Bishop Speaks on Utah Schools Being Fined by Feds for Vending Machines, Soda, and Snacks


Congressman Rob Bishop (UT-01) delivered remarks on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to bring greater awareness to onerous federal fines levied against schools, including two so far in Utah, which may have unknowingly been in conflict with federal nutrition rules.В  Schools in Box Elder and Davis Counties were fined $19,000 and $16,000 respectively.

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Excerpts of Bishop’s remarks:

“Despite advice to the contrary, our Constitution establishes a government with two sovereigns: the nation and the individual states. They worried about that in Philadelphia. In fact, James Wilson wondered if this system would be like two meteors on a collision course, the collision of which would be catastrophic. Or if this system would be like the solar system, where the planets stayed in their sphere and course and did not interfere with one another. That latter vision we call federalism. It is restated in the 10th Amendment where each level of government had a specific and distinct responsibility. When the states were interfering with the federal government, it produced historical catastrophic consequences. But also when the federal government interferes with the role of states, the consequences will range from being catastrophic to just plain silly.”

“In 2010, this congress passed the Healthy and Hunger-free Kids Act. We were wrong to pass it for five reasons. Number one, it was a Senate bill. That should have been our first tipoff.В  Number two, it was opposed by the National Governor’s Association. Three, it was opposed by the school boards association. Four, it violated the Constitution. Finally, number five, we created a one-size-fits-all federal program, not defined by us.”

“Two schools in my district have now been hit by those standards. I care about those schools because from one I graduated a long, long time ago. And the other, I taught for 23 years. They were hit with a $16,000 and $19,000 fine respectively. What was the heinous crime for which these fines were levied against the funds that go to help the kids in these schools? During the lunch hour their vending machines were plugged in.”

“It was wrong for congress to invade the role of states. It was wrong to punish kids for these silly reasons. It is wrong to violate federalism. If a community, school, and their PTA. wanted to create the standards themselves, fine. It is wrong for this body to think that every issue has to be decided here in this room and it is wrong for us to forget that the 10thamendment has a purpose. It is there for a reason and should be respected.”

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