Under pressure from lawmakers, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) has changed its school lunch requirements to allow more meats and grains.
In a statement Saturday, Senator John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenThe 19 GOP senators who voted for the T infrastructure bill The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators MORE’s (R-N.D.) office said USDA informed him in a letter on Friday that it lifted its limitations on intake of grains, starches and protein.
“I’m grateful to [Agriculture] Secretary [Tom] Vilsack for recognizing that the rules need to allow for individual differences among children and the prerogatives of local school districts, and resources available to them,” Hoeven said in a statement.
Nevertheless, USDA’s modifications to the requirements are temporary and only apply to this current school year. Hoeven said he wants the changes to be made permanent.
“While we welcome this news from USDA, we believe the new flexibility should be permanent, rather than for just the 2012-2013 school year, and we will continue to press that case,” Hoeven said.
Hoeven said the response came from a letter that he and Sen. Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorBottom line Everybody wants Joe Manchin Cotton glides to reelection in Arkansas MORE (D-Ark.) sent to USDA last month. Other senators who signed on to the letter include James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Pentagon officials prepare for grilling Republican lawmakers warn against more military coordination with Russia Top Republican: General told senators he opposed Afghanistan withdrawal MORE (R-Okla.), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziCheney on same-sex marriage opposition: 'I was wrong' What Republicans should demand in exchange for raising the debt ceiling Senate votes to end debate on T infrastructure bill MORE (R-Wyo.), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterThree dead, dozens injured after Amtrak train derailed in Montana The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Biden jumps into frenzied Dem spending talks Congress facing shutdown, debt crisis with no plan B MORE (D-Mont.), John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSchumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Congress facing shutdown, debt crisis with no plan B GOP warns McConnell won't blink on debt cliff MORE (R-S.D.), John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoOvernight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Manchin, Barrasso announce bill to revegetate forests after devastating fires Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs MORE (R-Wyo.), Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranBiden sidesteps GOP on judicial vacancies, for now It's time for Congress to act before slow mail turns into no mail Kaine says he has votes to pass Iraq War repeal in Senate MORE (R-Kans.), Dan Coates (R-Ind.) and Tim JohnsonTimothy (Tim) Peter JohnsonCornell to launch new bipartisan publication led by former Rep. Steve Israel Trump faces tough path to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac overhaul Several hurt when truck runs into minimum wage protesters in Michigan MORE (D-S.D.).
Others praised the move by USDA. In a statement Friday, Tester said this will give schools more flexibility.
“Schools need flexibility to make sure kids get the nutrition they need to focus on their studies. I appreciate USDA's willingness to listen to Montana parents, teachers, and administrators and look forward to working with USDA to adjust these new guidelines so they work for all of our kids,” Tester said.
This isn’t the first time Capitol Hill has bristled at the USDA school lunch requirements. Last year, Congress blocked several of the department’s requirements, including limiting potatoes and not classifying tomato paste on a pizza as a vegetable.