Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) this week said they wanted lawmakers to approve a bill reauthorizing child nutrition programs before the August recess.
U.S. Food Policy's coverage this Spring noted that the Lincoln bill is less ambitious than legislation the White House had proposed earlier. For example, the Senate bill includes just six cents per meal increase in the federal reimbursement to local programs for providing a school lunch. Yet, even this weaker and politically more palatable child nutrition reauthorization failed to make the list of three bills highlighted as priorities by leading Democratic legislators, which probably made advocates wonder if any child nutrition legislation would pass at all.
Legislation to reauthorize child nutrition programs for five more years has passed out of committee in both the House (.pdf) and Senate (.pdf). The Food Research and Action Center is encouraging support for the House bill. Margo Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest wrote that the House bill "hopefully give a nudge to the Senate to pass its child nutrition bill." The next few days will show if this hoped-for nudge actually comes to pass.