Dingell: Senate's food-safety bill not ideal, but a 'giant leap forward'

Dingell’s bill easily passed the House, 283-142, in July 2009. He has been waiting for the Senate to take up the legislation and has criticized the upper chamber for being slow to act.

The House is expected to vote on the Senate version without the usual conference process, as time is running out in the lame-duck session. A key difference between the two bills is the imposition of fees on food facilities to help finance FDA's food safety inspection efforts. Those fees were included in Dingell’s measure but not the version passed by the Senate’s HELP committee — and the one approved Tuesday by the full Senate.

On that issue, Dingell said Tuesday: “Since the very beginning, I have stressed the importance of a steady and predictable revenue stream for the agency to effectively do its work. New authorities without the necessary resources to exercise those authorities is not ideal. The Senate unfortunately decided to take a different route; however, we cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good. The Senate bill is a still a giant leap forward towards ensuring the safety of the American food supply.”