Last week during a House Full Appropriations Committee mark up of their version of the FY2015 Agriculture Appropriations Bill (the bill that funds WIC), Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) offered an amendment to strike the language in the bill that would mandate potatoes into the WIC food packages. Unfortunately, as expected, the amendment was defeated by a voice vote.
The final bill that passed out of Committee included the language to include potatoes in WIC food packages as well as an overall FY2015 funding allocation for WIC of $6.623 billion, which should be enough to meet WIC caseload needs in FY2015 based on current data. The House bill also still provides the following unencumbered set asides:
Next, both the House and Senate versions of the bill will move to the floor of their respective chambers for additional debate and amendment, although it is unlikely that the WIC-potato language will be removed at this stage of the process.
What you can do:
Express your disappointment with the actions of the Appropriations Committee by emailing your members of Congress, so that they don't think they can get away with telling WIC what should be in the food packages, and so that they don’t repeat this with other foods!
In recent weeks the House and Senate have been working on their versions of the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act. A few weeks ago, NWA signed onto a letter with our partner organizations supporting a provision in the bill that would add breastfeeding benefits to TRICARE, which is the civilian health insurance arm of the Military Health System that provides health coverage for military personnel, military retirees, and their dependents. The House has passed their version of the bill, and it includes the breastfeeding provision. The Senate Armed Services Committee also included the provision in their version of the bill. The Senate version will next move to the floor for consideration by the full Senate.