Veto threatened in school lunch fight

The White House on Tuesday threatened to veto the House’s 2015 Agriculture spending bill in part because it relaxes school lunch nutrition requirements pushed by first lady Michelle Obama.

The Obama budget office also also took issue with $62 million less in the bill for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which is charged with enforcing the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul.

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“The bill undermines key investments in financial oversight, injects political decision-making into science-based nutrition standards, and includes objectionable language riders. If the President were presented with H.R. 4800, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill,” the White House said.

The spending bill hits the House floor on Wednesday.

A rider in House bill would require the Department of Argiculture (USDA) to issue a waiver for tougher school nutrition standards for schools that show they are operating at a loss over a six-month period.

The change is supported by the School Nutrition Association but opposed by health advocates and the military, which argues the nation’s youth is becoming too obese to serve.

“This would be a major step backwards for the health of American children by undermining the effort to provide kids with more nutritious food. More generally, the Administration strongly opposes the inclusion of any language in the bill that would override science-based standards that improve child nutrition,” the White House said of the rider.

It also opposes language to force the USDA to allow purchases of white potatoes under the special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.