Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinGreat Lakes senators seek boost for maritime system Wikileaks: Durbin pushed unknown Warren for Obama bank regulator The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Ill.) suggested Tuesday Democrats will block legislation that bans states from issuing mandatory labeling laws for foods with genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Durbin: Dems will block GMO labeling bill
"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.
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 StabenowDebbie StabenowGreat Lakes senators seek boost for maritime system Podesta floated Bill Gates, Bloomberg as possible Clinton VPs Dems to McConnell: Pass 'clean' extension of Iran sanctions MORE (D-Mich.) has been working with Sen. Pat RobertsPat RobertsHirshberg to Podesta: We don't really know anything about GMOs Mosul campaign Trump called 'total disaster' making gains, officials say GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election 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 ReidCruz: Precedent exists for keeping Supreme Court short-staffed Warren’s power on the rise Republicans make M investment in Senate races MORE (D-Nev.) said earlier Tuesday.
Sen. Jon TesterJon TesterGOP plan: Link Dems to an email scandal Court ruling could be game changer for Dems in Nevada Election-year politics: Senate Dems shun GOP vulnerables MORE (D-Mont.) added, separately, "Quite frankly, voluntary standards are no standards at all."
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 McConnellMitch McConnellLiberal groups call for delaying cures bill to next year Conservative groups urge against extending energy tax breaks GOP vulnerables dial back Hillary attacks MORE (R-Ky.) could vote against the legislation, using a procedural move that would allow Republicans to bring it back up later.