Here is a transcript from C-SPAN closed captiong of the House debate before the vote on the food safety bill on Dec. 21. Chairman John Dingell calls the Senate version of the food safety legislation "worse" and "weaker" than the House but said it was still necessary.
FDA FOOD SAFETY MODERNIZATION ACT
Dec 21, 2010
Waxman, HenryU.S. Representative
Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Dingell) yielding to me. And I want to commend you, Representative DeLauro, Congressmen Pallone and Stupak, Mr. Barton and Mr. Shimkus, and former Representative Deal for the work on this legislation. [Page: H8885] For a third time, today the House considers legislation that will dramatically improve the safety of our Nation's food supply. The House first passed its bill in July 2009 on a strong bipartisan vote with 283 supporters. On November 30 of this year, the Senate passed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act on a strong bipartisan basis, by a vote of 73-25. That bill contained some constitutional defects that needed to be fixed. So on Sunday night, the Senate again passed a corrected version of the bill by voice vote.
Congress has demonstrated that food safety is a bipartisan issue. Food-borne illness outbreaks can strike each and every one of us. In recent years, foods we never would have imagined to be unsafe, everything from spinach to peanut butter, have sickened an untold number of Americans. It is time, once and for all, to enact this legislation. There is no time for any further delay.
FDA needs a modern set of authorities to deal with the effects of our increasingly globalized food supply. This legislation will give FDA the tools and resources it needs to better police the safety of the foods we eat every day. The bill makes significant improvements throughout the food chain, from the farm to the dinner table. The bill will require farmers to comply with science-based standards for safe production and harvesting. Companies that process or package foods will be required to implement preventive systems to stop outbreaks before they occur. Importers will have to demonstrate that the food they bring into the country is safe. And the bill strengthens FDA enforcement authorities, giving FDA the ability to order a food recall when companies refuse to voluntarily do so.
Many of us in the House would agree that our bill was stronger. We also would likely agree that it is regrettable that there was not time for a conference to allow us to make some improvements in the Senate bill. But this is an opportunity that will not come again for a long time. There is no question that this is a good bill and that it will provide FDA with some critical new authorities. It will fundamentally shift our food safety oversight system to one that is preventive in nature as opposed to reactive. We simply must take this chance to make our food supply safer. I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on H.R. 2751.
Pitts, Joseph "Joe"U.S. Representative
Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
At the Energy and Commerce Committee, food safety has been a bipartisan priority. We have held numerous hearings during the last two Congresses, examining food safety problems involving peppers and peanut butter and what we can do to solve those problems. During those hearings, we have heard about how much work our Nation's farmers, manufacturers, and distributors do to put low-cost, high-quality food on the tables of more than 300 million people every day. We also have heard about how much our Nation's children and our Nation's farmers and small businesses can be hurt when one irresponsible actor sells adulterated, contaminated food.
Thanks to helpful testimony from hearing witnesses and hard work by our committee members, we were able to come up with some good ideas to help solve those food safety problems. Those ideas were found in the Food Safety Enhancement Act, which passed the House in July of 2009 and represented the bipartisan work of Chairman Waxman, Chairman Emeritus Dingell, Chairman Pallone, Chairman STUPAK, Governor-Elect Deal, and Ranking Member SHIMKUS.
The Food Safety Enhancement Act passed more than 16 months ago. The Senate finally passed its food safety bill, the Food Safety Modernization Act, Senate 510, during the lame duck session. The provisions of Senate 510 are contained in the bill that we are considering today with no substantive changes from what passed the Senate 3 weeks ago.
I intend to vote against this bill because it represents such a gross departure from reasonable legislating. When the Senate passed its food safety bill 3 weeks ago, we asked our majority to take the bill to conference. Instead, we were forced to vote on the Senate bill with no substantive changes as part of the continuing resolution 2 weeks ago.
During the 111th Congress, we have learned a great deal about how not to do things, and this bill presents us with another example. Instead of just taking up the Senate bill, we should have held a conference. We've been told we couldn't do that because there wasn't enough time. Well, instead of naming post offices, we should have rolled up our sleeves and gotten to work on negotiating. And now, 3 weeks and many post offices later, the majority says we have to take it or leave it.
[Time: 15:30] One provision that raises questions is the so-called Tester amendment that was added to the Senate food safety bill. This provision will provide exemptions from food safety requirements based on a facility's or a farm's size. While we do not want to overly burden small facilities and small farms, we've learned in our committee hearings that food-borne pathogens don't care if you're a big facility or a small facility, a big farm or a small farm. They affect everyone.
