From The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)Late Wednesday, November 17, a deal was reached on a revised version of the Tester-Hagan small farm amendment to S. 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act. The revised amendment, which NSAC helped broker, was then placed into a revised version of the Manager’s amendment to the bill. On Thursday, the Senate approved a motion to proceed to consideration of the bill by a vote of 57-27. However, action on the food safety bill remains stalled in Senate, in part because Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) want to offer non-germane amendments dealing with a ban on congressional earmarks until 2013 and repeal of a tax-related section of the health care act, respectively. A time agreement was reached by the Senate leadership late Thursday night. It provides for two more cloture votes to take place on November 29, immediately following the Thanksgiving week congressional recess, one to shut down debate on the Manager’s amendment and a second to shut down debate on the bill.
Also see the Huffington Post article: Senate Reaches Agreement On Food Safety Bill To Exempt Small Farms.