Due to some last-minute negotiations late Sunday evening, the food-safety bill is on its way to the House of Representatives for a second time. IDFA expects the House likely will pass the bill without delay and send it to the president for signature before Congress breaks for the holiday recess.
An earlier version of the bill, S. 510, was passed by the Senate with strong bipartisan support, only to be rejected by the House, not on substance but on process, without a vote. The House then made a technical correction, passed and returned the bill, otherwise intact, to the Senate as part of a continuing resolution to fund the government at current levels for a short period of time.
The Senate, however, rejected that bill and attempted to insert it in a different must-pass appropriations bill. When that bill was grounded by objections over earmarks, Congress was running out of options to pass the food safety bill before it adjourned. But late Sunday night, the Senate corrected the technical error, and Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) withdrew his long-standing objection to the bill. It quickly passed the Senate by unanimous consent.
"Although strange things have happened with this bill, this is likely the final act in the food-safety bill drama," said Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president. "The House has already passed a nearly identical food-safety bill, so it's highly likely that it will pass this latest version and send it to the president, who has indicated he will sign it into law."
Members with questions may contact Slominski at firstname.lastname@example.org.