Roberts, Stabenow agree to push child nutrition reauthorization
A day before they will hold a hearing on reauthorization of the child nutrition programs, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and ranking member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said today they want to reauthorize the programs in this Congress.
The programs were last authorized under the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, which expired in 2015. The programs have continued under appropriations, with some changes to school meals under Agriculture Department regulations.
The Senate Agriculture Committee approved a bipartisan bill in the last Congress, but the House Republicans wanted changes to the school meal program that would not pass the Senate, and the reauthorization effort was not completed.
When they met with members of the North American Agricultural Journalists today, Roberts and Stabenow both said they want to pass a reauthorization bill.
Stabenow repeated previous statements that she wants to “move forward, not backward,” and noted how important summer feeding programs have become. Roberts said they would start with the bill they developed in the last Congress “and try to improve it.”
“I think we can get it done,” Roberts said. “That will be a good test of how to work with the House.”
Child nutrition legislation in the House is under the jurisdiction of the House Education and Labor Committee.