By a vote of 229 to 12, the House has passed the Senate's budget-driven Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. If signed into law, the bill will add 6 cents to the federal reimbursement for school meals, the first such increase since 1973. But it does cut the SNAP Food Stamps program to help pay for the bill. The $4.5 billion bill isn't what the House wanted. The House passed its own child nutrition bill that would add $8 billion over 10 years.
Representative George Miller, D-Calif., chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, wants to send it to the President so it can be signed into law this year. Waiting until next year would mean starting the legislative process over again with the new Congress.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., pointed out that each time we don't get this bill passed, each time we have to simply reauthorize it at the last year's level, we miss the opportunity in a child's life to make a difference. Lincoln said, "If we miss the opportunity to improve these programs, it will be our children who pay the price for our inaction."