Obama signs several bills into law

Jan. 4, 2011 at 9:21 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama, back at work in Washington after his Hawaiian vacation, Tuesday signed several bills into law, including food safety reform.

The goal of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, the first overhaul of federal food safety legislation since the 1930s, is improve prevention of food-borne illness and response to food-related outbreaks. The measure gives the Food and Drug Administration the power access food producers' records, recall tainted food and quarantine geographical areas.

Congress still has to come up with $1.4 billion to pay for the law's requirements. Republicans have warned they won't fund the bill. The Senate earlier rejected a proposed $500 annual fee on processing facilities the House of Representatives had adopted when it passed its version of the bill in July.

Obama also signed the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act, which modifies the Safe Drinking Water Act definition of "lead free" with regard to pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, and fixtures.

Other measures signed into law by the president included:

-- The Shark Conservation Act of 2010 and International Fisheries Agreement Clarification Act. The measure generally prohibits the removal of shark fins at sea and amends certain laws related to international fisheries;

-- The Pre-disaster Hazard Mitigation Act of 2010, which authorizes appropriations for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Pre-Disaster Mitigation program for fiscal years 2011-2013;

-- The Northern Border Counternarcotics Strategy Act of 2010, requiring the Office of National Drug Control Policy to develop a northern border counternarcotics strategy;

-- The National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Improvement Act of 2010, which reauthorizes and amends authorities relating to volunteer programs and community partnerships for national wildlife refuges;

-- The America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science (America COMPETES) Reauthorization Act of 2010, which reauthorizes various programs intended to strengthen research and education in the United States related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics;

-- The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2010, which modifies and reauthorizes through fiscal year 2016 the Environmental Protection Agency's Diesel Emissions Reduction Program;

-- The Access to Criminal History Records for State Sentencing Commissions Act of 2010, which requires the Department of Justice to exchange records and information with State sentencing commissions;

-- The Local Community Radio Act of 2010, which modifies current restrictions on low-power FM radio stations;

-- The Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Act of 2010, which amends financing and project operation requirements for the Department of Housing and Urban Development's program to allow for increased housing opportunities for low-income seniors;

-- The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010, regarding pedestrian safety related to motor vehicles;

-- The Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2010, which amends financing and project operation requirements for the Department of Housing and Urban Development's program for low income individuals with disabilities;

-- The National Alzheimer's Project Act, which establishes a National Alzheimer's Project within the Department of Health and Human Services and an advisory council on Alzheimer's research, care, and services;

-- The Anti-Border Corruption Act of 2010, which requires the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that all applicants for law enforcement positions with U.S. Customs and Border Protection receive polygraph examinations; and

-- The Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Improvements Act of 2010, which amends the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and other educational assistance programs for veterans.

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