Barely two weeks after President Barack Obama signed the State Children’s Health Insurance Program into law, Congress is said to be drafting new legislation aimed at preventing tragedies like the one that occurred Monday when a 175-pound chimpanzee severely wounded a woman in North Stamford, Conn.
Introduced concurrently in the Senate by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and in the House by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), the State Chimp Health Improvement Program (a.k.a., “SCHIMP”) includes provisions to establish both low- and no-cost federally-funded programs to ensure all primates receive adequate food, housing and health care, regardless of their immigration status and ability to pay.
“SCHIMP will prevent tragedies like the one that occurred in my state early this week,” said Senator Dodd during a hastily-arranged news conference held early this morning at the entrance to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.
“Among its most-critical provisions,” Dodd explained, “this measure enables qualifying primates — including chimps like Travis, who worked in television for years before economic conditions forced him out of work and into a less-than-optimum living situation — to sign up for low-interest mortgage loans and live independently.”
“In addition to providing food stamps, housing assistance and free health care to qualifying primates,” Representative DeLauro said, “SCHIMP will make it possible for them to receive stipends that finally make it possible for them to afford public transportation services and, in turn, register to vote and find those good-paying union jobs they’ve longed for!”
Though officials with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals were not present at the news conference, a Dodd staffer who declined to be identified said PETA lawyers actually helped Congressional staffers draft the legislation.