By John Hendel, December 21, 2010 - 12:45pm
After more than a year and a half of debate, Congress's food safety bill will become law, The Washington Post reports. Despite having passing both houses of Congress, it had seemed all but dead because of a constitutional error—at least until a stunning, eleventh-hour deal struck late this weekend:
A bill that would overhaul the nation's food-safety laws for the first time since the Great Depression came roaring back to life Sunday as Senate Democrats struck a deal with Republicans that helped overcome a technical mistake made three weeks ago and a filibuster threat that seemed likely to scuttle the legislation.It was a last-minute change for the legislation, which seemed all but dead Sunday afternoon.
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.