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Child Nutrition Bill Approved

Child Nutrition Bill Approved - Congress gave final approval on Thursday to a 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.

Michelle Obama lobbied for the bill as a way to combat obesity and hunger. About half of the $4.5 billion cost is financed by a cut in food stamps starting in several years.

Mrs. Obama said she was thrilled by passage of what she described as a groundbreaking piece of legislation.

By a vote of 264 to 157, the House on Thursday passed the bill, which was approved in the Senate by unanimous consent in August. It goes now to President Obama, who intends to sign it.

On the final roll call, 247 Democrats and 17 Republicans voted for the bill. Four Democrats and 153 Republicans voted no.

Some liberal House Democrats and advocates for the poor railed against the bill in September, saying it was wrong to pay for the expansion of child nutrition programs by cutting money for food stamps, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Democrats put aside their disagreements on Thursday, after concluding that it was better to take what they could get than to gamble on their chances in the next Congress when Republicans will control the House. Mr. Obama tamped down concern by telling Democrats he would work with them to find other ways to pay for the bill, before the cuts in food stamps take effect.

Child Nutrition Bill Approved

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