June 14, 2011
Washington, DC, 14 June 2010 – The House will take up the Fiscal Year 2012 Agriculture Appropriations bill today, beginning what is expected to be several days of confrontational debate over what House Democrats consider to be a poorly funded bill making drastic cuts to nutrition programs, including the WIC Program.
The White House voiced “serious concerns” with the bill yesterday advising that “the bill provides insufficient funding for a number of programs in a way that undermines core government functions and investments key to economic growth and job creation.”
The White House particularly highlighted the Republican majority’s proposed cuts to WIC Program and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program for the elderly, indicating that “hundreds of thousands of participants” would lose essential food and nutrition assistance. It also expressed opposition or concern regarding cuts proposed for international food aid, the dramatic level of cuts proposed for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and USDA research, as well as funding for USDA food safety activities which “may require the agency to furlough employees including frontline inspectors which make up over 80 percent of [USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service] staff.”
The bill will be debated under an open rule – allowing consideration of any germane amendments without pre-printing or other requirements – also likely meaning that several of the bill’s controversial provisions will go to the floor unprotected, allowing individual members to strike those provisions on the floor through a simple point of order. This will potentially place the amendment offered in Committee by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-CT, to increase WIC funding by $147 million (by drawing down funds intended for the Brazilian Cotton Institute as a result of an international trade dispute settlement) in jeopardy.
For WIC, this could mean a Fiscal Year 2012 funding level of $5.901 billion (if the amendment is stripped from the bill), $833 million below Fiscal Year 2011 funding set at $6.734 billion and $929 below NWA’s 2012 budget request of $6.83 billion.
For additional information on the state by state impact of proposed cuts to the WIC Program, see the Download section to the right of this page.
The bill includes $125.5 billion in spending, only $17.3 billion of which is for discretionary programs – funded some 13 percent below current funding levels and 23 percent less than requested by the President.
Take Urgent Action Today!
Members of the House are scheduled to take up the Fiscal Year 2012 Agriculture Appropriations bill today, June 14th. Despite the amendment approved in Committee to increase funding by $147 million (which could be stripped from the bill) the funding is still set at $6.048 billion - $686 million below the current Fiscal Year 2011 funding level, resulting in 200,000 to 350,000 mothers and young children losing critical nutrition assistance.
Contact your Member of the US House of Representatives and urge them to oppose the cuts in the bill. To send an e-mail letter to your Member click on the link below:
Thank you for taking action on behalf of the nation’s mothers and young children who depend on WIC and the services WIC provides!