Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) lost her re-election bid to Rep. John Boozman on Tuesday.
Regular readers know that this blog has blasted Sen. Lincoln (above) for working diligently to reduce the potential increase for school lunches to 6¢ per lunch.
Now the bill never did get passed before the election, and has little chance unless the bill is passed in the lame duck session, and the House approves the Senate version, as is. For those who don't remember, the Senate version only has the 6¢ increase, the first non-inflation related increase in 36 years, and pays for that by taking food stamps money.
We are not naive to think Sen. Lincoln lost her race because of her actions on this specific issue. Lincoln may have received praise for what she did, but those people didn't likely vote for her on Tuesday. She didn't get praise from those trying to give kids a better shot at learning with healthier school lunches, but most of those people didn't get a chance to vote for or against her.
And if this bill can get passed, however distressing it might be to some, it will look better than any bill that will come in at least the next two years. This is still a big "if."
Tom Harkin (D-IA) was 2nd in command for the Democratic Party on the committee, and would seemingly be in the position to take over. Harkin (in the photo above) was in charge of the committee from 2001-2003 and 2007-2009. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) is the ranking minority member on the committee.
Within that committee, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Hunger, Nutrition and Family Farms.
Improving the school lunch program has a long way to go. Sen. Lincoln didn't help things, but her loss, combined with others who went down to defeat, made the effort have to work that much harder to find success.
AP photo credit
Previous stories on this topic in 2010:
Senate unanimously passes Child Nutrition Bill; battle still not over yet (August 9)
House Committee passes stronger school lunch reform; must get Senate version to be as strong (July 19)
Finding a solution to fund school lunches to cover the whole political spectrum (March 30)