For once, I’m thankful for our “representatives’” total ineptitude when it comes to the Constitution they swore to uphold. The Food Safety Bill, which passed the Senate on Tuesday, is in serious jeopardy, because that pesky Constitution (Article 1, Section 7, specifically) tripped up Harry Reid (again). From RollCall:
A food safety bill that has burned up precious days of the Senate’s lame-duck session appears headed back to the chamber because Democrats violated a constitutional provision requiring that tax provisions originate in the House.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) could simply drop the issue and let the next session of Congress start from scratch, a strategy that would allow him time in the lame-duck session to tackle other last-minute priorities, such as the expiring 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, a long-term continuing resolution, an immigration bill and a repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay service members.
Or he could try to force the issue in the Senate after the House passes a new version of the bill. But in order to do that and still tackle the other issues, he would need a unanimous consent agreement to limit debate.
According to Senate GOP aides, a unanimous consent agreement is all but certain to be a nonstarter because the bill’s chief opponent, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), will not agree to such a deal.
This is GREAT news. All the new regulations in that bill would have further inflated the cost of food at a time when many of us are already struggling to keep our families fed. Also, as the Senators clearly didn’t read the bill (or they might have caught the Constitutional issue), who knows what other hidden government power-grabbing goodies are loaded in there? And as a bonus, now our legislators have wasted a bunch of their limited lame duck time on a mistake, preventing them from spending that time on ramming through other laws that nobody wants.
Apparently, we were right at the Virginia Tea Party Convention:
The Constitution Still Matters!