Republican senator blocks food safety bill, saying it isn’t paid for

By Mary Clare Jalonick, AP
Thursday, September 23, 2010

GOP senator blocks food safety bill

WASHINGTON — Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn has blocked consideration of a food safety bill that would give the Food and Drug Administration more power to prevent foodborne illness.

The legislation would give the agency more power to recall tainted products, increase inspections of food processors and require producers to follow stricter standards for keeping food safe. Coburn, a Republican, says he is objecting because the bill is not paid for.

Republicans say Democrats could get around Coburn’s objections by voting to end debate on the bill, which would require 60 votes. The legislation passed the House last year and has strong bipartisan support. A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said Democrats should not have to resort to such procedural moves.

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