://www.horsecouncil.org/washington-report/supreme-court-opens-state-sports-betting-flood-gates-sen-hatch-offers-federal-framework/ ) [pressrelcontent] => Array ( [0] => On Friday, June 8, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 5895, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Energy and Water,... [1] => Following several weeks of tense discussions between Congress and the Administration, on June 1 the Department of Homeland Security... [2] => On May 23, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) introduced the ‘‘Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act,” in an effort to... [3] => On Thursday, May 24,  Sens. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST)... [4] => As the saying goes, there is strength in numbers, and members of the American Horse Council (AHC) are critical... [5] => Today the Supreme Court released its opinion in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, rejecting the Professional and Amateur... ) [pressreldatesorting] => Array ( [0] => 1528416000 [1] => 1528243200 [2] => 1527552000 [3] => 1527206400 [4] => 1526256000 [5] => 1526256000 ) [pressreldatedisplay] => Array ( [0] => June 8, 2018 [1] => June 6, 2018 [2] => May 29, 2018 [3] => May 25, 2018 [4] => May 14, 2018 [5] => May 14, 2018 ) [pressrelfeatureimage] => Array ( [0] => [1] => [2] => [3] => [4] => [5] => ) [countprofiles] => 6 [paged] => 3 [probj] => WP_Query Object ( [query] => Array ( [post_type] => Array ( [0] => press-release [1] => washington-report ) [post_status] => publish [ignore_sticky_posts] => 1 [orderby] => meta_value_num [meta_key] => wpcf-press-release-date [order] => DESC [posts_per_page] => 6 [paged] => 3 [meta_query] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [key] => wpcf-press-release-date [value] => 1542933246 [compare] => <= ) ) ) [query_vars] => Array ( [post_type] => Array ( [0] => press-release [1] => washington-report ) [post_status] => publish [ignore_sticky_posts] => 1 [orderby] => meta_value_num [meta_key] => wpcf-press-release-date [order] => DESC [posts_per_page] => 6 [paged] => 3 [meta_query] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [key] => wpcf-press-release-date [value] => 1542933246 [compare] => <= ) ) [error] => [m] => [p] => 0 [post_parent] => [subpost] => [subpost_id] => [attachment] => [attachment_id] => 0 [name] => [static] => [pagename] => [page_id] => 0 [second] => [minute] => [hour] => [day] => 0 [monthnum] => 0 [year] => 0 [w] => 0 [category_name] => [tag] => [cat] => [tag_id] => [author] => [author_name] => [feed] => [tb] => [meta_value] => [preview] => [s] => [sentence] => [title] => [fields] => [menu_order] => [embed] => [category__in] => Array ( ) [category__not_in] => Array ( ) [category__and] => Array ( ) [post__in] => Array ( ) [post__not_in] => Array ( ) [post_name__in] => Array ( ) [tag__in] => Array ( ) [tag__not_in] => Array ( ) [tag__and] => Array ( ) [tag_slug__in] => Array ( ) [tag_slug__and] => Array ( ) [post_parent__in] => Array ( ) [post_parent__not_in] => Array ( ) [author__in] => Array ( ) [author__not_in] => Array ( ) [suppress_filters] => [cache_results] => 1 [update_post_term_cache] => 1 [lazy_load_term_meta] => 1 [update_post_meta_cache] => 1 [nopaging] => [comments_per_page] => 50 [no_found_rows] => ) [tax_query] => WP_Tax_Query Object ( [queries] => Array ( ) [relation] => AND [table_aliases:protected] => Array ( ) [queried_terms] => Array ( ) [primary_table] => wp_zp536rtjat_posts [primary_id_column] => ID ) [meta_query] => WP_Meta_Query Object ( [queries] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [key] => wpcf-press-release-date ) [1] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [key] => wpcf-press-release-date [value] => 1542933246 [compare] => <= ) [relation] => OR ) [relation] => AND ) [relation] => AND [meta_table] => wp_zp536rtjat_postmeta [meta_id_column] => post_id [primary_table] => wp_zp536rtjat_posts [primary_id_column] => ID [table_aliases:protected] => Array ( [0] => wp_zp536rtjat_postmeta [1] => mt1 ) [clauses:protected] => Array ( [wp_zp536rtjat_postmeta] => Array ( [key] => wpcf-press-release-date [compare] => = [alias] => wp_zp536rtjat_postmeta [cast] => CHAR ) [mt1] => Array ( [key] => wpcf-press-release-date [value] => 1542933246 [compare] => <= [alias] => mt1 [cast] => CHAR ) ) [has_or_relation:protected] => ) [date_query] => [request] => SELECT SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS wp_zp536rtjat_posts.ID FROM wp_zp536rtjat_posts INNER JOIN wp_zp536rtjat_postmeta ON ( wp_zp536rtjat_posts.ID = wp_zp536rtjat_postmeta.post_id ) INNER JOIN wp_zp536rtjat_postmeta AS mt1 ON ( wp_zp536rtjat_posts.ID = mt1.post_id ) WHERE 1=1 AND ( wp_zp536rtjat_postmeta.meta_key = 'wpcf-press-release-date' AND ( ( mt1.meta_key = 'wpcf-press-release-date' AND mt1.meta_value <= '1542933246' ) ) ) AND wp_zp536rtjat_posts.post_type IN ('press-release', 'washington-report') AND ((wp_zp536rtjat_posts.post_status = 'publish')) GROUP BY wp_zp536rtjat_posts.ID ORDER BY wp_zp536rtjat_postmeta.meta_value+0 DESC LIMIT 12, 6 [posts] => Array ( [0] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3678 [post_author] => 2810 [post_date] => 2018-06-08 10:49:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-08 15:49:39 [post_content] =>

