The House Education and the Workforce Committee’s Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, chaired by Congressman Todd Rokita (R-IN), introduced an extraordinarily bad child nutrition reauthorization bill, the ironically titled Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016 (H.R. 5003), yesterday afternoon.
The pernicious provisions in the bill pertaining to WIC that did not change between a previously released confidential discussion draft and H.R. 5003 include:
Neither the discussion draft nor the House bill include NWA’s key priorities to provide states the option to extend certification of infants to two years and to extend enrollment for children until their sixth birthdays.
WIC-related revisions made to the discussion draft before the bill was introduced yesterday include:
Overall, these revisions render the House bill worse than the discussion draft. H.R. 5003 is a partisan, ideologically-driven bill that, if passed, would weaken child nutrition programs—including WIC—by introducing additional barriers to enrollment and administrative hurdles and by undercutting nutrition science and standards.
The House Education and the Workforce Committee, chaired by Congressman John Kline (R-MN), is expected to markup H.R. 5003 Wednesday, May 17.