Consumers Union reminds us that S. 510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, still awaits a Senate vote -- has been sitting on the Senate calendar since December 2009, in fact, so sayeth thomas.loc.gov. Surely haven't forgotten all the food poisoning scares occurring over the last few years? S. 510 would force foreign food corporations that export food to the U.S. to adhere to the same safety standards as domestic food corporations, would mandate more frequent inspections of food-producing facilities, and would improve reporting of findings of contamination, among other good things. Plus, eight of the bill's 17 sponsors are Republicans, so the Senate has no excuse for holding things up, unless Messrs. Alexander, Burr, Chambliss, Enzi, Gregg, Hatch, Isakson, and Vitter secretly plan to filibuster their own bill. Here's the contact tool.
Meanwhile, Chris Bowers at Open Left informs us that H.R. 4213 won't get passed before the Memorial Day recess, even though many millions of Americans are depending on its passage to keep their unemployment benefits and COBRA benefits going, and though many of its other programs (as we've discussed here ad infinitum) would stimulate the economy. Can't blame the evil Republicans for this one, though -- we have to blame the Evil Democrats, particularly the Blue Dog Democrats, who (like Republicans) get their Fiscal Responsibility on only on bills that might actually help the less fortunate. Never do I hear from the likes of Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin about defense department waste, corporate welfare, or supplemental war spending, but suddenly this five month-old bill upon which both Houses have already voted multiple times needs more "scrutiny." The silver lining to this dark cloud? If the Republicans pick up any House seats this year (which is, frankly, not a certainty), they'll pick up Blue Dog seats. And that's OK, because sometimes you'd rather just deal with the devil directly.