The Senate’s $4.5 billion child nutrition bill, a recent milestone in Michelle Obama’s campaign to end childhood obesity, faces opposition from some Democrats in the House because it would take funds set aside for the food stamp program.
In a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, written by Representatives James McGovern of Massachusetts and Keith Ellison of Minnesota, 106 Democrats ask that their version of the child nutrition bill be taken up for consideration instead of the Senate’s, as theirs does not slash food stamp funding.
Food stamp funds took a hit last week to help pay for a $26 billion state aid package to bolster Medicaid and education funding.
“[W]e are now forced to choose between jobs and health care or food for hungry people,” said the letter, signed by all 10 members of the Massachusetts delegation. “This is one of the more egregious cases of robbing Peter to pay Paul, and is a vote we do not take lightly.”
The Food Research and Action Center, an anti-hunger nonprofit in Washington, has condemned the legislation as a “raid” on food stamp benefits and called on the House to reject further food stamp cuts to cover costs for other programs. “It’s a child nutrition bill that will make children hungrier,” said FRAC in a statement.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.