NTRA’s Featured Legislator: U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

Experience: Senator Feinstein is serving her fifth term. She is up for re-election in 2018.

Key Committees: Senator Feinstein is a member of the Appropriations Committee and the Judiciary Committee.  The Appropriations Committee is the largest committee in the U.S. Senate and writes legislation that allocates federal funds to government agencies and departments on an annual basis. The Judiciary Committee provides oversight of the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Impact on horse racing and breeding industry: Senator Feinstein has worked extensively with the agricultural industry in California and has developed an understanding of the challenges and issues faced by farmers. Her work on the 2014 farm bill helped authorize disaster relief programs for livestock indemnity that are retroactive to October 1, 2011 for losses from ongoing drought or fire.

Senator Feinstein also helped introduce the Restoration of America’s Wire Act to clarify and reverse a DOJ legal opinion from 2011 that allowed states to authorize expanded online gambling, a change from the DOJ’s 50-year-old position on permissible activity through the Wire Act. The bill included a clause that is designed to protect the horse racing industry’s ability to offer online wagering through the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978.