H.R. 6469: H.R. 6469—to Amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act

H.R. 6469

H.R. 6469—to Amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act

Sponsor
Rep. George Miller

Date
December 2, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

H.R. 6469 is expected to be considered on the House floor on Thursday, December 2, 2010, under a suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote to pass.  Rep. Miller (D-CA) introduced H.R. 6469 on December 1, 2010.      

Bill Summary

H.R. 6469 would make any child care institution ineligible for funds if the institution employs a child care staff member who refuses a criminal background check that includes a search of state criminal registry or repository, a search of child abuse and neglect registries, a search of the National Crime Information Center, a Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint check, and a search of the National Sex Offender registry. 

 

Additionally, H.R. 6469 would make any child care institution ineligible for funds if the institution employs a child care staff member who makes a false statement on a criminal background check or is registered or is required to be registered on a state sex offender registry or has been convicted of felony homicide, child abuse or neglect, crimes against children (including pornography), spousal abuse, rape or sexual assault, kidnapping, arson, or physical assault, battery, or a drug-related offense. 

Background

On December 1, 2010, Democrats removed S. 3307, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, from consideration on the House floor after the Republican Motion to Recommit was offered.  

 

It is important to note that the Child Nutrition legislation keeps the language that would increase the cost of school meals to paying families. As the National Governors’ Association stated, “This bill would establish a federal mandate for every paid meal for every school in the country for the first time ever.…a provision that would also act as a disincentive for districts to hold down meal costs, price out some low-income families from paid school meals, and punish school districts that in good faith have worked to increase quality…while…holding down meal prices.”

 

Member Concerns

 

Some members may be concerned that despite the nation’s current $20 billion annual investment in child nutrition assistance and record debt, S. 3307 would spend an additional $4.65 billion to create or expand 17 programs including an “organic” food pilot.  The Democrats’ proposal would use borrowed money from the student supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) program in the stimulus to “pay for” the Senate bill, even as they try to find a way to restore these SNAP cuts down the road.

 

Some members may be concerned that the bill would authorize the federal government to dictate what types of “nutritional” food will be served in schools.  Such an expansion of government could mean that the government would determine what foods are sold at concession stands and fundraisers.  Overreach by the federal government takes decision making away from states, local school districts, and families.  

 

Some members may be concerned that according to the American Association of School Administrators, Council of the Great City Schools, and the National School Boards Association, “U.S. Department of Agriculture studies document that school districts’ cost of providing free lunches exceeds the federal reimbursement by over thirty cents per meal, or an annual cost of $54,000 for school districts serving 1,000 students daily – the equivalent cost of retaining a teacher.”   The new requirements in the child nutrition bill would increase school district costs and drain school budgets even further. 

Cost

CBO estimates S. 3307 will cost $4.65 billion over ten years.  S. 3307 would use borrowed money from the student Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program in the stimulus to “pay for” the Senate bill.    As for press time, H.R. 6469 did not have a cost estimate.