Durbin: Dems will block GMO labeling bill
© Greg Nash

Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDems mull big changes after Brazile bombshell After Texas shooting, lawmakers question whether military has systemic reporting problem Bipartisan group of lawmakers aim to reform US sugar program MORE (D-Ill.) suggested Tuesday Democrats will block legislation that bans states from issuing mandatory labeling laws for foods with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). 

"The current feeling in our caucus is decidedly that we will not allow them to go to this bill," the Senate's No. 2 Democrat told reporters about the GMO bill. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
He added that unless senators are able to get a deal, "I think there will not be enough votes, 60 votes, on the floor." 
 
Sen. Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowSupreme Court weighs Congress's power to dismiss lawsuits We must fund community health centers now Overnight Energy: Perry takes heat for sexual assault comments | Clovis withdraws nomination for USDA post | Battle lines drawn on Arctic refuge drilling | Energy regulator back to full strength MORE (D-Mich.) has been working with Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsSenate passes resolution requiring mandatory sexual harassment training Overnight Energy: Perry takes heat for sexual assault comments | Clovis withdraws nomination for USDA post | Battle lines drawn on Arctic refuge drilling | Energy regulator back to full strength Trump USDA pick linked to Mueller probe withdraws nomination MORE (R-Kan.) to reach a compromise on his labeling legislation, but leadership in both parties suggested an agreement remains elusive. 
 
In addition to banning mandatory state laws, Roberts's legislation would also establish a voluntary national standard for GMO labeling. 
 
Democrats, however, have been deeply critical of the measure this week, arguing that the bill lacks teeth and the public should know what is in its food. 
 
"This is just another case of the Republicans in the Senate trying to create an appearance of doing something without really doing anything at all. It happens so often and has happened often during the past year," Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidTop Lobbyists 2017: Grass roots Boehner confronted Reid after criticism from Senate floor GOP in uncharted territory rolling back rules through resolutions MORE (D-Nev.) said earlier Tuesday. 
 
 
The rhetorical battle comes as the Senate is expected to take a procedural vote Wednesday on Roberts's bill. Republicans will need the support of at least six Democrats to move forward and get a final vote this week. 
 
Roberts suggested the debate surrounding his legislation has "been a little harsh." 
 
"I'm somewhat perturbed that everyone is criticizing the compromise, but they're sure as hell not offering anything else," he said. 
 
Roberts added that if Democrats block the legislation, Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell expects Paul to return to Senate next week Former Hill staff calls for mandatory harassment training Gaming the odds of any GOP tax bill getting signed into law MORE (R-Ky.) could vote against the legislation, using a procedural move that would allow Republicans to bring it back up later.