House panel votes to allow school districts to temporarily opt out of dietary rules

According to Rep. Robert Aderholt, waivers are necessary to give schools time to implement changes.

WASHINGTON—Despite White House pressure, the House Appropriations Committee voted Thursday to allow school districts to temporarily  opt out of school dietary requirements championed by first lady Michelle Obama.

The party-line vote was hailed by an organization of school nutritionists and Republicans, but criticized by Democrats and health advocacy groups.

After more than 90 minutes of sharply partisan debate, the spending panel voted 29 to 22 to reject an amendment from Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) to kill the  GOP language, which would allow the  Department of Agriculture to grant waivers to any school district that could show that their lunch programs operated at a net loss over six months.