WASHINGTON, March 16, 2016 - Democrats will vote to block a GMO labeling bill today, but negotiations will continue in hopes of reaching a compromise before the end of the week, says the top Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee

“We do have serious discussions going on. We have to fix this,” Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., told Agri-Pulse. 

Stabenow and Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., have been at odds over disclosure or labeling requirements that would be imposed on food manufacturers in return for preempting state GMO labeling laws. The first such state law is set to take effect in Vermont this July.

Sixty votes are needed to advance the bill in the Senate. Supporters of the legislation believed they would need at least eight to 10 Democrats to reach that threshold. The cloture vote was scheduled for 11:45 a.m.

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Roberts told Agri-Pulse on Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was prepared to vote against the cloture motion, if necessary in order to bring the legislation later. 

Stabenow said this morning that Roberts wouldn’t get the necessary 60 votes, but she she said hope a deal could be struck “yet this week. We were on the phone late into the night. There is a path here, if folks want to take it.”