Budget Update: Congress is currently on a 10-day Thanksgiving recess. Upon their return to Capitol Hill next Monday, November 30, members of the Appropriations Committees in the House and Senate will continue to negotiate what will likely be an omnibus spending package, a single legislative document that will set the budget of nearly all government departments for FY2016. The deadline for the federal spending package is December 11, at which time we will face another government shutdown if an agreement has not been reached. Disputes over funding distribution among the 12 separate spending bills as well as the inclusion of policy riders (i.e. policies that are attached to spending bills that do not relate to spending) continue to delay a final agreement. The funding level for the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which sets spending levels for WIC, has yet to be finalized.
Child Nutrition Reauthorization Update: Markups for the Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill have still not been officially scheduled, although it is possible the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry, chaired by Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) will hold a markup next week. The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 has been extended through December 11, and will expire at that time. We will keep you updated as we learn more about the progress of a 2015 Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill.