GOP Decides Food Poisoning Not Needed for Freedom
December 20, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)—When Democrats impose any sort of regulation on businesses, the right-wing goes off the rails ranting about the tyranny of an overreaching federal government and a loss of freedom. And so it went with the recent passage of a long overdue food safety bill, the first overhaul of government oversight in 70-years. Apparently, sickness and even death from salmonella poisoning and E. coli bacteria is preferable to government regulation. Exploding diarrhea means freedom, according to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Fox News’ conspiracy theorist Glenn Beck.
But despite the absurd right-wing rhetoric, the food safety bill passed through the House and the Senate. But an error in the measure required another Senate vote. And lawmakers, led by Coburn, whom Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart mocked, as “Masters of Our Ptomaine” took the opportunity to kill it. But suddenly on Sunday, a deal was struck with the Republican food poisoning contingent and the bill was passed almost instantly. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) hailed the reform of our food safety as an early Christmas present for Americans.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) managed to save the food safety bill after weekend negotiations with Republicans.
“After a weekend of negotiations, tense strategy sessions and several premature predictions about the bill’s demise, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) reached a deal with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that the GOP would not filibuster.”
“Without notice and in a matter of minutes Sunday evening, the Senate approved the bill by unanimous consent, sending it to the House, where passage is expected. President Obama has said he would sign the legislation, which would give the government far-reaching authority to set and enforce safety standards for farmers and food processors.”
Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives at Consumers Union, released a statement praising passage of the bill that was thought dead in the water, saying “This reaffirmed my faith in democracy.”
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