Congress Passes Deficit-Reducing Child Nutrition Bill, But Only After 157 GOPers Voted Against It

Congress has passed a groundbreaking child nutrition bill that "expands the school lunch program and sets new standards to improve the quality of school meals, with more fruits and vegetables," according to the New York Times.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is not a perfect piece of legislation by any means, as it funds the expansion of child nutrition programs by cutting food stamp funding for needy Americans. But that's not why the GOP was against it. Republicans, including Reps. Paul Broun of Georgia and John Kline of Minnesota, rallied 157 votes against the bill based on the complete lie that it represents massive "deficit spending" and "government expansion." In fact, the bill is paid for. Reports Think Progress:

Because of the Congressional pay-as-you-go rules that prohibit deficit spending on non-emergency measures, Democrats reluctantly raided much-needed food stamp funds — again — to pay for the Hunger-Free Act. Kline and Broun’s outrage at such a strategy is curious, considering Republicans have pushed the same exact strategy in the past.

Not only is their “deficit spending” cry hypocritical, it is also a downright lie. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the offsets in the Senate bill will actually generate “total savings that effectively meet or exceed costs” while simultaneously providing meals to hungry children. Essentially, 157 Republicans voted to block the holy grail of legislation. The House did, however, pass the bill today and it will now go to the President for signature.

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at December 3, 2010, 3:45am