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Public Statements

Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Chair, I will yield myself 30 seconds because I have got to watch this clock sort of tight.

So here is the situation: Animal fighting is inappropriate and wrong no matter where it happens. It is against the law in the continental United States, and, I should say, in all 50 States, and what we are proposing is to make that a standard in the territories as well.

There are some elements of animal fighting that is illegal in territories, but not altogether. This has been a long journey. It is a 40-year journey in this country. It reached a crescendo about 10 years ago when a standard was created in all 50 States. What this amendment does, Mr. Chairman, is very simple: it proposes to do the same thing in the territories.

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Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Chairman, this is a heartfelt issue obviously, but we are talking about rough stuff. We are talking about stuff that attracts gangs. We are talking about stuff that attracts drug trafficking. We are talking about stuff that attracts violence. We are talking about things that you would be ashamed to bring a child to. We are talking about things that if it were to happen in the well of this Chamber, many of us would look away because we would be shocked at the gratuitous violence.

To characterize this as a cultural norm that we should just walk away from is a misrepresentation, in my view. It is not persuasive to me. It is wrong. It is wrong if it happens in the 50 States, it is wrong if it happens in the territories, and we ought not be complicit in it.

The notion that this is going to drive this activity underground is a hackneyed old argument. We heard that before as it relates to the 50 States. That wasn't persuasive. We know what this activity is. We ought not be complicit in it.

Mr. Chairman, we should pass this amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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