On Friday, June 8, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 5895, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (VA) Appropriations Act.  Per an amendment offered by Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), the House bill increases funds for Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) by $5 million.  Specifically, the Barr amendment directs appropriators to “transfer $5 million from the VA’s Health Administration’s (VHA) Medical Community Care Account to the Medical Services Account for the explicit use for the VA’s Adaptive Sports Grant (ASG) program, equine assisted therapy.” On Monday, June 4, AHC sent a letter of support to House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) urging the committee to rule the Barr amendment “in order” so that it could be adopted on the House floor.

By way of background, Congress has already endorsed robust EAAT measures by approving increased funds for EAAT within the FY2018 omnibus.  By approving the Barr Amendment to FY 2019 appropriations, Congress re-enforces an important commitment to our nation’s warriors when they return from combat.  According to a clinical study conducted in conjunction with Columbia University, an estimated 14% to 30% of U.S. veterans suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Congress can help mitigate PTSD by boosting EAAT. 

The U.S. horse industry employs nearly one million Americans and contributes $122 billion to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  EAAT programs not only provide valuable services for U.S. veterans, but the operations also support jobs for a growing number of working Americans, and “second careers” for horses who would otherwise retire from racing or other working roles.  According to a 2017 economic impact study, EAAT supports more than 6,700 jobs and generates $311.7 million in annual revenues in the U.S.  If you have questions related to AHC’s support for Rep. Barr’s Amendment to H.R. 5895, please contact Bryan Brendle, AHC’s Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, at 202-296-4031. 

[post_title] => Successful Barr Amendment Gives $5 Million Boost to Equine-Assisted Therapy for Veterans [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => successful-barr-amendment-gives-5-million-boost-to-equine-assisted-therapy-for-veterans [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-08 10:49:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-08 15:49:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.horsecouncil.org/?post_type=washington-report&p=3678 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => washington-report [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2988 [post_author] => 2810 [post_date] => 2018-06-06 11:01:14 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-06 16:01:14 [post_content] =>

Following several weeks of tense discussions between Congress and the Administration, on June 1 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule in the Federal Register authorizing issuance of 15,000 additional H-2B visas for the remainder of Fiscal Year (FY) 2018.  As reported this spring, Congress authorized the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to raise its cap on H-2B temporary worker visas from the current cap of 66,000 to 129,500 visas for FY2018 within the context of the omnibus appropriations law passed in late March.  DHS states that by issuing 15,000 extra H-2B visas – significantly below the additional 63,500 authorized by the FY2018 omnibus - the agency will prioritize employers who demonstrate that they would suffer “irreparable harm” to their business unless they are able to hire additional seasonal workers during the summer and fall 2018 seasons.  DHS further states that it seeks to avoid possible abuse of the H-2B program by limiting the pool of extra visas to 15,000.    

