The major snag was over how to fund healthier school meals and related programs. The deal called for cuts in future food stamp benefits, which alarmed members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Rouse met with CBC members at a White House session to listen to their concerns, and President Obama dropped in for a quick visit. In the end, the White House pledged at some future time to deal with the food stamp issue.
In a Dec. 1 statement, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said the CBC would back the bill because "with poverty and childhood obesity on the rise, this legislation achieves the twin goals of expanding the pool of needy children who are eligible for school nutrition programs while establishing healthier meal guidelines for American schools."
She added, however, "It is unfortunate that in order to pass The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act it comes at the expense of future Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program funding. As more Americans slip into poverty and unemployment remains at painfully high levels, we should not have to choose between feeding poor children or their parents at a time that some in Congress argue for a $700 billion tax cut for the wealthiest Americans.