This afternoon, Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Wise Investment in our Children Act (WIC Act). The bipartisan legislation would empower states to enact common-sense reforms to streamline WIC services and enhance the program’s public health impact. The WIC Act would permit states to: (1) extend child eligibility to age six or the beginning of kindergarten; (2) extend postpartum eligibility to two years; and (3) extend infant certification periods to two years.
NWA strongly supports this legislation and applauds Senators Casey and Collins for championing these critical WIC priorities. Each provision will expand access to WIC’s quality nutrition services, ensuring healthier pregnancies and birth outcomes, improving diet qualities for women and children, and streamlining WIC clinic processes at a crucial period of growth and development.
Learn more about the WIC Act from this one-pager. You can help promote the WIC Act by contacting your Senators here and highlighting the WIC Act on social media using this toolkit. NWA staff will discuss the WIC Act and other priorities for the upcoming Child Nutrition Reauthorization at a webinar on Tuesday, August 6 from 1-2pm ET. NWA will continue to update members on how they can learn about the WIC Act and support WIC priorities in Congress.
Senate Passes Budget Deal, Paving the Way for FY 2020 Appropriations
Yesterday, the Senate passed a bipartisan budget deal by a vote of 67-28. The budget deal – negotiated by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin – will increase federal spending by $324 billion over two years, including an additional $27 billion for non-defense discretionary programs in fiscal year 2020. The deal also extends the debt ceiling through July 2021, extending government borrowing through the 2020 election.
In a victory for advocates of robust investment in domestic discretionary programs, including NWA, the budget deal ends the controversial provision that has plagued budget negotiations for a decade – the automatic spending cuts first enacted under the Budget Control Act of 2011.
Since the House passed the budget deal last week, the bill now heads to the President for his signature. The White House has already endorsed the budget deal. Once the bill is signed, the Senate will have authority to move forward with FY 2020 appropriations bills. The House already passed FY 2020 appropriations bills using placeholder total numbers that were slightly higher than the budget deal reached with the White House.
The Senate has until September 30 to complete twelve appropriations bills and negotiate compromises with the House. Should legislators be unable to reach an agreement by September 30, a continuing resolution will be necessary to sustain federal funding and avoid a government shutdown. NWA will continue to update members as the appropriations process unfolds.