Press Release

Animal Wellness Action Announces Endorsements for Congressional Races in California

Democrats Barragan, Carbajal, Cardenas, Eshoo, Harder, Huffman, and Pelosi Are Major Leaders on Animal Welfare, While Democrat Josh Harder and Republicans Calvert, Garcia, and Valadao Get Nods for Diligent Work on Anti-Cruelty Initiatives

Los Angeles – Reps. Nanette Barragán (D-44), Salud Carbajal (D-24), Tony Cárdenas (D-29), Anna Eshoo (D-16), Jared Huffman (D-2), Ted Lieu (D-36), and Nancy Pelosi (D-11) notched perfect scores on the Animal Wellness Action Legislative Scorecard for the 117th Congress or they showed distinctive leadership on animal welfare issues, warranting an endorsement and special recognition for their remarkable work. AWA also singled out Reps. Ken Calvert (R-41), Mike Garcia (R-27), and David Valadao (R-22) for outstanding advocacy on animal welfare, earning endorsements from Animal Wellness Action in close races with strong competitors.  Animal Wellness Action also endorsed U.S. Senator Alex Padilla in seeking his first complete term in the chamber.

“California has an extraordinary Congressional delegation with so many lawmakers carrying national legislation to advance animal welfare or otherwise showing strong support for the principles,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action. “These lawmakers recognize that animal cruelty is a vice, and our nation must pull it up at the root.”

Here are key endorsements:

Nanette Barragán (D-44). One of the leaders on animal welfare in the House, Barragán was the first Democrat on the Energy & Commerce Committee to put her shoulder into the FDA Modernization Act, which passed the committee as an amendment to the Food and Drug Amendments of 2022 (H.R. 7667). She is also the co-lead with Rep. Ted Lieu and Troy Carter, of a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to break the dairy industry monopoly on the National School Lunch Program and to provide soy-milk options for kids.  Upwards of 75 percent of kids of color are lactose intolerant. She has cosponsored every other major animal welfare bill, including the PIGS Act to ban extreme confinement of sows in gestation crates.

Salud Carbajal (D-24). Carbajal introduced the Kangaroo Protection Act to ban the trade in kangaroo skins used in some models of soccer cleats from Nike, Adidas, and other major athletic shoe retailers. Every year, commercial shooters kill 2 million kangaroos in the Outback for global trade in their parts. That toll includes 400,000 joeys orphaned or bludgeoned after their mother is killed. Carbajal is broadly active on other animal welfare issues.

Tony Cárdenas (D-29). Also one of the true champions on animal welfare in the House, Cárdenas introduced the Greyhound Protection Act to ban greyhound racing. He was an outspoken advocate for the FDA Modernization Act on the E&C Committee, with that legislation poised for final passage.  He is also a co-lead on the Humane Cosmetics Act.  He’s cosponsored all major animal welfare bills.

Anna Eshoo (D-16). Eshoo is a cosponsor of a raft of animal welfare legislation, including bills to ban horse slaughter, shark finning, horse soring, and others.  Importantly, in her capacity as chairman of the House Subcommittee on Health, she was instrumental in adding the FDA Modernization Act as a policy amendment as H.R. 7667.

Jared Huffman (D-2). Rep. Huffman chairs the Waters, Oceans and Wildlife Subcommittee, and in that capacity, he helped move the Big Cat Public Safety Act to the floor.  He also conducted a hearing on the Bear Protection Act and expressed his support for the bill.  He’s a cosponsor of the legislation to ban mink farming and has spoken up on the issue and wrote to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, urging it to address this zoonotic disease threat in the homeland.

Ted Lieu (D-36). Lieu is the author of the Bear Protection Act to ban the trade in gallbladders and bile for use in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he is the author of the Lead Endangers Animals Daily (LEAD) Act to ban the use of lead ammunition on national wildlife refuges because the spent element poisons countless birds and mammals. He is also the co-leader, with Rep. Barragan, on the letter to Agriculture Vilsack to give kids a soymilk option in the schools. “Rep. Lieu is a remarkable leader on animal welfare, and we are immensely grateful to him,” wrote Annie Harvilicz, D.V.M., a board member of AWA and founder of the Animal Wellness Centers veterinary hospital based in the Congressman’s district.