According to the rule, DHS punts the broader temporary worker shortage issue to Congress, urging lawmakers to reform the Immigration and Nationality Act, which establishes the H-2B visa program.  During the course of the extended back-and-forth discussions between the legislative and executive branches this spring, DHS claims that only congressional action can provide long-term certainty with respect to the issuance of more guest worker visas.  According to federal regulators, addressing worker shortages through the annual appropriations process fails to create certainty, undercutting the ability of the business community to plan long-term.        

Since moving forward with a limited cap increase, DHS’s United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has outlined some practical considerations for filing an H-2B petition per the new regulation: 

  • An employer “must meet all existing H-2B eligibility requirements,” which includes receipt of “an approved temporary labor certification (TLC) from the Department of Labor (DOL) that is valid for the entire employment period stated on the petition.”  DHS reminds employers that “the employment start date on the petition must match the employment start date on the TLC, even if that date has passed.”
  • Employers must also “conduct a fresh round of recruitment for U.S. workers if the TLC contains a start date of work before April 15, 2018.”
  • And finally, a business must “submit an attestation on Form ETA 9142-B-CAA-2 (PDF)in which the petitioner affirms, under penalty of perjury, its business will likely suffer irreparable harm if it cannot hire all the requested H-2B workers before the end of the fiscal year.”  The agency provides Form ETA 9142-B-CAA-2 Instructions (PDF) to properly complete the attestation.
  • DHS further states that it “will not accept” an “expired ETA 9142-B-CAA from fiscal year 2017.” The agency will reject any “petition that does not include the new ETA 9142-B-CAA-2 attestation form for fiscal year 2018.” 

Recognizing the time constraints associated with the application process, DHS states that it will “adjudicate” applications within 15 calendar days for employers opting for “premium processing,” and 30 days for standard applications.  To learn more about how to fast-track an H-2B visa application, please click on the following link:  https://www.uscis.gov/forms/how-do-i-use-premium-processing-service. The unprecedented demand for guest worker visas this year will create a narrow time frame in which to submit an application.   

As details unfold related to practical considerations associated with the new rule, AHC will continue to inform members about developments and helpful anecdotes for members who are considering moving forward with summer applications. 

As a reminder, AHC will be conducting a panel discussion featuring congressional and industry experts on Tuesday, June 12, in Washington, D.C., as part of the association’s annual meeting.   To view a copy of the final rule, click here:  https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-05-31/pdf/2018-11732.pdf.  To learn more about guest worker visas and broader immigration policy developments, please contact AHC’s Bryan Brendle at bbrendle@horsecouncil.org or 202-296-4031. 

[post_title] => DHS Sets High Bar for 15,000 Extra H-2B Visas for Racetracks, Horse Farms, Other Seasonal Employers [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => federal-regulators-release-15000-extra-h-2b-visas [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-06 11:01:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-06 16:01:14 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.horsecouncil.org/?post_type=washington-report&p=2988 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => washington-report [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3677 [post_author] => 2810 [post_date] => 2018-05-29 09:16:38 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-29 14:16:38 [post_content] =>

On May 23, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) introduced the ‘‘Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act,” in an effort to insulate the livestock industry from the changes facing the commercial trucking industry.  In it the Secretary of Transportation shall amend the federal regulations to ensure that a driver transporting livestock or insects within a 300 air-mile radius from the point at which the driver begins the trip shall exclude all time spent;

  1. at a plant, terminal, facility, or other property of a motor carrier or shipper or on any public property during which the driver is waiting to be dispatched;
  2. loading or unloading a commercial motor vehicle;
  3. supervising or assisting in the loading or unloading of a commercial motor vehicle;
  4. attending to a commercial motor vehicle while the vehicle is being loaded or unloaded;
  5. remaining in readiness to operate a commercial motor vehicle; and
  6. giving or receiving receipts for shipments loaded or unloaded;

Also, the driving time is modified to a maximum of not less than 15, and not more than 18, hours within a 24-hour period, wherein the driver may take 1 or more rest periods during the trip, which shall not be included in the calculation of the driving time. After completion of the trip, the driver shall be required to take a rest break for a period that is 5 hours less than the total driving time (10 hour rest for a 15 hour trip).

Finally, if the driver is within 150 air-miles of the point of delivery, any additional driving to that point of delivery shall not be included in the calculation of the driving time; and the 10-hour rest period that currently exists shall not apply prior to unloading.

