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2012 Senate Votes for the Animals

Story ID:8049
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Washington D.C. District of Columbia usa
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I know that there are many issues we should consider when it
comes to voting for our Congressional candidates. But for
me a good indication of their worth is how they voted on animal
issues. I figure that anyone who cares about animals surely
must care about people. Sadly, the reverse is rarely true.

I am grateful to the Humane Society Legislative Fund for sending
us the midterm Report for the 112th Congress. I've looked at
it quite a bit recently to see how many of the Congresspeople
voted. Barring everyone having this great informative booklet, I
thought anyone who cares about animals will appreciate my
attempt to interpret how the 100 Senators voted. I listed the states
by their scores which ranged from 0 -100. In reality, there were
4 issues and a funding letter- thereby making each favorable
vote worth 20 points. You decide for yourselves if you are happy
with the scores your Senators received.

Here are the 4 Senate bills and funding letter voted on during
this period:

1. PUPPY MILLS - S707 would crack down on abusive puppy
mills in the US. (Only 34 Senators checked this bill favorably.)

phase out the use of chimpanzees in invasive research, retire the
approximately 500 federally owned chimpanzees to sanctuary,
and codify the current NIH moratorium of government -funded
chimpanzee breeding. (Only 10 Senators checked this bill

3. HORSE SLAUGHTER- S1176 -would prohibit the knowing and
intentional possession, shipment, transport, purchase, sale, delivery,
or receipt of a horse for slaughter for human consumption. (Only
26 Senators checked this bill favorably.)

4. CAP ON AGRICULTURE SUBSIDIES -a vote would be in favor of an
amendment to HR 2112 to end direct payment to farmers whose annual
farm and nonfarm incomes exceed $1 million. (83 Senators checked
this bill favorably.)

5. FUNDING LETTER - A check mark indicated that 34 senators
either cosigned a group letter or submitted an individual request to
the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee in May, seeking funds
for enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act, Horse Protection Act,
Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, and federal animal fighting law,
as well as for programs to address the needs of animals in disasters
and to ease a shortage of veterinarians in rural and inner-city areas
and USDA positions through student loan forgiveness. (Only 36
Senators checked this bill favorably.)

How would you vote on them if you were a Senator? I know that I
would get a 100 percent, and I believe a lot of you would as well.
Sadly, in my opinion, our Senators did not nearly do all that well.

I cannot copy how each Senator voted, but I will indicate how each
state's vote reflected the 4 very worthwhile bills and funding letter
mentioned above.

On a range from 0 -100, naturally the passing score would be a 60
or more -indicating that the Senator voted favorably for at least 3 of
the 5 bills. There were states where both Senators voted favorably
on all 5 bills meriting a score of 100. And there were two states where
the Senators each got a score of zero. And, of course, there was a mix
of votes in many states - some leaning towards favorable votes, and
others leaning in the opposite unfavorable direction. Here are the

Alabama -20, 20 Alaska-100, 20 Arizona-20,20 Arkansas-20,0
California -100, 100 Colorado - 40,40 Connecticut -!00+, l00
Delaware-80,80 Florida - 60, 20 Georgia- 0,0 Hawaii-80, 40
Idaho - 20,20 Illinois-100,80 Indiana-20,20 Iowa-20,60
Kansas -0,0 Kentucky- 20,20 Louisiana-100, 80 Maine-100+, 60
Maryland-80,60 Massachusetts-80,100 Michigan-80,0 Minn.-40,40
Mississippi-20,0 Missouri-40,20 Montana-20,20 Nebraska- 20,40
Nevada-20,20 New Hampshire-20,60 New Jersey-80,80 New
Mexico-40,80 New York-100,80 N.Carolina -20,20 N.Dakota-20,0
Ohio-60,20 Oklahoma-40,0 Oregon-100,60 Pensylvania -20,20
Rhode Island-100,80 S.Carolina -20,60 S.Dakota-40,20 Tenn.-0,20
Texas-20,20 Utah-20,20 Vermont-100,100+ Virginia-40,0
Washington-100,60 W.Virginia- 20,40 Wisconsin-20,80 Wyoming-

KUDOS TO: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana,
Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont. BOTH
SENATORS from your state voted favorable on all the animal issues.
(10 states)

HONORABLE MENTION TO: Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine,
Maryland, Michigan,Ohio, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon,
S. Carolina, Washington, Wisconsin -Each of these states had
ONE Senator who voted favorably for at least 3 of the animal issues.
(14 states)

The following states either voted favorably on 1, 2, or NONE of the
animal issues: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia,
Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri,
Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, N.Carolina, No.Dakota, Oklahoma,
Pennsylvania, S. Dakota, Tennesee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, W.Virginia,
Wyoming. (26 states)

Of course, I am more than saddened with many of the results except
for the cap on Agriculture Subsidies which received a total score of 83.
That one was long over due. Don't know how the House voted though
on this issue. I hope it passed. Here is a perfect example of the
Congress wasting money by doling it out to those who don't need it.

And certainly the states whose Senators voted favorably on all 5 animal
issues are to be commended and are fine examples of compassionate
voting. I am glad that at least one of my Senators from Ohio voted for
3 of the issues. Thank you Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown.

Re some of my thoughts on these Senate bills:

PUPPY MILLS are an abomination. Did the 66 Senators who failed to
vote against them think they should be more concerned about Mill
operators rather then the thousands and thousands of innocent
animals who suffer cruelly in them? I certainly wouldn't vote for a
candidate with this type of thinking.

HORSE SLAUGHTER. I can't believe that only 26 out of 100 Senators
care about our iconic horses and their welfare. I don't think that
those of us who do care are doing enough to get our message across-

THE CHIMPANZEE LEGISLATION. Astounding the lack of support
re these long-suffering research subjects, even though it is being
proven over and over again - this cruelty is completely wrong and
even useless-not only a waste of tax payer money, but so terribly
unfair to these poor animals. 90 Senators seem unfazed by these

THE FUNDING LETTER - well no surprise here after the poor scores
for the chimps, horses, and victims of the puppy mills. 64 Senators
didn't think it was necessary to allocate money for our suffering and
abused animals.

I would like to do an analysis of the House votes, but unless I can find
an easy way to do this, it probably won't happen. HOWEVER, if you
want to know the results on how your representative voted, please go
to the internet and find the HUMANE SCORECARD - Midterm Report
for the 112th Congress. I find it invaluable. You will too if you really
care about animals.