Child Nutrition Bill Passes House, Goes to Obama

Democrats sidestep GOP's blocking tactic
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2010 5:12 PM CST
First lady Michelle Obama talks to students at Riverside Elementary School in Miami, Monday, Nov. 22, 2010.   (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
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(Newser) – Congressional Democrats sidestepped a Republican block and passed a childhood nutrition bill today, the AP reports. The $4.5 billion bill will increase the number of free lunches and dinners provided by schools, and impose nutritional requirements on the food provided in cafeterias and sold in vending machines. Michelle Obama, who championed the legislation, said she was "thrilled" that the bill, already approved by the Senate, will now go to the president to be signed.

House Republicans had attempted to amend the bill to include a language that would require background checks for child care workers. While an uncontroversial addition, Democrats say the real aim was to kill the bill. Amending it would've required sending it to be passed by the Senate again, which means it would return to the House docket after the new Congress takes over—when passage by a Republican majority would be far from certain. The Democrats overcame the tactic by passing the background check portion in a separate bill today.

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