The Senate on Thursday night agreed to take up food-safety legislation when it returns from the Thanksgiving recess on Nov. 29. Debate is expected to include votes on two proposals to repeal the healthcare reform law's 1099 tax reporting requirement for business purchases of more than $600 a year.
According to Senate staff, the timeline — subject to change, of course — should start with a cloture vote on the final bill, as amended by the small-farms exemption from Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.). The procedural motion will need 60 votes to pass.
This will be followed by a vote on four amendments, all requiring a 67-vote threshold:
• Sen. Mike Johanns's (R-Neb.) amendment to repeal the 1099 provision (this is offset by unspent and unobligated federal dollars, to be identified by the Office of Management and Budget);
• Sen. Max Baucus's (D-Mont.) alternative amendment to repeal 1099 without paying for it (this would add to the deficit but at the same time lower the cost of repealing healthcare reform, a Republican priority);
• Sen. Tom Coburn's (R-Okla.) moratorium on congressionally directed appropriations; and
• Coburn's food-safety substitute amendment, which is an alternate, stripped-down food-safety proposal.
The vote on amendments will be followed by a final vote on the food safety bill, which will require a 51-vote threshold.
The House passed its version of the legislation in July 2009. It's not clear how the Senate and House versions would be reconciled.
This post was corrected at 4:30 p.m. to reflect a change in the offset for the Johanns amendment