A food safety issue in one facility or one farm can cause hundreds of illnesses and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic losses for farmers and small businesses. By allowing facilities exemptions from food safety requirements, we're setting our Nation up for the potential of future outbreaks. Our system is only as strong as its weakest link, and the Tester amendment will set up a system full of weak links.
This is just one example of the potential problems with this bill. These are problems we could have addressed through a conference, but, instead, we wasted 3 weeks and are being told, take it or leave it.
I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this legislation so we can do it the right way in the next Congress.
I reserve the balance of my time.
Pallone, Frank Jr. U.S. Representative
[D] New Jersey
Mr. PALLONE. Chairman Dingell, I want to thank you for all the hard work you have put in on this bill, and also Chairman Waxman. We worked on a bipartisan basis.
I rise today in strong support of the Food Safety Modernization Act. After 2 years of hard work, we're finally on the cusp of enacting landmark comprehensive food safety legislation.
The modernization of our food safety system is desperately needed. The current food regulatory regime was established in 1938 and hasn't been overhauled in 70 years. Since this time, the U.S. food supply has evolved into a global network made up of foreign products, processors, and growers over whom the U.S. has little or no control. Think about what a different world it was in 1938. That alone should be reason enough to update our food safety laws today.
Every time we have a food safety crisis, be it eggs or spinach or peppers or peanuts, we shake our heads at the vulnerability of our food supply and bemoan the fact that we don't have the tools to protect it. And these aren't isolated instances. Each year, 48 million Americans are sickened from consuming contaminated food, and as many as 3,000 to 5,000 of these people die.
The Food Safety Modernization Act will give the FDA the ability, the authority, and the resources to protect American consumers from contaminated food domestically and abroad. FDA will now better ensure food safety through more frequent inspections of food processing facilities, the development of a food trace-back system to pinpoint the source of food-borne illnesses, and enhanced powers to ensure that imported foods are safe. Perhaps most notably, the bill emphasizes prevention and safety that helps ensure that food is safe before it's distributed, before it reaches store shelves, before it reaches the kitchens of American families.
We have the most productive and most efficient food distribution system in te world, but we need to make sure that we have the safest food supply. American families need to know the food they select from grocery stores and the meals they put on their kitchen tables are safe.
Now, I'll say the bill before us isn't perfect, but it is a good bill, and it's backed by a diverse coalition that includes food producers, grocery manufacturers, and consumers. It has strong bipartisan support. Last year, the [Page: H8886] House passed its version by a vote of 283-142. The Senate passed a bill nearly identical to the one before us today by a vote of 73-25. And this is an overwhelming show of support for legislation which will significantly protect the public health.
I'm proud we're passing this bill one more time. Today, of course, it will go to the President for his signature. He has said he would sign it. And I urge my colleagues to support this landmark legislation.
Lucas, Frank D. U.S. Representative
Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Speaker, I rise again in opposition to H.R. 2751, originally dealing with the Cash for Clunkers and now containing the Senate language S. 510, the Food Safety and Modernization Act.
As I've stated repeatedly, I believe our Nation has the safest food supply in the world. I also believe that we must continually examine our food production and regulatory system and move forward with changes that will improve food safety.
This legislation is the product of a flawed process. It will lead to huge regulatory burdens on our Nation's farmers and ranchers. It will raise the cost of food for our consumers, and it contains very little that will actually contribute to the goal of food safety. It gives the Food and Drug Administration lots of additional authorities with no accountability. In fact, with the inclusion of the so-called Tester amendment, some argue that it is a step backwards.
Now, my concerns about the legislation are not limited to the unforgivable process. There are serious public policy concerns as well. The Tester amendment is an illustrative example. Intended to shield small and local producers from the burdens of the new food safety law, it is opposed by virtually all of the major organizations representing farmers and ranchers. Normally, these groups would be expected to support a provision that sought to protect their farmers and ranchers. But they oppose the Tester amendment and any legislation that contains it because it adds to the layers of food safety regulation by creating yet another tier of regulatory standards that will only confuse our consumers.
Further, by exempting small domestic companies from Federal standards, I fear, and this is a legitimate fear, that we will be required to exempt similarly sized companies in developing countries from our standards. This approach does not make food safer. It eliminates important consumer protection and puts our citizens at increased risk.
With respect to the Tester amendment, I question the value of any law that is so onerous to an industry that Senators believe segments of that industry should be excluded from it. It would be wise to reconsider the entire legislative approach.
