Congressman Frank Pallone is holding up the passage of a legislation that would update the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) by objecting to language inserted in the Senate version of the bill by Senator Cory Booker that would restrict the use of animals in testing the health risks of chemicals, according to a report today on Politico.
Pallone’s resistance to the language surprised many on the Hill because he has traditionally been a reliable supporter of animal safety legislation. 39 House Democrats wrote to Pallone on Friday asking him to accept the Senate version of the animal safety which he is currently holding up in a conference committee. A copy of the letter to Pallone from his colleagues can be downloaded here.
Wayne Pacelle, President of the Humane Society of the United States told Politico that Pallone doesn’t want Booker to get credit for saving so many animals.
“The only person standing in the way is Frank Pallone,” Humane Society of the United States President Wayne Pacelle told POLITICO. “It’s not enormous speculation to think that he’s trying to deny Booker credit for saving so many animals.”
One aide involved in the negotiations said Pallone’s staff directly referenced the 2013 primary as a reason for focusing on the animal testing language that is Booker’s priority.
Booker easily defeated Pallone in the 2013 Special Primary to replace the late Senator Frank Lautenberg in the Senate. Lautenberg’s widow, Bonnie, told Politico that the TSCA was more important to Lautenberg’s legacy that the ban on smoking in airplanes.
Booker is famous for saving Cha Cha, a dog would frozen to death if not for the heroics of the then Newark Mayor.
Pallone made news last week when he told a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee that his Maltese, Valleta, is like a member of his family, but that Valleta likes his wife more than she does the congressman. The subcommittee meeting was about the cost of prescription drugs for pets.