Breaking News: Child Nutrition Bill Will NOT Go to a House Vote Before Autumn Recess

by Bettina Elias Siegel on September 29, 2010

From the Obama Foodorama blog:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has confirmed that the pending $8 billion child nutrition legislation will not be brought to a vote in the House before Members leave for the Autumn recess, a source tells Ob Fo. First Lady Michelle Obama has made passing the historic legislation a centerpiece of her Let’s Move! campaign, and since June, she has repeatedly urged lawmakers to go for it, so President Obamacould sign it into law before the end of September. Clearly, that ideal scenario has now fallen like a souffle, despite aides revealing to media this week that Mrs. Obama had been making personal calls to Dem lawmakers, and that Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had been confabbing with House Members, too. . . .

The House legislation could be taken up in the lame duck session after the mid-term elections, but even that isn’t certain. The bill was a historic moment in child nutrition history: For the first time in three decades, the non inflationary reimbursement rate for school lunches was increased, and there were all kinds of components that helped improve school-based nutrition programs, as well as other federal feeding initiatives.

As previously reported here, many House Democrats balked at passing a bill that paid for child nutrition programs out of SNAP (food stamp) funds.

In addition, almost all school food advocates felt that the bill was grossly underfunded, providing only a six-cent-per-meal increase that was unlikely to  significantly improve the food on kids’ lunch trays.  That said, the legislation contained many other much-needed provisions, as Ed Bruske mentioned in his opinion piece on Grist today.

It remains to be seen what, if anything, will happen after the autumn recess.  I’ll of course keep you posted on TLT.

[Hat tip:  Healthy Schools Campaign]

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kate Burke September 30, 2010 at 8:30 am

I am so happy that this bill hasn’t gone up for a vote. I cannot see the rational of taking money for its funding form the food stamp program. With rising poverty rates, the individuals and families need all their food stamps. Lunches may be marginally more healthy at the cost of poor individuals and families trying to put better nutrition on the table at home, which is 2/3 meals more than than to be eaten at school lunches. Empty calories are cheaper-they fill the belly, but increase weight and glucose levels, creating the diabetes that the lunch program is supposed to combat in the first place. Energy levels are reduced too with these negative nutrition calories, so the Let’s Move campaign will suffer from less energy reserves. This is so short-sighted and wrongly thought out- it’s just tragic, silly, and makes no sense. The food stamp increase that came last year was part of the stimulus for poor people. It was supposed to be permanent and not prey for budgetary and new program concerns. Why is it that poor people are always gone to first to take money from them to pay for other government concerns. The very people that cannot afford it in the first place. The people who received cash money as stimulus are not asked to recoup money from their stimulus, why are the poor asked to have their food stamp allotment recouped to pay for another program. It’s not fair, and lousy politics! This is not a progressive action but a recessive one. Vote NO when and if it comes up for a vote.

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