Now, there are other problems as well in the bill. New regulation authority for food processing facilities will create what amounts to a Federal license to be in the food business. Registration of food processing facilities was originally envisioned as a commonsense way to help FDA identify facilities under the Bioterrorism Act of 2002. This bill turns it into a license to operate, making it unlawful to sell food without a registration license, and allowing FDA to suspend the company's registration.
This is the type of government intrusion into commerce that Americans rejected in early November of this year.
Another provision of particular concern would mandate the Food and Drug Administration to set on-farm production performance standards. For the first time, we'd have the Federal Government prescribing how our farmers grow crops. Farming, the growing of crops and the raising of livestock, is the first organized activity pursued by man. We've been doing it for a long time, and we've been doing it without the FDA on the farm.
The vast majority of these provisions, along with the recordkeeping requirements, traceability, mandatory recall authority, will do absolutely nothing to prevent food-borne disease outbreaks from occurring but will do plenty, do plenty, to keep Federal bureaucrats busy. And these are all the sorts of things that could be worked out through the normal legislative process, but only if there's a process.
Mr. Speaker, let me return to where I started. We have the safest food supply in the world. Anyone who follows current events knows that our food production system faces ongoing food safety challenges, and I stand ready to work with my colleagues, all of my colleagues, to address those challenges.
Our Nation's farmers, ranchers, packers, processors, retailers, and consumers deserve better.
Stupak, Bart U.S. Representative
Mr. STUPAK. I thank the gentleman for yielding and for the kind words. As I wrap up my 18 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, this is a good bill in which to wrap up a career. I first introduced food safety legislation along with Mr. Dingell and Mr. Pallone and now-Senator Brownback in 1997. For 14 years we have been fighting to try to update our Nation's food safety laws.
And then as chair of Oversight and Investigations, we have held over 13 hearings on food-borne illnesses from spinach, peanut butter, jalapenos, and most recently tainted eggs. Why was all this necessary? As has been noted, our food laws have not been updated since 1938. And we know more and more of our foods are coming from different sources and different countries. But this year and each year approximately 77 million Americans become ill because of food-borne illnesses, 325,000 arehospitalized, and up to 5,000 Americans will die, some of our most vulnerable Americans, such as children and senior citizens, those whose immune systems have been weakened or are not fully developed.
But if you are a young child and you do survive, what kind of life do you have after you have spent time in a hospital getting a new kidney? You face a lifetime of medication and bankruptcy of your family. We must act now to pass this food safety bill. This bill contains many good provisions, including the trace-back provision, which is designed to make it easier to prevent and respond to outbreaks in food-borne illnesses.
This also has mandatory recall. Most Americans are shocked to know that the FDA does not have the right to recall food or unsafe drugs in this country. They do not have the right to have that recall, especially on food. So this will now make it mandatory. The FDA can remove tainted food as soon as possible. Still, despite all these improvements, more has to be done to protect Americans.
The FDA needs subpoena power. It is probably one of the few regulatory agencies that doesn't have subpoena power. We lost that when it went to the Senate. But if you are going to trace back, if you are going to get the records, if you are going to find where the food comes from, let's give the regulatory agency the power they need. Because corporate America unfortunately too often hides their records from us.
We need an adequate funding source. For this legislation to be successful, we have to have an adequate funding source, as we had in the House but was removed in the Senate. And country of origin label. More and more of our food, especially this time of the year in the winter months, comes from other countries. We need to know exactly where those sources of food come from. So I urge the next Congress to make these improvements.
And a word of caution. Without this bill and greater improvements to this bill, we cannot fully protect Americans from food-borne illnesses, either accidentally or those intentionally put forth by America's enemies. And make no mistake about it, our enemies will exploit our weak regulatory system when they know they can harm so many Americans through food-borne illnesses.
So I hope my colleagues today will join me in supporting this legislation. [Page: H8887] It's a great piece of legislation. I would like to thank my colleagues who have worked so hard on this over the years with me, including Ms. DeLauro of Connecticut, but especially the members of the Energy and Commerce Committee who have worked with us, especially Chairman Dingell, Chairman Waxman, Mr. Pallone, Mr. Upton, and Mr. Barton.
DeLauro, Rosa U.S. Representative
Ms. DeLAURO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of this bill as a good and a necessary first step in reforming our food safety system and better protecting our families from food-borne illness. And I want to congratulate some of the longtime champions of food safety in this institution, such as Chairman Henry Waxman, Chairman John Dingell, Subcommittee Chairman Frank Pallone, Mr. Bart Stupak. And I say congratulations to them for successfully bringing this legislation through the House. I also want to acknowledge Senator Harkin and Senator Durbin for their work in facilitating passage of this bill in the Senate.
