September 30th, 2010
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) signaled his intent late Wednesday night to move the Food Safety Modernization Act forward when Congress returns to session in mid-November. The bill, which has strong bi-partisan support, has been held up for weeks by the objection
of one lone Senator, Tom Coburn (R-OK).
Reid filed for “cloture,” a motion that requires three days to ripen and then 60 votes to cut off debate and bring the measure to a floor vote. The last-minute cloture filing means that the bill could be considered as early as November 17, two days after the start of the “lame duck” post-election session.
If the measure is brought to a vote in the Senate, it is likely to pass. However, with so many other prominent issues left for consideration during the short lame duck session, including the defense authorization bill, all of the FY 2011 appropriations bills, extension of unemployment insurance, and a bill to extend some of the Bush tax cuts, the Food Safety Modernization Act will be in a major fight for floor time.