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Tuesday
Nov302010

House Expected To Vote Wednesday On Child Nutrition Bill

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., joined Democrats Tuesday in calling for the swift passage of the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act,” which the House is expected to vote on Wednesday.

“We should pass this legislation immediately,” Pelosi said on a conference call with reporters Tuesday afternoon. “It’s about our competitiveness. It’s about our national security. It’s about our moral responsibility to our children.”

The $4.5-billion Senate bill, which passed with unanimous consent in August, would expand eligibility for school lunch programs, establish nutrition standards for all school meals, and encourage schools to use locally sourced food. It would also raise the reimbursement rate to $0.06 per meal, marking the first time in over 30 years that Congress has increased funding for school lunch programs.

“The future prosperity of our country depends on having a highly educated and skilled work force that’s ready to compete, but kids that have food insecurity learn at a slower rate than their peers, have significantly lower math skills are much more likely to repeat grades. Simply put they don’t have the same chance to succeed,” Pelosi said.

The Obama administration Tuesday also urged House passage of the legislation. “This bill...would make significant improvements to nutrition programs that serve millions of children across our country each day,” according to a White House Statement of Administration Policy. “Passage of this legislation also would help advance the Administration's goal of solving the problem of childhood obesity within a generation, which is at the heart of the First Lady's Let's Move! campaign.”

Although the House had been considering an $8-billion version of the bill, they will vote Wednesday on the bill as passed by the Senate. “We will not make any changes because we want to be able to send it to the president," Education and Labor Committee Chairman Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., said on the call.

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