Among the critical reforms in this bill are increased inspection of high-risk facilities, expanded authority to inspect recall records, the formation of a more accurate food facility registry, improved traceability in the event of an illness outbreak, and improved surveillance of food-borne illness. The bill also requires certification of certain foreign food imports as meeting U.S. food safety requirements.
All of these tools will help improve the FDA's ability to respond to food-borne illness outbreaks and to hold industrial food production facilities to higher standards. For too long the cornerstone of our food safety system, the FDA, has had only ancient tools and an outdated mandate at its disposal. This bill will go a long way towards stemming the potential of a full-blown food-borne epidemic in the future. Recently, the CDC released an updated estimate on food-borne illness figures, and it remains a major public interest health threat. With nearly 50 million illnesses, 100,000 hospitalizations, and over 3,000 deaths each year, these estimates show that there is much work to be done in identifying and combating the pathogens that cause food-borne illness.
Just to tell you the importance of this bill, let me share with you the story of Haylee Berstein, a 17-year old girl who lives in Wilton, Connecticut. When Haylee was 3 years old, she ate unwashed lettuce that was contaminated with E. coli. She soon became extremely ill with what doctors called hemolytic uretic syndrome. The health effects of an E. coli illness are very painful. Haylee experienced traumatic damage to her kidneys and pancreas. She suffered severe bleeding in her brain. And that blood in her brain caused her to be temporarily blind. The doctors at Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital fought for 14 weeks to save her life. And to this day, Haylee still suffers from health problems such as diabetes, all because of food contaminated with E. coli. This should not happen to anyone. And as we know in this body, it can be prevented.
With all of this in mind, our food safety efforts should not, and will not, end today. Because this piece of legislation is not about roads and bridges and parks and other things that we do in this institution. This legislation is about life and death. While the FDA is charged with protecting a large majority of our food supply, the Food Safety and Inspection Service, FSIS at USDA, is responsible for ensuring the safety of meat and poultry products. After passing this bill today, we must begin to lay the foundation for science-based reform at FSIS as well. That is why I worked on language that would create a science-based panel, supported by a wide range of stakeholders, to analyze the food safety system at FSIS and develop the concept of what a modernized system would look like there.
This collaborative proposal is supported by the pertinent industries, consumer groups, and unions. I should emphasize that this plan would not interfere with the good work currently being done by Under Secretary Elisabeth Hagen at FSIS. And I look forward to working with all of my colleagues in the next Congress to move this proposal forward.
Ultimately, I believe, as do leaders across the aisle, that we must establish a single food safety agency. Currently, food safety responsibilities are fragmented across 15 Federal agencies and are governed by 71 interagency agreements. Food safety and public health experts, as well as the Government Accountability Office, have concluded that this fragmentation has created redundancies that have weakened our food safety response. We need to consolidate all of these food safety functions under one roof. This will provide an updated regulatory structure and strengthen oversight and surveillance activities to better protect our food supply.
I will continue to fight for this single agency. I believe it is needed to ensure that the food in our fridges and on our kitchen tables is safe. Nonetheless, the legislation we must pass today is a strong first step toward a safer food supply and reducing the number of preventable food-borne illnesses and deaths. I urge my colleagues to face this public health threat and to pass food safety legislation. Every parent who goes in to buy food needs to know that they are taking it home and it's safe for their children.
Waxman, Henry U.S. Representative
Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker and my colleagues, the Senate only passed this bill a couple of nights ago. And so we have now the opportunity to vote to take it or reject it. Some on the other side of the aisle, Republicans, are saying we should reject the whole bill because of the Tester amendment, which exempts small farmer-producers and facilities. We didn't have that in our bill, and I would have preferred that the Senate had not adopted that provision. But I don't think it is a reason to vote against this whole bill.
This bill is a good bill. It is supported by the Consumer Federation of America, the Consumers Union, the National Consumers League, the Trust for America's Health, the American Public Health Association. And it's supported by major industry groups, the Food Marketing Institute, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Now, I would assume that some big operations don't like the fact that small ones are going to be exempt. They are only exempt from a couple of the provisions which Senator Tester and the Senate Members thought were too burdensome. And some of these small operations are limited in their income, and therefore it might be too burdensome for them.
