Congress and the president disagree on the war. And the president is about to veto a bill that will increase the funding for medical coverage for children. And now Congress and the president have parted company on another issue of national importance: protecting workers who make popcorn.
Congresswoman Sutton of Ohio: “The lack of an Occupational Safety and Health Administration standard on diacetyl has endangered the health of families. That is why we have to act today. Workers should never have to choose between their health and feeding their families."
The word from The White House via Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-Fla.: "We believe that it's important to give OSHA time to complete a scientific study of diacetyl exposure and to issue a recommended exposure limit for the use of that chemical. Without a complete study, Congress may push manufacturers to use different chemicals that could be even more directly responsible for diseases."
The workers inhale the chemical “diacety” during the popcorn manufacturing process, and it causes ‘bronchiolitis obliterans’ ---also called popcorn lung. No, really.
And leading the charge to solve the problem is our very own South Jersey Congressman, Rep. Robert Andrews: "OSHA has not acted, so today we will.”
He supports legislation that will “institute air monitoring, medical surveillance and safety labeling; and require the wearing of protective clothing and equipment for workers exposed to it.”
Congress passed the legislation; the Senate has yet to consider it.
But along with stopping the war, spending more on children’s health, the president will probably veto this bill, too.
Maybe he hates pop corn and pretzels.
And the answer to the riddle is: Three. One to hold the pan and two others to act macho and shake the stove.