Millions of kids from low-income families rely on the public-school lunch program for at least one full meal per day. And yet the Biden Administration is weaponizing that program in order to push its radical transgender policy. This week, 47 Senators voted against this with Sen. Roger Marshall’s (R-Kansas) School Lunch Congressional Review Act (CRA).
In May 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it was expanding the definition of discrimination based on “sex” found in Title IX to include “discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.” The Department cited the Supreme Court’s 2020 decision in Bostock v. Clayton, which found that discrimination based on “sex” in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 included sexual orientation and gender identity as justification for the policy change to Title IX.
Notice the deceptive and illegal switch from the Title VII context to Title IX, something the Supreme Court specifically avoided. But the Biden Administration seeks to manipulate the Bostock decision to push their personal agenda.
Under this new policy, any school receiving funding for its lunch program would have to comply with the new regulation. After announcing the new policy, the USDA directed administrators that any entity receiving funds from the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) program must investigate allegations of discrimination based on “gender identity or sexual orientation” and “update their non-discrimination policies and signage to include prohibitions against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.”
In order to comply with the new policy, schools would have to capitulate to the transgender agenda by allowing boys to use girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms (and vice versa) and compete against girls in sports. The FNS provides low-cost and free lunches through its National School Lunch Program to nearly 29.6 million children across the country, so if schools don’t comply, millions of schoolchildren will be affected.
In other words, the Biden Administration is threatening to allow millions of kids to go hungry if schools don’t actively push the fallacy that boys and girls are interchangeable.
In response, Sen. Marshall, along with 18 other colleagues, introduced S. J. Res 42, the School Lunch CRA. Executive branch regulations are supposed to go through proper rulemaking procedures, such as notice and comment. When they don’t, Congress is able to weigh in via the CRA in order to block a policy from being implemented. It’s a tool that Congress can use to hold the White House accountable when it abuses or ignores the regulatory process, which in the case of the USDA’s new rule, it did.
Shamefully, the bill ultimately failed by a vote of 47-50. Almost all 47 votes in support of protecting children came from Republicans, with the addition of West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin. Two Republicans – Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine) – joined the Democrats in voting in opposition to the bill.
Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) scored the vote and it will be included in our annual scorecard. We applaud the Senators who strived to protect children with this effort. Even in a temporary defeat, they made a clear statement that serving kids school lunches should not be contingent on force-feeding them radical gender ideology. As you know, this radical transgender ideology is one that will require a multi-level, long-term effort from conservatives. CWALAC is committed to it, so you can count on us leading the fight for the Biblical truth of men and women created in the image of God.