It is being reported that the Food Safety Bill (S.510) may be in trouble due to an error made by the Senate. The senate added taxes to the bill (Section 107 of the bill included fees that are classified as taxes)  and this act violates the constitution which says tax provisions must originate in the House.

The Senate passed the bill yesterday, but the House will probably block the bill a procedure called “blue slipping.” Because the House is not likely to make an exception to the blue slip rule, a few things could happen at this point.

According to Roll Call, who first reported the story,

“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) could simply drop the issue and let the next session of Congress start from scratch… Or he could try to force the issue in the Senate after the House passes a new version of the bill. But in order to do that and still tackle the other issues, he would need a unanimous consent agreement to limit debate.”

If the bill is left for the new session of Congress, we will likely see something very different from the currently proposed food bill. Getting unanimous consent from the Senate will be extremely difficult as Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has already stated that he will not support the bill.  With less than a month left of the Senate’s lame-duck session, it appears that Food Safety Bill may be dead.

Source:

Roll Call