Child Nutrition Under Scrutiny

DTN Political Correspondent Jerry Hagstrom reported that, “The United Fresh Produce Association is urging passage of a child nutrition bill by Sept. 30 that would increase purchases of fruits and vegetables for the child nutrition program, but the prospects are complicated by disagreements in the House of Representatives and among advocates over how to pay for the bill.

“The House leadership is trying to figure out whether to bring the child nutrition bill to the floor before the child nutrition programs expire on Sept. 30, but House members and nutrition and anti-huger advocates disagree over whether to offset the cost of the bill by using a $4.5 billion cut in food stamps over 10 years that the Senate used to pass the same bill unanimously this summer. Under congressional budgetary rules, an increase in one program must be offset by a decrease in another program.”

Mr. Hagstrom explained that, “Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Calif., a member of the House leadership, said Wednesday the leaders had discussed the issue in detail at a meeting Tuesday but had reached no resolution. The main issue, Cardoza said after a speech to the United Fresh Produce Association, is whether to use the food stamp offset that the Senate used.

“A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in an email Wednesday, ‘We are working with the White House to pass this critical legislation.’”

The DTN article stated that, “On Aug. 13, after the Senate passed the bill, more than 100 House members, led by Reps. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., and Keith Ellison, D-Minn., wrote Pelosi that they hoped she would identify a different offset on the House side. ‘This is one of the more egregious cases of robbing Peter to pay Paul, and is a vote we do not take lightly.’”

Image(Dan Domme)

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