National WIC Association

Washington Update: White House and Congress Agree to Short-Term Deal to Reopen Government

January 25, 2019

President Trump announced this afternoon that he would support a short-term continuing resolution that would fund the federal government through February 15, restoring federal funding to programs like WIC that have been struggling to sustain services as the shutdown endured for 35 days. The short-term measure was voted on by the Senate yesterday, drawing the support of all Democrats and six Republicans, but that was not enough to reach the 60-vote threshold to pass. The House had previously approved a wide range of measures that would reopen the government and provide long-term funding for federal agencies.

Congressional leaders indicated that they will move the CR through both chambers of Congress this afternoon. The measure will not include any funding for the border wall, a key White House demand that was the impetus for the shutdown. Congressional leaders will begin negotiations to reach a spending deal for the Department of Homeland Security. Should they fail to reach an agreement by February 15, it is possible that the president will resort to declaring an emergency allowing the shifting of funds to meet his demands, or the government may yet again enter a shutdown.

NWA has repeatedly urged reopening the government as soon as possible and will continue to call on the White House and Congress to reach a long-term funding agreement that will prevent another shutdown in three weeks. As we have seen these past 35 days, a government shutdown leads to uncertainty, confusion, and misinformation – affecting the confidence of families in the security of WIC as an essential nutrition resource and fears of families about their ability to feed their children and have access to adequate supplies of infant formula or breastfeeding support.