National WIC Association

Weekly WIC Policy Update

February 10, 2020

White House Releases President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2021
This afternoon, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the President’s Budget for fiscal year 2021. The President’s Budget is a messaging document that signals the White House’s priorities as appropriators in Congress begin to consider spending decisions in the months ahead.

As in past years, the White House is proposing significant cuts to the safety net – including $920 billion in cuts to Medicaid over the next decade. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has already signaled that the President’s Budget is at odds with the spending priorities of House Democrats, meaning that many of the proposed spending cuts will not be seriously considered in Congress.

For WIC, the President’s Budget recommends funding at $5.5 billion, a $500 million decrease from fiscal year 2020 levels. The White House justifies this decrease by citing reduced caseload, estimating that only 6.2 million participants will access WIC in 2021. NWA will work collaboratively with appropriators to ensure that WIC agencies have adequate funding to continue to serve all eligible participants.

The President’s Budget also rejects the expansion of WIC’s Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program that was included in the spending deal that passed in December. Instead of supporting funding at $90 million, the President’s Budget calls for a return to the $60 million funding levels last seen in fiscal year 2019. NWA helped secure the increased funding and will continue to advocate for expanded breastfeeding support services through WIC’s peer counselor program.

Appropriators now begin the lengthy process to craft spending bills before the end of the fiscal year on September 30. NWA will continue to update members as the process unfolds.