Senate Screw Up Derails Food Safety Bill

House set to send the bill back
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2010 1:10 PM CST
The House is cracking the Senate's plans.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – House Democrats plan to spike the food safety bill their Senate counterparts trumpeted about passing yesterday, arguing that the upper chamber has stepped on its constitutional authority to create new taxes. The Senate bill includes a set of fees that are classified as revenue raisers, which are technically considered taxes, Roll Call explains. The Constitution requires that all tax laws begin in the House—so the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee intends to “blue slip” the bill.

That leaves Harry Reid with two options: he can ditch the bill in favor of other pressing issues, or try to push it through after a House rewrite. But to do the latter, and still have time to tackle other issues, he’d need unanimous consent to limit debate—which the bill’s top opponent, Tom Coburn, will ensure he never gets.

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