Regulatory reform still contentious

After several months of relative inactivity during the summer break, the struggle to get a regulatory reform bill through the Senate continues, although it's likely to take a back seat to appropriations and welfare reform.

The idea is to relieve packagers from costly and burdensome regulations that often yield no great benefit and make it more difficult to compete. The main goal of the bill: regulations based on sound science that address real, serious risks and benefits outweighing costs of compliance. Majority Leader Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS) and his supporters have been working behind the scenes to pick up what they believe is the one vote needed to prevent a Democratic filibuster and guarantee the bill's success. Meanwhile, the public interest community has been waging a tough fight against the Dole bill, warning that it will undermine efforts to guarantee food safety and worker safety and protect the environment. Both sides worked the grassroots during the summer break, concentrating on contacting Senators to express their views.

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