House Passes its Second Minibus Package despite FY 2020 Appropriations Debate
Two weeks ago, the House of Representatives passed its first spending package, including four appropriations bills. The first spending package included two of the larger appropriations bills: Defense and Labor-HHS-Education.
On June 25, the House of Representatives passed its second minibus package (H.R. 3055), including the Agriculture-FDA bill that funds the WIC program. In total, the bill provides $6 billion in overall funding for the program, which is a slight decrease of $75 million from FY 2019 levels. The bill also includes an unparalleled investment in the Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program, investing the fully authorized $90 million for the first time ever.
Senate leadership awaits a bipartisan budget deal on overall spending numbers for FY 2020 before beginning consideration of any individual appropriations bills. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) stated that the White House and congressional leaders have made no progress in efforts to raise the budget caps and federal debt limit leading up to their 10-day July 4 recess.
The White House has voiced support for the House’s FY 2020 WIC funding levels, although the administration has had some disagreements with the overall bill, including provisions to halt the relocation of the Economic Research Service (ERS) to Kansas City.
Congress is in Recess until July 8, Leaving Time to Connect with Your Members
Members of congress are in recess all this week, returning to work Monday, July 8. This is an opportune time to connect with your members and set up WIC clinic visits. Keep in mind that the August recess, which is a full month, is also an excellent time to make those connections with your members.
Setting up visits to your clinics allows your member of Congress to see the great work you’re doing, as well as advocate for policy change. If you’re unsure of how to set up a WIC clinic site visit, please refer to NWA’s advocacy toolkit section on contacting your elected official.
NWA Endorses Legislation that Helps Protect Immigrant Children against the Harm of Enforcement Actions
The Humane Enforcement and Legal Protections (HELP) for Separated Children Act (H.R. 3451) and the Help Separated Families Act (H.R. 3452), introduced by Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), ensure protection for children who may be separated from their parents at the hands of immigration officials. These companion bills are committed to promoting the health and well-being of children, youth, and families, and NWA supports this critical step towards mitigating the harm of enforcement actions on children.