Washington correspondent for the Associated Press, Mary Clare Jalonick, reports a few hours ago that:
Food safety legislation stalled by a constitutional snag could be revived as part of a giant year-end budget bill. The bill to increase the Food and Drug Administration’s powers to keep food safe stalled after overwhelmingly passing the Senate last week. House Democrats said after it passed that the bill contains fees that are considered tax provisions, which under the Constitution must originate in the House. House Democrats are attempting to fix the problem by adding the legislation to a catchall-spending bill unveiled early Wednesday. The food safety bill would increase FDA inspections of food facilities, place stricter standards on imported foods and give the agency broader authority to order a recall.
Despite the fact that the House has sent to the Senate hundreds of bills that that the Senate has not acted upon over the last two years, House leader’s Hoyer and Obey seem to have the will to get a version of the S. 510 and H. B. 2749 (I assume it is S. 510 as passed by the Senate) back to the Senate to then face Senator Coburn’s intended Filibuster. Whether the Senate leadership can push this through and the President to sign it is still and open question. I will be in Washington D. C. next week to see if the singing finally stops.