Thursday, December 2, 2010

GOP House Cats Prevent Passage Of Child Nutrition Bill

Washington, D.C. - Though First Lady Michelle Obama lobbied for its passage, a free school lunch program appears stymied and dead in the water, shot down in this lame duck session of Congress.

In a procedural move executed Wednesday, GOP Congressmen in the House of Representatives forced an amendment to require background checks of child care workers.

The amendment made the House version of the free lunch program different from a previously identical Senate version of the bill. Its passage and the amendment of the Senate bill require lengthy procedures that make it likely the bill will not pass during this brief and final session of this Congress.

“It's not about making our children healthy and active,” said Rep. John Kline, R-MN., the ranking Republican member of the House Education and Labor Committee.

“We all want to see our children healthy and active. This is about spending and the role of government and the size of government – a debate about whether we're listening to our constituents or not.”

The bills thus shot down would require less high carbohydrate dishes on school lunches, less candy and less high-calorie drinks served to students in an effort to combat obesity. Government regulations would ban certain high sugar snacks purveyed in vending machines and provide about 20 million after school snacks.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin derided the nutrition program, which would be administered by the Department of Agriculture and funded partially with Medicaid funds. She brought a baggie of cookies to a Pennsylvania campaign appearance in an effort to deride the First Lady's “school cookie ban debate.”

So, there.

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