House Democrats tack controversial food-safety bill to spending measure


House Democrats on Tuesday tucked the controversial food-safety bill into the continuing resolution to keep funding the government through Sept. 30 of next year.

Although the Senate passed the bill last week, it was voided because it contained tax provisions that must originate in the House in accordance with the Constitution.

Despite passing 73-25 in the Senate before the technical error was discovered, Democrats were bracing for strong opposition from Senate Republicans, who said they will oppose anything on the floor before addressing tax cuts and government funding matters. They also feared Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), a fierce opponent of the legislation, would have another chance to block the bill. 

Congress is expected to vote as early as Wednesday on the $1.1 trillion continuing resolution.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters Tuesday that the House would try to pass a bill that closely resembled the Senate version, even though liberal House Democrats had passed a much stronger food-safety bill

"We think that's a better bill," Hoyer said Tuesday of the initial House measure, "but we're inclined to take the Senate bill, and the new bill will reflect the Senate bill."