The American Horse Council will continue to work to limit unnecessary regulatory burden on the horse industry while encouraging legislation that protects the health, welfare and safety of America’s horses and drivers.

Please contact Cliff Williamson at the American Horse Council with any questions.

[post_title] => Bill Introduced in Senate in Response to ELD Mandate [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bill-introduced-in-senate-in-response-to-eld-mandate [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-05-29 09:16:38 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-05-29 14:16:38 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.horsecouncil.org/?post_type=washington-report&p=3677 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => washington-report [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2970 [post_author] => 2810 [post_date] => 2018-05-25 10:52:03 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-25 15:52:03 [post_content] =>

On Thursday, May 24,  Sens. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act of 2018 (S. 2957), legislation which is identical to the House companion, H.R. 1847, championed by Reps. Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR). Several senators have signed onto the bill as original cosponsors, including Sens. Moran (R-KS), Collins (R-ME), Blumenthal (D-CT), Feinstein (D-CA), McCaskill (D-MO) and Markey (D-MA), Daines (R-MT) and Toomey (R-PA).

The PAST Act lays out common sense solutions to prevent the continued practice of taking action on a horse's limb, aka “soring,” to produce an accentuated gait for competition. The bill would take important steps to build on the progress made since passage of the Horse Protection Act (HPA) of 1970, which precipitated a dramatic decline in the practice of soring a horse’s limb. The legislation would amend the HPA to establish a new system for inspecting horses, revise penalties for violations of the Act, and modify enforcement procedures.

The legislation has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce. The AHC will continue to advocate for additional co-sponsors in order to move this important legislation forward.

To view a copy of a statement from the office of Sen. Warner (D-VA), please click here:
https://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2018/5/warner-crapo-introduce-legislation-to-prevent-horse-soring.

[post_title] => Sens. Crapo (R-ID), Warner (D-VA) Lead Bi-Partisan PAST Act of 2018 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => sens-crapo-r-id-warner-d-va-lead-bi-partisan-past-act-of-2018 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-05-25 10:52:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-05-25 15:52:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.horsecouncil.org/?post_type=washington-report&p=2970 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => washington-report [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3675 [post_author] => 2810 [post_date] => 2018-05-14 08:53:28 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-14 13:53:28 [post_content] =>

As the saying goes, there is strength in numbers, and members of the American Horse Council (AHC) are critical to ensuring that our industry has a voice on Capitol Hill. We rely on you to contact your members of Congress through Action Alerts when an issue has arisen that requires industry action. We also encourage members to visit with or contact their congressional representatives throughout the year as they see fit.

Traditionally, the AHC has held a Congressional Ride-In on the final day of the AHC’s Annual Meeting & National Issues Forum where meeting attendees and AHC members go up to Capitol Hill and meet with their representatives on issues that are of importance to them and the industry that they love.

After receiving feedback from our members, we have decided to add a second Congressional Ride-In for our members in the fall. The legislative calendar and election cycle, combined with several key issues that the AHC is working on, make the fall a perfect opportunity for the AHC and its members to visit Capitol Hill and have our voice heard.  The AHC will introduce participants to the legislative process and discuss legislation that impacts the equine industry, and participants will visit Capitol Hill to meet with their elected officials and advocate on behalf of the industry. Finally, the AHC will host a debrief and networking session. All participants in the fall Ride-In will receive a special pin to represent their advocacy role on behalf of the AHC.

"The fly-ins are part of AHCs' ongoing effort to elevate the equine industry's voice on Capitol Hill," said Julie Broadway, AHC President. “The fall Ride-In is a free event and all AHC members and horse enthusiasts are encouraged to participate.”

The AHC still encourages those attending the June meeting to set up appointments and visit with their representatives while they are in town. Please contact AHC Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, Bryan Brendle, at bbrendle@horsecouncil.org for assistance in setting up appointments.

Please keep an eye out for more information on the fall Ride-In as it becomes available. We look forward to seeing you when the leaves change!

