Contrary to popular belief, Nancy Pelosi presided over one of the most productive Houses in congressional history. If memory serves she had left over 200 bills at the door of the Senate. Their version of this bill was passed in July 2009 so imagine if the Senate had kept pace with her. Take a look at all of the bills the House has already passed and ask yourself where would this country be if the Senate had been up to task with them.
“The Senate passed legislation Tuesday to make food safer in the wake of deadly E. coli and salmonella outbreaks, potentially giving the government broad new powers to increase inspections of food processing facilities and force companies to recall tainted food.” “The $1.4 billion bill, which would also place stricter standards on imported foods, passed the Senate 73-25. Supporters say passage is critical after widespread outbreaks in peanuts, eggs and produce.” “Those outbreaks have exposed a lack of resources and authority at the FDA as the embattled agency struggled to contain and trace the contaminated products.” “The agency rarely inspects many food facilities and farms, visiting some every decade or so and others not at all.” “The bill would emphasize prevention so the agency could try to stop outbreaks before they begin. Farmers and food processors would have to tell the Food and Drug Administration how they are working to keep their food safe at different stages of production.” “President Barack Obama praised passage of the bill and urged the House to act quickly on the legislation.
“We are one step closer to having critically important new tools to protect our nation’s food supply and keep consumers safe,” he said.” “The bill would not apply to meat, poultry or processed eggs, which are regulated by the Agriculture Department. Those foods have long been subject to much more rigorous inspections and oversight than FDA-regulated foods.” (Jalonick, Mary Clark, 11/30/2010, Associated Press, Senate passes bill to boost food safety, Retrieved from www.news.yahoo.com ).
While I am pleased to see that something more made it out of the Senate, I am still dismayed by all of the stupidity in that chamber. The business of making things more difficult than it should be and allowing one person to stop something which is not only desired by the majority of those who hired them but simply makes more sense than their objections. I dream of a day when both chambers will put the country and its people first instead of face time on the camera or securing a “sweetheart deal” for a friend.