Election results mean school lunch bill will have to get passed in lame duck session

November 4, 2010 at 10:22 am

As difficult as it was to get the school lunch bill passed in Congress, the results of Tuesday’s elections means no chance — at least for two years — of getting even a tiny 6¢ increase once January comes around.

The last and only chance is with the lame duck session of Congress. Though there are a number of bills that need to be passed under similar circumstances.

There are many — understandably — who hated the bill that the Senate passed. There was only a 6¢ increase, the first non-inflationary raise in over three decades. And the money was to come from food stamps programs.

But this is the only shot. You can yell at the messenger, but Tuesday’s results present a new reality.

The House-led GOP won’t introduce a bill that would even come close. They don’t believe the federal government should be in the education business. And they sure won’t increase funding, even for something as important as school lunches.

Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), who worked very hard to reduce the increase to 6¢, and part of why a bill didn’t get passed, will be out of a job in 2011. Lincoln lost her re-election bid, not that her stand on the school lunch program was the reason.

We will wait to see who will take over as the chairman for the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry in 2011. However, since legislation comes from the House, that person won’t be able to do as much as he or she wants to do.

Here is some more coverage of this issue, thanks to my blog at BalanceofFood.com.

Blanche Lincoln, who worked hard to cut school lunch increase, lost her Senate race

Election Day: vote for the future of food and nutrition legislation

Vote your food supply along with your pocketbook