House GOP Picks up Some Democratic Friends for Attacks on School Nutrition, Clean Tech

Jonathan Cohn
3 min readDec 15, 2023

The House GOP could be using December in productive ways to help the American public. But that is not who they are or ever will be, so instead, the focus has been grandstanding and efforts to gut public health and environmental regulations.

Last week, the House voted 221 to 197 to prevent the EPA from finalizing, implementing, or enforcing a proposed rule on emissions standards for cars and trucks. Released in the spring, these proposed regulations would make air more breathable, mitigate climate change, and save consumers money in gas.

Despite the fact that the proposed regulations are in line (or not even as strong as) Ford and GM’s own pledges, the auto manufacturer lobby has been advocating furiously against them. And when big business talks, House Republicans listen.

Five Democrats joined the House GOP: Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Don Davis (NC-01), Vicente Gonzalez (TX-34), Jared Golden (ME-02), and Mary Peltola (AK-AL).

On Tuesday, the House voted 218 to 213 for a bill to require notice-and-
comment rulemaking be initiated by a “senior appointee” and be issued and signed by a Senate-confirmed Presidential appointee — a move designed to slow the rulemaking process down. Republicans want regulations to protect public health, clean air, clean water, and consumer safety to be harder to initiate shepherd to completion, and the harder they get, the easier it is for administrations to not even try.

Three Democrats joined the House GOP: Jared Golden (ME-02), Jared Moskowitz (FL-23), and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA-03).

And yesterday, the House voted 330 to 99 to undermine school nutrition standards.

The bill in question, a result of right-wing culture wars and dairy industry lobbying, would take a U-turn from recent progress on school nutrition to allow school meals to offer whole and reduced-fat flavored and unflavored milk and exempt them from current saturated fat limits in school meals (a slippery slope).

The National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity (NANA) — which includes public health groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Heart Association, and the American Public Health Association as well as environmental groups like Center for Biological Diversity and
Friends of the Earth — strongly opposed the bill. In a letter to the committee leadership, NANA described the bill as “a departure
from the long-standing tradition of establishing food and nutrition standards for federal child nutrition programs based upon the findings of independent reviewers and the scientific community.”

Democrats split close to evenly with 112 in favor and 98 opposed.

Here are the 98 who (rightfully) opposed it:



Jonathan Cohn

Editor. Bibliophile. Gadfly. Environmentalist. Super-volunteer for progressive campaigns. Boston by way of Baltimore, London, NYC, DC, and Philly.