First lady Michelle Obama's drive to stop a Republican-led effort to slow adoption of nutrition standards for school meals, a centerpiece of her anti-obesity "Let's Move" campaign, was dealt a setback in Congress.
Democrats aligned with Mrs. Obama on the issue failed on Thursday to strip the proposal from a $142.5 billion Agriculture Department spending bill, which was approved by the Appropriations Committee and sent to the full House for consideration.
The controversial plan offered by Rep. Robert Aderholt of Alabama would give schools struggling financially an extra year to comply with rules approved by Congress in 2010 to limit fat and salt and promote fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
"I want to be clear that everybody supports healthy lunches and meals for children, but the bottom line is the schools are finding the regulations to be too much too quick," Aderholt said during consideration of the measure by the appropriations panel. "School districts need more time to implement the changes."
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