The New Food Safety Bill Might Be Revoked

The Senate ignored a key constitutional rule in passing the bill, and it may end up totally negated.

So much for all that excitement about the new food safety bill. Yesterday, the Senate passed a version that still had to be passed by the House. Only some people forgot to read their copy of the Constitution.

Article One, Section Seven clearly states: "All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills." Well, the Senate's version contained revenue-raising provisions, and the House, despite being controlled by Democrats, also cares about the House's constitutional prerogative. They plan to scuttle the bill.

Steny Hoyer, House Majority Leader, is not pleased:

"The Senate knows the rule and should follow the rule and they should be cognizant of the rule," Hoyer scolded. "Nobody ought to be surprised by the rule. It is in the Constitution, and you have all been lectured and we have as well about reading the Constitution."


This TPM article discusses the options: passing it in the House anyway, finding a way for the Senate to revote on an identical bill originated in the House—which bill opponent Tom Coburn (R-OK) won't let happen—or just waiting and trying again in the next Congress. We shall see.

Image: U.S. Constitution — No. 1, a Creative Commons Attribution No-Derivative-Works (2.0) image from caveman_92223's photostream