National WIC Association

Weekly WIC Policy Update

March 19, 2018

Congress Nears Spending Deadline
Congress must pass FY 2018 spending legislation before midnight on Friday in order to avoid a third government shutdown this year. Members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have said they are close to an agreement on an omnibus spending package for the rest of FY 2018, but some outstanding disagreements over key policy issues remain.

House Republican leaders are expected to present the details of their $1.3 trillion omnibus bill to members of their caucus in a closed-door meeting at 5:45 p.m. today, with the full text of the bill expected to be released afterward. The bill is then expected to move to the House floor for debate by Wednesday or Thursday, leaving little time for the Senate to complete action on the bill before Friday’s deadline. NWA will provide updates on spending negotiations throughout the week.

House Subcommittee States Work on FY 2019 Appropriations
The House of Representatives Appropriations subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA, and Related Agencies has begun its work to craft an FY 2019 appropriations bill. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue plans to testify before the subcommittee on Wednesday. The National WIC Association has submitted individual requests to members of the subcommittee, as well as the full Appropriations Committee and other members of Congress, and plans to host a briefing for House of Representatives staff on our FY19 legislative and appropriations agenda this Thursday. NWA is advocating for full authorized funding of $90 million for breastfeeding peer counselors, $25 million in enhanced program research and evaluation funding, and a doubling of the WIC contingency fund to $250 million. You can find details about NWA’s funding asks in our Fiscal Year 2019 WIC Legislative and Appropriations Agenda.

The Senate subcommittee is further behind the House in this process. NWA will be submitting requests to Senate offices in the coming weeks.