Dec 21, 2010
04:27 PMThe Wind Machine
The Lame Duck VI
The 111th Congress relentlessly continues its final legislative dance.
● Of main interest to our growers and shippers is today’s passage by the House of Representatives of the “FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.” It now goes directly to President Obama for his certain signature. We are now past the time of wondering about amendments, exemptions, and the tortuous legislative path of this controversial bill. It is now time to start work on this new federal law’s proper implementation. The NHC will work with the Pacific Northwest Food Safety Committee on a deciduous tree fruit industry approach to science-based food safety standards for both orchards and packinghouses.
● This past Saturday, an immigration measure, known as the DREAM Act, failed in the U.S. Senate. Proponents of this effort, which was aimed at helping undocumented students and military members achieve a route to citizenship, lay the blame on callous, anti-Hispanic senators. On the other hand, the successful opponents claimed that no narrow immigration bill should pass until the nation’s borders have been secured. In my own opinion, bringing the DREAM Act to the floor during the lame duck session was a calculated partisan political maneuver by Majority Leader Harry Reid. He fulfilled a pledge from his own re-election campaign in Nevada, while also helping to split Hispanic voters away from Republican candidates in the next federal election. He definitely succeeded in making a comprehensive, bipartisan solution to the nation’s immigration problem ever more distant.
● Today the U.S. Census Bureau announced data that will result, among other things, in the reapportionment of seats in the House of Representatives. While Idaho with two, and Oregon with six, will stay the same, Washington’s representation in Washington, D.C., (now at nine) will increase to ten. Each seat represents about 710,767 people.