Mike Garcia (R-27).  Rep. Garcia has been a leader on the Big Cat Public Safety Act, with the legendary Shambala big cat sanctuary in his district.  He’s also been a leader on the Animal Cruelty Enforcement Act to create an Animal Cruelty Crimes section at the Department of Justice. And he’s a cosponsor of the FDA Modernization Act, the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, and the Save Our Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act.

David Valadao (R-22).  Rep. Valadao is one of the leaders of the MINKS Are Superspreaders Act to ban mink farming.  He’s also a cosponsor of the FDA Modernization Act, the Animal Cruelty Enforcement Act, the Bear Protection Act, the Big Cat Public Safety Act, and the Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act, among other bills.

“Californians are passionate about animals, and they expect their lawmakers to fight for to combat cruelty in all of its forms at the national level,” added Zach Skow, central California director for Animal Wellness Action, and based in Kern County.  “We expect California lawmakers to set the national tone on animal welfare in the next Congress, as they have done in prior years.”

Speaker Pelosi has been selected for extraordinary work on animal issues for her tireless and strategic work to advance animal issues. She’s been a champion on countless issues that have been discussed in conference packages, appropriations bills, and on the floor.


U.S. Senate:

Alex Padilla

U.S. House:

  • 2nd Congressional District: Jared Huffman (D)
  • 4th Congressional District: Mike Thompson (D)
  • 6th Congressional District: Ami Bera (D)
  • 7th Congressional District: Doris Matsui (D)
  • 8th Congressional District: John Garamendi (D)
  • 9th Congressional District: Josh Harder (D)
  • 10th Congressional District: Mark DeSaulnier (D)
  • 11th Congressional District: Nancy Pelosi (D)
  • 12th Congressional District: Barbara Lee (D)
  • 14th Congressional District: Eric Swalwell (D)
  • 15th Congressional District: Kevin Mullin (D)
  • 16th Congressional District: Anna G. Eshoo (D)
  • 17th Congressional District: Ro Khanna (D)
  • 18th Congressional District: Zoe Lofgren (D)
  • 19th Congressional District: Jimmy Panetta (D)
  • 20th Congressional District: Kevin McCarthy (R)
  • 21st Congressional District: Jim Costa (D)
  • 22nd Congressional District: David Valadao (R)
  • 24th Congressional District: Salud Carbajal (D)
  • 25th Congressional District: Raul Ruiz (D)
  • 26th Congressional District: Julia Brownley (D)
  • 27th Congressional District: Mike Garcia (R)
  • 28th Congressional District: Judy Chu (D)
  • 29th Congressional District: Tony Cárdenas (D)
  • 30th Congressional District: Adam B. Schiff (D)
  • 31st Congressional District: Grace Napolitano (D)
  • 32nd Congressional District: Brad Sherman (D)
  • 33rd Congressional District: Pete Aguilar (D)
  • 34th Congressional District: Jimmy Gomez (D)
  • 35th Congressional District: Norma J. Torres (D)
  • 36th Congressional District: Ted W. Lieu (D)
  • 38th Congressional District: Linda T. Sánchez (D)
  • 39th Congressional District: Mark Takano (D)
  • 40th Congressional District: Young Kim (R)
  • 41st Congressional District: Ken Calvert (R)
  • 42nd Congressional District: Robert Garcia (D)
  • 43rd Congressional District: Maxine Waters (D)
  • 44th Congressional District: Nanette Barragán (D)
  • 45th Congressional District: Michelle Steel (R)
  • 46th Congressional District: Lou Correa (D)
  • 47th Congressional District: Katie Porter (D)
  • 49th Congressional District: Mike Levin (D)
  • 50th Congressional District: Scott Peters (D)
  • 51st Congressional District: Sara Jacobs (D)
  • 52nd Congressional District: Juan Vargas (D)

Animal Wellness Action is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) whose mission is to help animals by promoting laws and regulations at federal, state and local levels that forbid cruelty to all animals. The group also works to enforce existing anti-cruelty and wildlife protection laws. Animal Wellness Action believes helping animals helps us all. Twitter: @AWAction_News