Legislators to seek vote on tobacco

June 14, 1994|By Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON -- Three key congressional tobacco foes announced yesterday that they will attempt to get a quick House vote on legislation that would require the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco, but would forbid the agency from imposing a total ban on cigarettes.

Reps. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., Mike Synar, D-Okla., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said that they have asked the Rules Committee to allow the amendment to be attached to the agriculture appropriations bill in order to put the measure on a fast track to a House vote.

A decision by the Rules Committee could come today or tomorrow, and the House could take up the measure later this week. The fate in the Senate is uncertain.

The lawmakers made it clear that the amendment was not meant to imply that the FDA does not already have the authority to regulate tobacco products, but would allow Congress to vote on specific aspects of tobacco regulation that the FDA should address.

It "would ensure that the FDA regulates tobacco in certain areas while guaranteeing that cigarettes will not be banned," they said.

The amendment would give the agency the power to regulate the manufacture, sale, labeling, advertising, promotion and the content of tobacco products, and prohibit the agency from banning all tobacco products.

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