Today the House considered the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act which contains the most significant improvements to child nutrition programs in more than 30 years. The bill has two major goals: reducing childhood hunger and reducing childhood obesity. Both of these problems have gotten worse in recent years–the poverty rate for children is 20.7% (up from 15.6% 10 years ago) with more than 16 million children living in homes without access to enough nutritious food while one in three American children are currently either overweight or obese. This legislation dramatically increases access to nutritious meals, enhances the quality of meals children eat both in and out of school and in child care settings, implements new school food safety guidelines and establishes nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools.
Speaker Pelosi in support of the bill:
While the Senate passed this bipartisan bill by unanimous consent on August 5th, today House Republicans delayed the bill from being sent to President Obama’s desk. Leader Hoyer:
I am disappointed Republicans chose to play politics with a bill that enjoys strong bipartisan support and would increase access to school meal programs, improve the standards of food provided, and help reduce childhood obesity. The real purpose of this motion to recommit was to delay this bipartisan bill from being signed into law.
We will complete action on the Child Nutrition bill tomorrow. We will bring up the Republican motion to recommit as a stand alone suspension bill. After that vote, we will return to the Child Nutrition bill where we left off, voting on the motion to recommit and final passage. This will allow a good, bipartisan bill to reach the President’s desk without delay.
As Leader Hoyer explained, the House will complete consideration of the bill tomorrow.