Monday, December 20, 2010

Food Safety and Modernization Act S 510 - #2490 - Senate Passes Food Safety Bill by Unanimous Consent - Hot Air (2) Are Lame-Duck Sessions of Congress Unconstitutional? - Hot Air

Chalk one up for the Senate Republicans in the category of “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.” They had Harry Reid on the hook for fouling up a food-safety bill that the Wall Street Journal called a bonanza for big producers. Instead of forcing the issue to wait for a new Congress and an approach that didn’t impose new costs and regulatory burdens that puts small producers at a disadvantage, the GOP agreed to allow the bill to pass through the Senate last night without any objections: The Senate unexpectedly approved food safety legislation by unanimous consent Sunday evening, rescuing a bill that floated in limbo for weeks because of a clerical error. The Senate passed the Food Safety and Modernization Act on Nov. 30 by a vote of 73-25. But the bill was later invalidated by a technical objection because it was a revenue-raising measure that did not originate in the House — Senate staff had failed to substitute the food safety language into a House-originated bill. …
  Read more.......  Just when you think the Republicans have a backbone, they do this, the Bill was defeated the last time in the Omnibus Bill and then this happens Sunday night.  I can't even imagine how bad this bill will be, judging by how the Democrats have maneuvered this bill to passage, along with Republicans, good job, where is a Lee Atwater when you need one.

Are Lame-Duck Sessions of Congress Unconstitutional? - Hot Air - For a Congress that has squandered more time than any preceding legislative body on programs the American people oppose, the 11th has been the model of industry in the current lame duck session. Yesterday, Harry Reid’s Senate voted on the DREAM Act, which would have given children of illegal immigrants a fast track to legality, and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which bans gays from openly serving in the military. Today it’s on to the START arms reduction treaty.  All of this is of course so much political posturing, paying back debts and assuaging angry constituencies, which flies in the face of the mandate the American people delivered in its midterm vote. But a bigger question is whether any of this legislation is constitutional.  An article by David Fahrentold in today’s Washington Post notes that lame duck sessions of Congress violate the spirit if not the letter of the Constitution.  For the letter of the law you need but look at the 20thAmendment, which was ratified on January 23, 1933. In essence, the amendment was meant “to kill off sessions like this—in which defeated legislators return to legislate.”  Read more.........

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