Week ahead: House looks to roll back ObamaCare calorie rules

The House is expected to vote in the coming week on legislation to roll back some menu labeling requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

The Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act, introduced by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), would exempt most grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations and movie theaters from having to provide calorie counts for prepared food items.

In an effort to combat obesity and help consumers make healthier food choices, ObamaCare required the Food and Drug Administration to issue a rule forcing vending machines, restaurants and other establishments that sell prepared foods to list the calories in food items.

{mosads}The House bill would only apply the nutrition rule to establishments that derive more than 50 percent of their total revenue from the sale of food.

McMorris Rodgers claims it will be impossible for certain food vendors to comply with the FDA’s new rules.

“These recently finalized menu labeling regulations are more than 400 pages long and, according to estimates, could cost American businesses more than $1 billion to comply and 500,000 hours of paperwork,” she said in November after the legislation passed the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) says the House is ready to take action. He said in February on the House floor that the bill addresses harmful menu labeling regulations that will burden every grocery store, convenience store and pizza restaurant in the country.

Washington is in for a busy week, with President Obama slated to unveil his final budget proposal.

On Capitol Hill, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday to discuss midnight regulations and examine executive branch overreach.

Republicans are worried about a slew of last-minute regulations from the Obama administration before the president leaves office.

But the White House is also warning agencies to wrap up new rules quickly. In a memo from December, obtained by The Hill, the head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs pushed agencies to finish their big regulatory items by deadline.

On Tuesday, a Senate Environment and Public Works subcommittee will hold a hearing on “federal interactions with state management of fish and wildlife.”

On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will meet to examine mental health and the justice system.

That same day across the Capitol, the House Agriculture committee holds a hearing on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s agenda for the coming year.

On Thursday, that Committee will look at the Environmental Protection Agency’s effect on the rural economy.



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–Cristina Marcos contributed to this report.

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