As Senate Agriculture Committee members were unable to reach a bipartisan agreement on childhood nutrition to include in an omnibus bill, both made a commitment to move it across the finish line early in 2016.
The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a business meeting in January 2016 to markup bipartisan legislation reauthorizing child nutrition programs.
“Child nutrition reauthorization will be the Committee’s first priority in the New Year,” said Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Pat Roberts (R., Kan.). “We have combed through these programs to increase efficiency, effectiveness, flexibility and integrity. We owe it to American schoolchildren to be thorough in our work reauthorizing these important programs, and we have done just that. I’m proud to say this will be a bipartisan bill – a bill many folks said we couldn’t get done. I look forward to working with Ranking Member Stabenow to carry this across the finish line.”
“Senator Roberts and I continue to work together with colleagues and stakeholders on a child nutrition agreement that prioritizes the needs of children, while building on the successes made over the past five years,” said ranking member Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.) “I am committed to moving forward as soon as possible next year.”
The Agriculture Committee has held three hearings and convened a series of bipartisan roundtables with industry leaders, school nutrition professions and anti-hunger advocates leading up to reauthorization. The most recent hearing was in May, where members heard directly from school nutrition professionals and other stakeholders.