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Senate Farm Bill Deadlocked: Puppy Protection Act On Hold

by American Kennel Club


          After several days of rancorous debate on the Farm Bill, the Senate deferred further action on the bill until 2002. Among the many proposed amendments left on the table was Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)'s attempt to incorporate the provisions of the "Puppy Protection Act" (S.1478, PPA) into the Farm Bill. Senator Santorum circulated three versions of his amendment during this week's Farm Bill debate, each making minor adjustments to the original language of S.1478. It is unclear which of these versions Senator Santorum will pursue. What is clear is that the grass roots efforts mounted by responsible hobby breeders against the PPA had an impact. Thanks to every one for your great work!

          The fight is not over! The Farm Bill will be brought back up for consideration sometime after Congress convenes on January 23rd. We don't know at this time how early in the year the Farm Bill debate will occur, but the Farm Bill is a "must pass" piece of legislation for the Senate in 2002 because the current bill expires next year. (The House of Representatives has already passed its version of the Farm Bill, which does not contain the PPA.) Legislation does not die between sessions, so the debate will pick up next year where it left off this year unless some compromises are worked out during the recess. We can assume that the PPA supporters will continue their efforts to add their bill as an amendment to the Farm Bill when it comes up again.

          For more background on AKC's concerns about the PPA, please click here.

          During the holiday recess senators and representatives will be back in their home districts. This is the best time to lobby them in opposition to the PPA. During the recess many members of Congress hold "town meetings" with constituents. Watch your newspapers for an announcement of a meeting near you, or call their local offices to ask if your senator or representative will be holding a meeting in your area (check the "US Government" section of the blue pages in your phone book to find a phone number.) Plan to attend and speak with him or her about the PPA. Better yet, ask to schedule a special meeting with a delegation from you club specifically to discuss this issue.

          Although our primary focus over the past month has been on the Senate, we need to continue contacts with members of the House of Representatives to educate them about the reasons we oppose the PPA. The House version of the bill is H.R. 3058.

          If your senators or representative are co-sponsors of the PPA (click here to see Senate cosponsors, here to see House cosponsors), ask them to remove their names as co-sponsors. If they are not co-sponsors, ask that they not become co-sponsors and oppose the PPA if it is offered as a free standing bill or attached as an amendment to another piece of legislation.

          The AKC will continue to meet with members of Congress and their staffs during the recess. Please check this Web site frequently for updates.

Should you have a concern regarding the health of your Beagle(s), you should contact your veterinarian. All information on this site is presented solely for educational and informational purposes and should not, at any time, be considered a substitute for seeking or receiving veterinary care for your Beagle(s).