GOP slows first lady's school lunch rules - CBS46 News

GOP slows first lady's school lunch rules

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Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-FL, said the school lunch rules will help America fight obesity. (Source: CBS) Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-FL, said the school lunch rules will help America fight obesity. (Source: CBS)

WASHINGTON, DC (CBS) - A U.S. House Appropriations Committee approved language on Thursday giving schools flexibility to opt out of school lunch rules backed by first lady Michelle Obama.

The first lady defended the standards at a White House event earlier this week and called attempts to grant the waivers "unacceptable." The vote was 22-29 rejecting House Democrats' attempt to defeat the GOP amendment.

The amendment allows schools to request a temporary waiver to nutrition standards if they can show they are operating at a net financial loss over six months. "I do think Mrs. Obama is well-intentioned," said Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-AL, but he said the nutrition standards were having a negative fiscal impact on school districts.

Democrats defended the proposal, saying it will save the healthcare system money in the future.

"The benefits down the road to having a less obese country, and making sure we raise a generation of children who naturally grab a vegetable instead of a Snickers or a cookie is going to end up resulting in benefits that are tangible and intangible and dramatically reduce our healthcare costs and save lives," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-FL.

Aderholt said the GOP measure did not change the standards. "I don't mean to be disrespectful to her (Michelle Obama) program, I just think what is happening in this, I'm not sure she realizes the full impact in greater America."

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