"BEAST SURVIVES, BUT LESS UNPLEASANT"
By Lee Bechtel, NHF Lobbyist
November 20, 2010
The NHF first wants to thank all of those who signed our petition in opposition to S.510, and those who called their U.S. Senator's offices in a sustained effort to defeat the legislation. Unfortunately, the vote to end debate“ the Cloture vote “ was successful on a vote of 74 For and 25 Opposed, on November 17th. 2010. Thirty hours of debate followed and included behind-the-scenes negotiations on a final Manager's Amendment to S.510.
On November 18th, the only Senator holding up the bill was Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), who wanted a vote on an amendment dealing with Congressional earmarks.
During the debate, Senator Harkin described some of the key points in the yet-to-be-voted-on Manager's Amendment. Among other changes, the final Manager's Amendment included the exemption for dietary supplements from Codex food guidelines, exemption language for dietary supplement manufacturers and retailers from the conventional food company and distributor registration fees, reporting and product traceability requirements.
Then, on Friday, November 19th, Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that agreement had been reached on the order of final amendments and votes on S.510, which are now scheduled for Monday, November 29th, 2010. after the Thanksgiving recess.
There will be a second cloture vote on the motion to proceed, followed by debate and votes on two amendments to be offered by Senator Coburn.
As explained by Senator Harkin, he and Senators Reid and Durbin had worked out an agreement in advance of Senate passage with House Democratic leadership to accept the Senate-passed bill, hold it at the House desk, and then vote on passage of the Senate bill. This procedural maneuvering eliminates the usual joint Senate-House conference committee to work out differences with the Waxman and House passed Food Safety bill, H.R. 2749. If the House approves, the final version of the Senate Food Safety bill would then be sent to President Obama for signing into new law.
The NHF has been lobbying against S.510 and many thousands of health-freedom advocates have participated in sending grassroots lobbying appeals, since last year.
The new spending called for in the bill will have to be approved by Congress next year in the FDA-appropriation process, first by the House and then by the Senate. All spending bills must originate in the to be controlled Republican House.
NHF will keep you informed.
National Health Federation: Established in 1955,