New Year, New Congress

With a new administration taking the helm in January, we can expect an end to the damaging wildlife and environmental policies that have unfortunately been a hallmark of the current administration (see page 2). The Congressional outlook may depend on the results of the Senate runoff races in Georgia, but this much we know: The vast majority of the sponsors and cosponsors of priority AWI legislation who ran for reelection won their races, with two notable exceptions: Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ), who has been an active supporter on animal welfare issues since her days in the House, and Representative Joe Cunningham (D-SC), who, in addition to his support of key bills, has been an outspoken critic of the use of seismic testing because of its effect on marine mammals. 

We would also like to acknowledge three retiring members of the House: Representative Peter King (R-NY), the lead cosponsor on several important bills, including the Child and Animal Abuse Detection and Reporting Act, the Horse Transportation Safety Act, the PREPARED Act, and the ProTECT Act; and Representative Ted Yoho (R-FL), the lead cosponsor on the PAST Act. And a special debt of gratitude is owed to Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY), the first female chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, who has been a long-time proponent of ending the use of steel-jaw leghold traps and has helped ensure on many occasions that agency spending bills were vehicles for advancing animal welfare. 

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