Bordallo, Delegates Fight for Territories' Rights
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today opposed an amendment to H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (also known as the Farm Bill), that would impose a federal ban on cockfighting on Guam and in the other territories without input or consent from any the territories’ representatives in Congress.
All five delegates from the territories opposed the amendment, as it would unjustly supersede local laws and regulations on cockfighting, and it would impose a federal ban without any opportunity for the delegates to provide input or consent to the legislation. Congresswoman Bordallo, Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett (D-USVI) and Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (R-PR) spoke against the amendment on the House floor.
While the amendment passed, the Farm Bill was defeated by a vote of 198-213. Republicans had proposed cutting $23 billion in SNAP benefits and imposing a draconian work requirement on adult SNAP participants that would have kicked many beneficiaries off the program, including some Guam residents. Congresswoman Bordallo joined her Democratic colleagues and some House Republicans in opposing the underlying Farm Bill, which ultimately failed. Therefore the Farm Bill, and the amendment imposing a federal ban in the territories, will not advance to the Senate for consideration.
“Guam and the other U.S. territories have enacted our own local laws to regulate cockfighting, and Congress should not force this ban on our jurisdictions. Today I stood with my colleagues from the territories in opposing this amendment and speaking out against Congress’ attempt to outlaw this culturally significant practice. None of the territories’ representative to Congress were given an opportunity to provide input on this amendment, and it is not right for Congress to dictate this matter on our constituents when we are denied an opportunity vote against it on the House floor. The underlying Farm Bill was defeated and this amendment will not proceed to the Senate for consideration.”
Click here for video of Congresswoman Bordallo's remarks on the House floor.