[Time: 15:50] Republicans have suggested we should have gone to conference. If we had gone to conference, only one Senator could object and no conferees would be appointed by the Senate. So that burden we are being asked to have achieved is something we could not achieve in the short time available to us.
Let us not let this opportunity go by. We must adopt this legislation. If there are efforts to change it later on, fine. But this is an important bill that has been worked on for years. It had strong bipartisan support in the House. It had overwhelming bipartisan support in the Senate. And I want to clarify the record to point out that almost all the groups, the consumer groups and the industry groups, are urging an ``aye'' vote.
Dingell, John D. Jr.U.S. Representative
Dingell, John D. Jr. U.S. Representative
05:54:39 SO THEY CAN WORK TO KEEP THE FOOD SUPPLY SAFE WORKING TOGETHER.
05:54:43 IT ALSO IS GOING TO REQUIRE MANUFACTURERS TO IMPLEMENT PREVENTIVE SYSTEMS TO STOP OUTBREAKS BEFORE THEY OCCUR.
05:54:49 AND IT IS GOING TO ALLOW OUR FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY TO POLICE AND TO PROTECT THE ENTRY INTO THIS COUNTRY OF FOODS COMING FROM ABROAD.
05:55:03 FOR MOST OF THE PERIL TO OUR AMERICAN CONSUMERS' LIVES.
05:55:08 IT IS ALSO GOING TO ALLOW OUR INVESTIGATORS AND FOOD AND DRUG PEOPLE TO SEE TO IT THAT THIS IS A WORK OF ART.
05:55:17 THAT THE AMERICAN LAW WITH REGARD TO MANUFACTURING PRACTICES IS CARRIED FORWARD IN THOSE OTHER LANDS SO THAT BAD FOOD CANNOT ORIGINATE ELSEWHERE AND THEN COME INTO THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE OF SHODDY MANUFACTURING PRACTICES.
05:55:36 IT GIVES FOOD AND DRUG POWER TO ENSURE THAT THEN FOREIGN IMPORTERS MEET U.S. STANDARDS, AND IT WILL ASSURE THAT FOREIGN COMBROWERS AND PRODUCERS WILL BE TREATED -- GROWERS AND PRODUCERS WILL BE TREATED WITH THE SAME CARE AND ATTENTION THAT AMERICAN GROWERS AND PRODUCERS ARE.
05:55:55 SO OUR GOAL IS THAT THEY CAN KNOW THAT THEY ARE FACING AN EVIL -- AN EVEN AND LEVEL PLAYING FIELD.
05:56:04 IT GIVES F.D.A. NEW ENFORCEMENT TOOLS, MANDATORY RECALL AUTHORITY, AUTHORITY TO GAIN -- TO DETAIN TAINTED PRODUCTS AND PROTECTIONS FOR EMPLOYEES WHO SERVE AS WHISTLEBLOWERS.
05:56:17 THIS LEGISLATION IS LONG OVERDUE.
05:56:20 IT WILL ADDRESS A SITUATION WHICH IS SHAMEFUL.
05:56:26 TODAY, ACCORDING TO THE LATEST STATISTICS, 48 MILLION AMERICANS ARE SICKENED BY BAD FOOD.
05:56:37 SOME 128,000 ARE HOSPITALIZED AND 3,000 ARE KILLED.
05:56:41 WE CAN GO AROUND AND LET THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR TO PERHAPS PASS A DIFFERENT BILL, WHETHER IT WILL BE BETTER OR NOT IS A QUESTION.
05:56:53 I YIELD MYSELF AN ADDITIONAL MINUTE.
05:56:56 WHETHER IT IS BETTER IS OPEN TO QUESTION.
05:57:00 BUT I TELL MY COLLEAGUES, DURING THAT TIME THERE WILL BE AMERICANS SICKENED, THERE WILL BE AMERICANS KILLED AND THERE ARE GOING TO BE AMERICANS HOSPITALIZED.
05:57:10 AMERICAN MANUFACTURERS, PROCESSORS AND GROWERS WILL HAVE THE QUALITY OF THEIR FOOD PRODUCTS IMPINGED NOT BY THEIR CARELESSNESS OR BAD BEHAVIOR BUT RATHER BY THE MISBEHAVIOR OF FOREIGN PRODUCERS, FOREIGN MANUFACTURERS AND OTHERS WHO ARE SENDING THINGS IN HERE LIKE MILK PRODUCTS WITH MELAMIN.
05:57:32 IT IS A CONSTITUENT, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, OF FOR MICAH.
