Senators Grassley, Manchin file amendment on HISA

December 21, 2022

Senators Chuck Grassley (left) and Joe Manchin. (Courtsey of Senator Grassley and Senator Manchin)

To strip ‘quick fix’ HISA reference out of Omnibus bill

Iowa HBPA Release

WASHINGTON D.C.  — Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has jointly filed an amendment with Senator Manchin (D-WV) that would strip references to the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) from the 4,000-page omnibus spending bill being considered this week in Congress.

Grassley-Manchin Omnibus

One-sentence language in the year-end, must-pass package attempts to fix HISA’s legality issues. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that HISA is unconstitutional, with challenges remaining in other courts. Nine state attorneys general sent a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) imploring him not to employ the same technique that led to HISA’s passage as part of the 2020 COVID relief bill without any hearings or debate.

When just such language was tucked into the current omnibus bill Monday night, Senator Grassley fired back Tuesday with his amendment, for which Senator Manchin signed on as a sponsor. 

Jon Moss, executive director of the Iowa Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, lauded Grassley for his strong support of Iowa horsemen.

“This ‘quick fix’ does not address the multiple issues that have and continue to be raised by horsemen across the country,” Moss said. “With that, there needs to be a robust discussion bringing together all horsemen to try and put forward what will work for our industry. This ‘quick fix’ doesn’t even come close to doing that in a rational, transparent or inclusive way. 

“The Iowa HBPA is grateful for Senator Grassley’s continued engagement on this vitally important issue affecting our industry in the state and of course throughout the county. Let there be no doubt Senator Grassley is a champion for the cause of horsemen in Iowa and the rest of the US. Now is your time to call upon your Senators to support the Grassley Amendment to remove the HISA ‘quick-fix’ language.”

Supporters of the Grassley-Manchin amendment can send a message to their U.S. Senators through this link

“I want to praise Senator Grassley for his bold move to protect horsemen in Iowa and throughout the U.S.,” said Eric Hamelback, CEO of the National HBPA. “An amendment to HISA should not have been written in the dark of night and has no place in the 4,000+-page spending bill. You cannot fix a constitutionally flawed law with one sentence. The Grassley Amendment will ensure that real, working horsemen are listened to on how to fix the law that regulates their industry. The Grassley Amendment is picking up steam, and I urge all horsemen to call and email their Senators right away to vote ‘Yes’ for the Grassley amendment.”

Related Articles:

Statement from National HBPA On the Senate’s one-sentence ‘fix’ for the Horseracing Integrity & Safety Act By CEO Eric Hamelback and General Counsel Peter Ecabert. Click for article.

“We’ll push for positive change. A flawed HISA is not the answer.” Horsemen’s open letter to the racing industry. Click for article.

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