The Calendar, The Supreme Court and Child Nutrition

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Supreme Court nominations have the potential to echo through history. It is the President’s opportunity to impact the tenor of the court long after his term has ended. It is Congress’ duty to provide its advice and consent. On Monday Senator Brown will introduce nominee Elena Kagan to the Judiciary Committee. Whatever you think of her law philosophy, she is a well qualified nominee. The problem is one of time. Most would like to have a nomination by the next session of the Court in August, which will cause the hearings to compete with other measures and scheduled recess.

Many of my colleagues have written this week and in the past about how crowded the legislative calendar is. With important elections looming this is bound to be a busy time for Congress, but what is striking is the amount of vitally important work that remains.

A short list of major items that the Congress has yet to resolve includes: Financial Services Reform, Energy Legislation, Tax Extenders, Immigration, the Budget, the War Supplemental. While these bills remain on table the Congress must take up the aforementioned Supreme Court nomination and confirm a new combatant commander for Afghanistan who fortunately seems set to move quickly. This last issue is essential with real-time implications and must be addressed quickly, meaning that something else may not get the attention it requires.

Each of these bills is designed to improve the policy of this country. However in the quest to solve our immediate problems it is important to remember that there are other proposed pieces of legislation whose provisions can touch future generations of Americans. The Child Nutrition Bill Reauthorization may not garner the same attention as Energy and Climate legislation, however it is an incredibly important aspect of the American project. The Child Nutrition Bill aims to promote healthy eating for America’s children. An expanded education program on nutrition, new guidelines for the nutritional quality of school meals, and improvements in physical education programs are just a few aspects of this important piece of legislation. A press release from Senator Wyden’s office highlights just what is at stake:

“The CDC also estimates that obesity costs America nearly $150 billion each year in health care costs. Cardiovascular disease alone, now found in children as young as 8 years old, costs America $500 billion each year.”

This is a changing world and we need the laws of this country to reflect today’s realities. Families and businesses will find it difficult to plan for what lies ahead, be it school lunches or tax policy, without a road map. The Congress must find a way to make the compromises necessary to address worthy measures, move legislation and provide this country with a sure footing going forward.

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  • Brent Maxwell (2010-09-07 12:07:19)
    this is a fancyt test commment
  • Brent Maxwell (2010-09-07 12:15:20)
    testing replies
  • Brent Maxwell (2010-09-07 12:21:27)
    How about another first level comment?
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