[post_title] => AHC to Host Special Fall 2018 Congressional Ride-In [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => ahc-to-host-special-fall-2018-congressional-ride-in [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-05-14 08:53:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-05-14 13:53:28 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.horsecouncil.org/?post_type=press-release&p=2947 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => press-release [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3676 [post_author] => 2810 [post_date] => 2018-05-14 15:34:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-14 20:34:39 [post_content] =>

Today the Supreme Court released its opinion in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, rejecting the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), a federal statute which effectively banned sports gambling in most state jurisdictions.  In a six to three opinion, the high court reversed a 2016 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which upheld the federal law.  Importantly, the court affirmed Congress’s authority to regulate sports betting directly.  However, the court struck PASPA on the grounds that the statute infringed on a state’s ability to “authorize” gambling within its jurisdiction, thereby violating the constitutional principle of “dual sovereignty.”  The court states that in the event Congress doesn’t place direct regulations on gambling, then states are free to enact betting laws as they see fit. 

While today’s decision gives the green light for individual states to move forward with sports gambling schemes, Congress was quick to offer a legislative fix to address the role of the federal government in sports gambling activity.  Not long after the release of the Supreme Court decision, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) announced that he plans to introduce legislation that he states will remedy a “patchwork” of state laws that won’t adequately protect the “integrity of sports.”  As an original sponsor of PASPA when it was enacted in 1992, Sen. Hatch states that his legislation will “protect consumers, safeguard against underage and problem gambling, and help states who choose not to permit sports betting within their borders.”

“Until today, pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing has been the only legal form of sports wagering available throughout most of the United States at both physical locations and online. Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled PASPA unconstitutional, states are free to regulate sports betting as they see fit. Horse racing must rise to the challenges and seize the opportunities presented by this expansion of sports betting,” stated Alex Waldrop, Chairman of AHC’s Racing Committee and President of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. 

AHC will provide a more detailed analysis of the Supreme Court decision and legislative responses during the days ahead.  To view a copy of the Supreme Court decision, please click here:  https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/16-476_dbfi.pdf.  To view a copy of Sen. Hatch’s (R-UT) announcement for a federal framework for sports gambling, please click here: https://www.hatch.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/releases?ID=02C2FD7A-6D68-40B9-8002-BA458CF4DD4F 

[post_title] => Supreme Court Opens State Sports Betting Flood Gates, Sen. Hatch Offers Federal Framework [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => supreme-court-opens-state-sports-betting-flood-gates-sen-hatch-offers-federal-framework [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-05-14 15:34:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-05-14 20:34:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.horsecouncil.org/?post_type=washington-report&p=3676 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => washington-report [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 6 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3678 [post_author] => 2810 [post_date] => 2018-06-08 10:49:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-08 15:49:39 [post_content] =>

On Friday, June 8, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 5895, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (VA) Appropriations Act.  Per an amendment offered by Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), the House bill increases funds for Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) by $5 million.  Specifically, the Barr amendment directs appropriators to “transfer $5 million from the VA’s Health Administration’s (VHA) Medical Community Care Account to the Medical Services Account for the explicit use for the VA’s Adaptive Sports Grant (ASG) program, equine assisted therapy.” On Monday, June 4, AHC sent a letter of support to House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) urging the committee to rule the Barr amendment “in order” so that it could be adopted on the House floor.

By way of background, Congress has already endorsed robust EAAT measures by approving increased funds for EAAT within the FY2018 omnibus.  By approving the Barr Amendment to FY 2019 appropriations, Congress re-enforces an important commitment to our nation’s warriors when they return from combat.  According to a clinical study conducted in conjunction with Columbia University, an estimated 14% to 30% of U.S. veterans suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Congress can help mitigate PTSD by boosting EAAT. 

The U.S. horse industry employs nearly one million Americans and contributes $122 billion to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  EAAT programs not only provide valuable services for U.S. veterans, but the operations also support jobs for a growing number of working Americans, and “second careers” for horses who would otherwise retire from racing or other working roles.  According to a 2017 economic impact study, EAAT supports more than 6,700 jobs and generates $311.7 million in annual revenues in the U.S.  If you have questions related to AHC’s support for Rep. Barr’s Amendment to H.R. 5895, please contact Bryan Brendle, AHC’s Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, at 202-296-4031. 

[post_title] => Successful Barr Amendment Gives $5 Million Boost to Equine-Assisted Therapy for Veterans [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => successful-barr-amendment-gives-5-million-boost-to-equine-assisted-therapy-for-veterans [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-08 10:49:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-08 15:49:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.horsecouncil.org/?post_type=washington-report&p=3678 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => washington-report [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 226 [max_num_pages] => 38 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => 1 [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => 1 [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 7c9690b1906a25fcf9c01538935685ee [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) ) )
X