GOP bill would delay calorie rule for menus

GOP bill would delay calorie rule for menus
© Getty Images

House Republicans unveiled a spending bill Wednesday that would delay the implementation of a new menu labeling regulation by one year.

The rule, announced last November, is scheduled to take effect Dec. 1, but lawmakers from both parties have been urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to push the deadline back. The regulation stems from a provision of ObamaCare.

ADVERTISEMENT
Under the House measure, the regulation wouldn’t take effect until Dec. 1, 2016.

GOP appropriators included the policy provision in a $20.7 billion bill funding agriculture programs for fiscal 2016, which begins Oct. 1.

The rider is intended “to give restaurants, local supermarkets, grocery stores, and similar retail establishments adequate time to comply with the law,” a summary of the bill said.

Under the rule, any food establishments with more than 20 locations would be required to list the number of calories in the prepared food they sell.

The leaders of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderOn The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Supreme Court allows states to collect sales taxes from online retailers | Judge finds consumer bureau structure unconstitutional | Banks clear Fed stress tests Supreme Court rules states can require online sellers to collect sales tax 13 GOP senators ask administration to pause separation of immigrant families MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges —Dems, health groups demand immigrant children be quickly reunited with families White House releases sweeping proposal to reorganize government Democrats protest Trump's immigration policy from Senate floor MORE (D-Wash.), have been leading the effort to delay the implementation of the rule.

Thirty-two senators have asked the acting FDA commissioner to delay it.

In April, Reps. Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersThe Hill's 12:30 Report Will guns be an issue in midterms? You can bet on it in these districts Time to set politics aside to move ahead on criminal justice reform MORE (R-Wash.) and Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) introduced legislation that would scale back the menu labeling requirements.

Overall, the House spending bill includes $175 million less than current levels and $1.1 billion less than President Obama’s request.

The bill funds agricultural research to help farmers prevent the spread of diseases to their crops, animal and plant health programs and conservation programs.

FDA receives funding in the bill, as does the Food Safety and Inspection Service that examines products in the meat, egg and poultry industries.

Housing loans and rental assistance would be provided under the bill to low-income families living in rural areas.

The bill contains mandatory funding, which is not appropriated by Congress, for nutrition and food programs.

Child nutrition programs, for example, would get $207 million above the 2015 level while the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) would receive $184 million less than 2015 and $2 billion less than Obama’s request.