By James J. Gormley
As if Senate Bill 3002 (S. 3002) were not more than enough to deal with, according to The Hill Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) is criticizing the Senate for not moving on Senate Bill 510 (S. 510).
Unfortunately, The Pew Charitable Trust has been assisting with a coordinated lobbying effort to press Senate leaders to bring the bill to the floor. Sandra Eskin, director of Pew’s food safety campaign, told The Hill that she is “cautiously optimistic” that a vote can occur in the first half of March, before the Senate’s next recess week starts on March 29.
Regan LaChapelle, a spokeswoman for Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), told The Hill that the majority leader hopes to bring the bill to the floor either during the current work period or the next, which runs from April 12 to May 28. “It’s on our list of legislative priorities,” she said. “It could be in March or the next work period. Obviously we have many issues to address.”
House Republicans were split on H.R. 2749, with 54 supporting it and 122 opposed. GOP members who backed it include Reps. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), Joe Barton (Texas), Dave Camp (Mich.) and Greg Walden (Ore.).
After the House bill passed, Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) told The Washington Post: “The federal government will tell our farmers and ranchers how to do something they’ve been doing since the dawn of mankind. It goes too far in the direction of trying to produce food from a bureaucrat’s chair in Washington, D.C.”
Twenty House Democrats opposed the bill.
Now moreso than in recent memory, it is critical that we all stay tuned to these issues, keeping an eye out for our continuing posts and opportunities for action on S. 3002 and S. 510 — and whatever else floats down the Potomac that threatens DSHEA, our supplements and our health-food stores.