Today, the House was to consider passage of Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR)—a bill many child advocacy organizations, including First Focus, have been pushing for passage in the lame-duck session. Unfortunately, Republican procedural tactics have yet again, postponed the vote on a critical piece of legislation for America’s children. House Republicans offered an amendment to the legislation that quite likely would’ve sent the bill back to the Senate , a move that would essentially kill the legislation. Instead, according to a statement released by Majority Leader Hoyer this afternoon, the vote on CNR will be postponed until tomorrow, with the Republican amendment to the bill being voted on as a separate piece of legislation.

Although there is still hope for passage of CNR, we are disappointed in the legislators who feel it’s appropriate to play politics with the health of our children. Now more than ever, providing children access to healthy food is vital—and therefore so is the swift passage of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids ActCurrently, one in four American children are at-risk of hunger, and with the Great Recession taking its toll on many families, more Americans will require assistance to feed their children now and in the years ahead. On the other hand, childhood obesity rates have tripled in the past three decades, with nearly one in three American children now considered overweight or obese. As you can see, our children are facing great challenges when it comes to their health, and it is unacceptable for any Member of Congress to delay the improvement or access to programs that ensure growth into a healthy adulthood.

In case you’re still unconvinced as to the level of importance in passing CNR, The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act proposes unprecedented investments to make our children healthier both inside and outside of the classroom. A few notable parts of this legislation include expanding the After School Meals Program to all 50 states, allowing kids in foster care to be automatically eligible for free school meals, modernizing and improving the successful Supplemental Nutrition for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and making great strides in preventing and addressing our national’s childhood obesity epidemic by reducing junk food in school and improving the nutritional quality of meals. And, this just skims the surface of the programs improved by CNR.

Having the most healthy, most educated, best-prepared kids in the world for the challenges that lie ahead shouldn’t be a partisan issue. It’s in all of our interest to make kids a national priority the same way good parents make them a family priority. So, why should giving children access to nutritious food be any different? It’s not. In fact, to have the healthiest kids in the world, we need swift passage of CNR tomorrow.