Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinSenate Dems link court fight to Congressional Baseball Game Dems: Immigration decision will 'energize' Hispanic voters Senate Dems rip GOP on immigration ruling 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 StabenowClinton to headline fundraiser with Senate, House Democrats: report USDA extends comment period for 'certified organic' animal rule Lawmakers consider adding mental health bill to opioid conference MORE (D-Mich.) has been working with Sen. Pat RobertsPat RobertsUSDA extends comment period for 'certified organic' animal rule Senate contradicts itself on Gitmo GOP senators propose sending ISIS fighters to Gitmo 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 ReidSay NO to PROMESA, say NO to Washington overreach Overnight Finance: Wall Street awaits Brexit result | Clinton touts biz support | New threat to Puerto Rico bill? | Dodd, Frank hit back McConnell quashes Senate effort on guns MORE (D-Nev.) said earlier Tuesday.
Sen. Jon TesterJon TesterBernie Sanders’s awkward return to the Senate Senators roll out bipartisan gun proposal Congress should stop government hacking and protect the Fourth Amendment 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 McConnellSunday shows preview: Next steps after Trump upheaval Gun-control supporters plan next steps versus NRA McConnell: Trump needs to act like a 'serious candidate' MORE (R-Ky.) could vote against the legislation, using a procedural move that would allow Republicans to bring it back up later.