Congressman John Kline, whose political coffers enjoy $75,000 in sweetener from cereal heavyweight General Mills, thinks the diets of America's school children need more fat, salt, and sugar.
The seven-term GOP congressman from the southern suburbs is leading the charge to gut nutritional rules aimed at providing healthier meals during the school day.
With the 114th Congress opening up for business, Kline is aligning himself with other GOP firebrands. Placed in their collective crosshairs are the laws governing school nutrition programs.
For years GOP lawmakers have resented reforms championed by First Lady Michelle Obama. Among them has been the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, a bipartisan law that included limiting the amounts of sodium, fat, and sugar in school lunches. It also mandated whole grains and the serving of fruits and vegetables.
But the GOP's congressional rank-and-file see it as another example of liberal overreach. And since healthier food tends to be more expensive than junk food, Kline believes kids should take a backseat to the bottom line.
It also doesn't hurt that the some of the biggest sugar daddies on Capitol Hill -- i.e. General Mills, maker of nutritional goodness like Lucky Charms and Count Chocula -- don't like being iced out of the school market. So they've been lathering Congress with the most sustentative fruit of all -- cash -- to convince members that healthy kids aren't really that important after all.
So we ask you, Dear Congressman: How does America feed its school kids healthier meals in a fiscally responsible way?
We're still waiting for a response, since Kline spokesman Troy Young didn't return phone calls seeking comment.
Send news tips to Cory Zurowski.