Republican Congressman Single-Handedly Blocking Popular Legislation Banning Animal Fighting
The Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act has widespread support.
The bill, from Rep. Mark Green (R-WI) had 324 co-sponsors in the House. It unanimously passed the Senate. It has support from the National Sheriffs' Association, the National Chicken Council, American Veterinary Medical Association and the Humane Society of the United States.
The bill would make it a federal felony to transport cocks and dogs across state lines for the purpose of setting up fights, and possibly slow a sport that has an estimated 100,000 animals fighting each year. Even in these days of partisan bickering, this is one bill that should easily become law.
But it won't, because Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) says no.
Sensenbrenner, who for the next few weeks is the House Judiciary Committee Chairman, won't move the bill to the House floor for a vote. He said stopping cockfights and dogfights should be handled by local law enforcement.
Even FBI officials disagree with him. Often, FBI officials say, raids to stop animal fighting also lead to crackdowns on organized crime, illegal gambling, and animal cruelty.
But why let facts get in the way? Democrats remember Sensenbrenner well from the 2000 election cycle, when he distorted an actual statement by Al Gore, creating the conservative myth that Gore said he "invented the Internet." Sadly, this may be Sensenbrenner's biggest accomplishment as a Republican.
Green's bill -- and Sensenbrenner's protest -- will die when the current Congress ends. When the new Democratic-controlled Congress takes over, the bill may be re-introduced, and if so, quickly passed.