House to vote on childhood nutrition bill Wednesday

“We believe [the food-stamp cuts] goes against what we are trying to achieve here,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) in a conference call with reporters.

“Nonetheless, this legislation moves us forward,” said DeLauro, who chairs the Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee.

The Senate bill, championed by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), expands eligibility for school meals programs, establishes nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools and provides a 6-cent increase for each school lunch to help cafeterias serve healthier meals.

Until recently, the House had been considering its own $8 billion version of the bill that did not include cuts to food-stamp funding. However, with the House facing a heavy workload in the lame-duck session, more than 1,100 groups signed a letter earlier this month urging House members to pass the Senate bill.

The groups said the reauthorization is a key tool in fighting childhood obesity, which has been one of first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaObama on social media: You’ve got to ‘think before you tweet’ MSNBC trolls Trump with video montage of Obama saying ‘Merry Christmas’ Overnight Regulation: USDA delays healthy school lunch requirements | Senate panel advances controversial environmental pick | Drone industry pushes to ease rules | Dem commish joins energy regulator MORE’s major initiatives.

Earlier this month, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs had identified the childhood nutrition reauthorization as one of Democrats' top lame-duck priorities. Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.) said he hopes the White House will work with Congress to restore food-stamp funding.

“The opportunity we have tomorrow to pass the bill is incredible,” McGovern said. “It’s an incredible bill. We need to get it done.”