By Julian Pecquet - 10/22/10 09:21 PM EDT
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) entered the fray over food legislation on Friday with a "fact sheet" blaming Republicans for delaying passage of the bill.
"Republican opposition to tough food safety legislation is just another example of how the GOP’s plan for regulatory rollbacks puts the special interests first and Americans health and safety at risk," the statement reads.
The reality is more complicated.
While 122 Republicans did vote against the bill when it cleared the House in July 2009, so did 20 Democrats. And 54 Republicans voted for the bill, which would give the Food and Drug Administration the power to recall tainted food, quarantine geographical areas and access food producers’ records.
In the Senate, only one member — Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) — held up the bill after members of the Health Committee reached a compromise this summer. A vote could occur as early as Nov. 17.
An amendment by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) that would exempt small farmers is now seen as the biggest threat to the bill's passage in the upper chamber. Consumer advocates say the amendment would gut the bill, and have been pressing senators not to vote for it.