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  •  Sen. Mikulski doesn't support it, couldn't stop it (9+ / 0-)

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/...

    "The American public have relied on Senate Democrats to be a backstop against dangerous policy riders like this," said Colin O'Neil, director of government affairs for the Center for Food Safety. "We call on [Mikulski] to ensure that this rider is stricken from any future appropriations bills."

    But, O'Neil added, the language did not originate with Mikulski. Rather, it was included in legislation that had been developed before she took the chairmanship. Democratic leaders, including Mikulski, were under pressure to pass a funding a bill quickly as Democrats and Republicans in Congress were eager to demonstrate they could deal with a budget deadline without creating the type of fiscal showdown that has defined the last several years.

    Congress had until March 27 to pass a funding bill or shut down the government.

    Mikulski picked up the previously agreed-to language and attached it, largely unchanged, to the funding legislation. Sen. Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat, offered an amendment to strike the language from the bill but that amendment never received a vote.

    "Her hands were tied by the negotiations that had previously happened," O'Neil said of Mikulski. "We recognize that the tough spot she was in."

    O'Neil said food safety groups nevertheless hope to keep the pressure on Mikulski to get the language removed later this year, when the government must pass its next round of funding legislation.

    In a statement, Mikulski's office said the senator "understands the anger over this provision. She didn’t put the language in the bill and doesn’t support it, either."

    "Senator Mikulski has a strong food safety record," the statement read. "As chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Mikulski's first responsibility was to prevent a government shutdown. That meant she had to compromise on many of her own priorities to get a bill through the Senate that the House would pass."

    Bolding mine.

    Least thanks to the GOP House holding the economy hostage, Sen. Mikulski can correct the error when the spending bills have to be passed again.

    •  Maybe so ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      citisven, paradise50

      although I question why Senator Tester's amendment didn't get a vote (surely that would be in her power as chair to accomplish.)

      And at any rate - she still would know who did put the language in.  Or is the claim that that Appropriations Committee doesn't keep records of its proceedings?

      “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

      by jrooth on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 01:17:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A caveat to the above (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eyesbright, paradise50

        I may have misunderstood - it's unclear from the story whether Tester's amendment was offered in committee or on the floor.  If the latter, then it's on Harry Reid, not Mikulski.

        Don't get me wrong - I like Mikulski for the most part.

        “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

        by jrooth on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 01:22:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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