Contact: Press Office (202) 226-9440
Kline Statement on Child Nutrition Vote

Rep. John Kline (R-MN), the top Republican on the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee, issued the following statement today after Democrats pulled child nutrition legislation from the House floor to avoid a vote on a Republican proposal to require criminal background checks for child care providers and block a stealth tax on working families:

“Members of the U.S. House of Representatives – Republicans and Democrats alike – have been completely shut out of the legislative process of extending and improving child nutrition programs. This legislation, which dramatically increases federal spending and food mandates, has not received a single House committee hearing or vote. And today, it was brought to the House floor without any opportunity for members to offer and debate amendments.

“I offered a modest and entirely non-controversial amendment to improve the bill by protecting children and communities. Rather than allowing members to vote, Democrats pulled the bill from consideration and hatched a plan to find political cover while preventing these commonsense protections from ever becoming law.

“My amendment to this legislation protects parents by giving them assurances that any child care providers participating in these federally funded meal programs have passed a background check and do not have a history of child abuse, violence, or other criminal activities. In addition, it removes a dangerous federal price mandate that would increase the cost of school lunches for working families and undermine school district efforts to hold down costs.

“The only way to ensure these commonsense improvements become law is to approve them as a part of this child nutrition legislation. The Democrats’ plan to hold a separate vote on these proposals, only to leave them out of the child nutrition legislation, is nothing more than a cynical ploy to prevent members of Congress from legislating.”

NOTE: The text of Rep. Kline’s amendment is available online here.

# # #