“LAME-DUCK” HARRY REID FLYING HIGH WITH FOOD SAFETY BILL
By Sarah Foster
November 30, 2010
Crucial Senate Vote Today on FDA Food “Safety” Bill
WASHINGTON – Congress returned to work yesterday, following the 10-day Thanksgiving recess, and faces a mountain of unfinished business that includes at least 20 bills Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are determined to ram through during the remaining days of the session, before the power they’ve wielded these past two years slips from their hands.
“Rarely has such a big pile of work faced lawmakers when the party in power has suffered so much at the ballot box,” said Andrew Taylor at Associated Press.
To get these measures passed, the Democrats need a certain amount of Republican support, and it seems that in some cases they will get it.
To clear the way for action Reid is employing a very shrewd strategy. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, instead of dealing with the urgent fiscal matters that call for immediate attention, as observers expected he would do and which he should do, Reid and his Democratic colleagues have gone for broke and are pressing for approval of S. 510: The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, a highly controversial measure intended to extend the power of the Food and Drug Administration over food production and distribution from farm to fork.
The House version, H.R. 2749: the Food Safety Enhancement Act, was passed July 30, 2009. Although introduced in March 2009, S. 510 was held back in the Senate and not brought to the floor until the current lame duck session.
A vote on the “Managers Package” for S. 510 is scheduled for this morning, following a vote for cloture.