With the midterm elections behind us, Take Action Thursday reviews what this means for the progress of the Humane Cosmetics Act this year and next.
Elections are over, and it is time for the 115th U. S. Congress to get back to work before the end of the year. Although this time of year—after elections and before a new session of Congress begins—is called a “lame duck” session, that does not mean that legislation cannot be passed.
Representative Martha McSally (AZ), the lead sponsor of the Humane Cosmetics Act (House Resolution 2790), will be leaving the House at the end of this session of Congress. This means that a new sponsor must be found to reintroduce this bill in the House in 2019. This will be the fourth session of Congress to consider this bill. During the previous six years, despite its growing bipartisan support, this bill has never had a hearing, nor has it moved from the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health.
One thing has changed significantly, however, because of the recent election—the composition of the House, where Democrats have gained majority control. While the Humane Cosmetics Act is bipartisan (as is the need to ending the use of animals for safety testing), the bill’s current sponsorship is overwhelmingly Democratic (160-26). Will that make a difference in moving this bill forward? There is no way to tell, although work is already underway to secure a new sponsor for next year.
Meanwhile, it is worth the effort to make one last push to bring the Humane Cosmetics Act to the House floor for a vote. While passage appears unlikely this year, it is still possible. Additionally, doing so will not only show appreciation to Rep. McSally for her efforts to end the suffering of animals used for product safety testing, but it will also let returning members of Congress know that the issue of humane cosmetics will remain important once they reconvene in January.
A recent piece of good news: Cover Girl brand cosmetics has now been certified as “cruelty-free” by the group Cruelty Free International and is applying for certification under the Leaping Bunny Program, of which NAVS is a partner. While Cover Girl’s parent company, Cody, is not yet listed as cruelty-free, the certification of Cover Girl as cruelty-free is a hopeful sign that other Cody brands will soon follow.