05:57:38 IT KILLS BABIES.
05:57:39 AND CHINA SELLS THESE PRODUCTS TO THEIR OWN PEOPLE.
05:57:43 IF THEY DON'T KILL THEIR OWN PEOPLE WITH THAT TRASH, IMAGINE THE GREED WITH WHICH THEY WILL SELL THAT TRASH OVER HERE TO THREATEN THE WELL-BEING AND THE SAFETY AND THE TRUST OF AMERICAN CONSUMERS, BUSINESSMEN, MANUFACTURERS, PRODUCERS AND .
05:58:03 I BEG YOU THE SAFETY OF OUR CONSTITUENTS, OF OUR PEOPLE IS AT STAKE AND I HOPE THAT YOU WILL WRK WITH ME TO PASS -- WORK WITH ME TO PASS THIS LEGISLATION SO THAT WE CAN MAKE OUR CONSUMERS NOT ONLY TRUST THE SYSTEM BUT ALSO TO KNOW THAT IT IS GOING TO WORK TO PROTECT THEM.
05:58:19 AND I HOPE THAT IF THERE IS ENTHUSIASM FOR DOING MORE WORK ON THIS -- I YIELD MYSELF AN ADDITIONAL MINUTE.
05:58:27 I HOPE THAT IF THERE IS ENTHUSIASM FOR DOING WORK ON THIS THAT MY COLLEAGUES WILL JOIN ME NEXT YEAR IN DOING THE PHARMACEUTICALS.
05:58:35 SAME THING WITH REGARD TO AND I REMIND YOU THAT THE COMMITTEE HAS WORKED NOT IN OPPOSITION TO AMERICAN INDUSTRY BUT RATHER THE COMMITTEE HAS WORKED WITH THE AMERICAN INDUSTRY WHICH SUPPORTS THE LEGISLATION.
05:58:52 WOULD IT BETTER IF WE WERE ABSOLUTELY.
05:58:55 PASSING THE HOUSE BILL?
05:58:57 IS IT WORSE OR WEAKER BECAUSE WE ARE PASSING THE SENATE BILL?
05:59:00 OF COURSE.
05:59:02 HAVING SAID THAT YOU ARE MAKING AMERICANS SAFE IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT THE U.S. SENATE HAS HAD TO TINKER WITH THIS LEGISLATION TO THE WEAKENING OF THE LEGISLATION.
05:59:14 I WANT TO COMMEND MY COLLEAGUES WHO HAVE PARTICIPATED, MR.
05:59:19 WAXMAN, MR. PALLONE, MR.
05:59:21 STUPAK, MS. DEGETTE, MS.
05:59:24 I WANT TO COMMEND THE STAFF, KATIE WHOSE LAST DAY THIS IS, VIRGIL, RACHEL, ERIC, WHO HAVE MADE THIS POSSIBLE.
05:59:35 OUR LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL HAS LABORED MIGHTILY AND WE OWE REAL THANKS TO WARREN BURKE AND MEGAN REN TRUE.
05:59:47 I -- RENFREW.
05:59:49 THE HARSH FACT OF THE MATTER IS THEY WERE VERY HELPFUL IN DOING THIS IN TIMES PAST.
05:59:53 I WANT TO PAY PARTICULAR TRIBUTE TO MR. SHIMKUS, MR.
05:59:57 DEAL, AND MR. BARTON.
05:59:59 BUT I DO WANT IT KNOWN WERE IT NOT FOR THE LABORS OF THREE GREAT MEN IN THE OTHER BODY WE WOULD NOT BE WHERE WE ARE.
06:00:07 SENATOR HARKIN, SENATOR DURBIN, AND SENATOR REID HAVE CONTRIBUTED MIGHTILY TO THE SUCCESS WHICH WE HAVE IN MAKING SAFE.
06:00:14 THE AMERICAN CONSUMING PUBLIC I HOPE THAT THE PEOPLE WILL UNDERSTAND WE HAVE SERVED THEM WELL AND I URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO VOTE FOR THIS BILL SECURE IN THE KNOWLEDGE THAT YOU ARE PROTECTING AMERICANS AND YOU ARE SAVING THEIR LIVES AND THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE BY PASSING H.R.
06:00:35 I YIELD BACK THE BALANCE OF MY TIME.
Here is a transcript from C-SPAN closed captiong of the House debate before the vote on the food safety bill on Dec. 21. Chairman John Dingell calls the Senate version of the food safety legislation "worse" and "weaker" than the House but said it was still necessary.