The United States Senate website defines voice vote as the following:
A vote in which the Presiding Officer states the question, then asks those in favor and against to say "Yea" or "Nay," respectively, and announces the result according to his or her judgment. The names or numbers of Senators voting on each side are not recorded.
Now, lets study that for a moment, specifically the part where it says according to his or her judgment. This would lead one to believe that when a voice vote is used to vote on a particular topic, there is a lot of gray area regarding the judgment of the Presiding Officer. We can suppose that their judgment may possibly suit their own interests, since our system of government isnt exactly known for being the least corrupt. The reason were studying such a definition? Because this is exactly how the US Senate snuck by and passed S.510, also known as the food safety and modernization act that weve been talking about for weeks.
Late Sunday night, a voice vote was held and the record shows that not a single Senator voted against S.510. Not even the Senator that blocked the bill originally. With this vote, the bill goes back to the House of Representatives again. This time, there arent any hidden taxes that will stop it from passing. It will most likely go straight to the White House, and be signed into law. The House vote will likely be soon, possibly even Tuesday 12/21/10.
The real problem behind this bill is how it will affect the smaller farms that produce so much of our food supply. Because they cannot afford to purchase the million dollar machinery that the FDA will likely say is integral in preventing contamination, theyll begin to slowly fade out. Just like so many small businesses in small towns fade out when ground is broken for a new Wal-Mart, these farms will eventually just cease to be. Most instances of food contamination have come from major manufacturing farms, and the very machines that will be deemed necessary are more often than not the very cause themselves. Its simply a control issue, and unfortunately, the first of many.