To better inform members of the horse industry where their lawmakers stand with respect to legislation that benefits the sector, the American Horse Council (AHC) is developing a “scorecard.” This new tool is based on a “point system” that tracks the extent to which lawmakers interact with the equine community and champion legislation that moves the industry forward.
“AHC’s scorecard will monitor and analyze a variety of bills that reflect the diversity of our industry,” stated AHC President Julie Broadway. “We hope this tool will serve as a benchmark to gauge support for incumbent lawmakers as we draw closer to the 2022 election,” continued Broadway.
AHC’s scorecard will serve as a tool similar to those developed by chambers of commerce and farm bureaus to assess legislators’ focus on their issues.
MethodologyAHC regularly identifies legislation that supports the U.S. equine industry, evaluating bills that draw consensus among the diverse membership. Issue areas which unite the industry include but are not limited to federal resources for Equine Assisted Services (EAS), animal welfare issues arising under the Horse Protection Act (HPA), labor flexibility, tax flexibility, electronic logging device (ELD) flexibility, trails access, USDA resources to promote equine programs, and others that may emerge as the legislative process moves forward.
While reviewing the legislative record for the 117th Congress – which will run through January 2023 – AHC is analyzing pro-industry bills, also referred to as “priority legislation,” and identifying their congressional champions. From this broad list of champions, AHC is assigning points based on a lawmaker’s degree of support for priority bills, and other factors listed below. From this point system, a smaller pool of “industry champions” will emerge to inform members of the horse industry which incumbents should be recognized and acknowledged for their support.
During the first half of 2021, a handful of lawmakers are emerging as friends of the industry, fighting for the sector on a variety of fronts. The below list is not “set in stone,” and is based on survey data gathered as of June 30:
- Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)
- Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)
- Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)
- Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY)
- Rep. Andy Harris, MD (R-MD)
The horse industry believes that the scorecard will create an incentive for a broad spectrum of lawmakers from diverse regions and party affiliations to support the sector.
About the American Horse CounciAs the national association representing all segments of the horse industry in Washington, D.C., the American Horse Council works daily to represent equine interests and opportunities.