Dem bill would expand school lunch program to weekends, holidays

Her bill, H.R. 1395, is co-sponsored by Reps. Marcia FudgeMarcia FudgeDems nominate Kaine for VP Sanders gives blessing as Dems nominate Clinton Sanders formally nominated for president MORE (D-Ohio), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), and Terri SewellTerri SewellIn Italy, Pelosi plays up NATO ties Southern lawmakers fight to keep USDA catfish inspections 'Will on the Hill' pokes fun at 2016 election MORE (D-Ala.).

The bill is the latest entry to the list of legislation meant to tweak the national school lunch program. Sen. Tom HarkinTom HarkinGrassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream Do candidates care about our health or just how much it costs? MORE (D-Iowa), for example, has proposed the Healthy Lifestyles and Prevention America Act, S. 39, which would broaden the federal nutrition program, including by expanding it to childcare centers.

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Other proposals have been made by members looking to limit school lunch guidance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Last year, the USDA proposed calorie caps on school lunches, along with caps on grains and proteins that children can eat in meals served by schools.

The agency has since waived the cap on grains and proteins for two years. But last week, Rep. Rick CrawfordRick CrawfordWhy a bill about catfish will show whether Ryan's serious about regulatory reform Convention calendar: Parties and events Southern lawmakers fight to keep USDA catfish inspections MORE (R-Ark.) proposed the Sensible School Lunch Act, which would permanently eliminate those caps.

Crawford's bill, H.R. 1244, keeps in place the calorie caps that the USDA recommended. But Crawford says that repealing the grains and protein caps would give schools the flexibility to feed children properly.

"USDA's new school nutrition regulations are not working and are leaving students hungry," Crawford said last week. "In October, I hosted a Nutrition Summit in my district where I listened to school administrators, parents, nutritionists and teachers tell me how the nutrition guidelines are affecting their students."

Sens. John HoevenJohn HoevenMajority of GOP senators to attend Trump convention Death threats against senators remained on Twitter for 2 weeks Senate panel approves funding boost for TSA MORE (R-N.D.) and Mark PryorMark PryorCotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Top Democrats are no advocates for DC statehood MORE (D-Ark.) have proposed the Sensible School Lunch Act in the Senate.

Also last week, Reps. Fudge and Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) and proposed the bipartisan School Nutrition Flexibility Act, which also removes the protein and grain limit in school meals.

That bill, H.R. 1303, also lets local school authorities set prices for school meals. That would counteract the USDA's rule that set school lunch prices for the first time since 1946.

Last year, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) proposed the No Hungry Kids Act, which would repeal the department's calorie caps on meals served by schools.

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