U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Joe Manchin of West Virginia have jointly filed an amendment that would strip changes to the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act from an omnibus spending bill being considered this week in Congress.
The single sentence added to the spending bill is intended to place the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority on sounder legal footing by clarifying the Federal Trade Commission’s oversight. This change is a reaction to a U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling last month that determined HISA’s enabling legislation was unconstitutional on the grounds that it inappropriately gives federal power to a private organization.
Nine state attorneys general also reportedly sent a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky asking for the HISA language change not to be included in the spending bill, according to a Dec. 21 press release from the Iowa Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association. The initial HISA legislation was adopted as part of the 2020 COVID-19 relief bill.
Grassley filed his amendment Dec. 19, and Manchin signed on as a sponsor.