On Friday, the US Senate rejected a continuing resolution passed by the US House of Representatives that would have kept the government funded through February 16. The House bill had passed by a vote of 230-197, with only six Democrats voting in favor. In the Senate, the vote was 50-49 (with 60 votes needed for passage). Five Democrats joined most of the Republican caucus to support what would have been the fourth continuing resolution of this fiscal year. Four Republicans joined most of the Democratic caucus in rejecting the short-term fix and opting to continue negotiations on a wide range of issues, including the status of nearly two million immigrants. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who is battling brain cancer, did not vote.
As a result of the Senate’s failure to act, the federal government entered a partial shutdown. USDA issued a press release clarifying that a temporary lapse in appropriations should not impact the essential functions of core programs of the nutrition safety net – including WIC. Despite ongoing media coverage of the shutdown’s impacts, WIC remains open in the near-term for all eligible participants.
Both the Senate and the House of Representatives convened over the weekend, but negotiations remain inconclusive and the government remains in partial shutdown. NWA will continue to update members on efforts to resolve the spending impasse and reopen the federal government.