Congressional Schedule: Members of Congress are currently on recess and will be back in session starting next Monday, November 14th.
Election Day – tomorrow, November 8, 2016: This is a reminder to please go out and vote tomorrow if you have not already done so! There are important races throughout the US, not to mention the federal elections for President, US Senate, and US House of Representatives. Please be sure that your voice is heard by helping to elect policymakers that will support and strengthen WIC. You can read about key Senate races and House races on www.270towin.com.
Appropriations Update: Congress’s key task when they return next week will be to negotiate 11 appropriations measures to fund government agencies and programs, including WIC, for the remainder of FY 2017. There is a commitment from the leadership of both chambers to complete all remaining appropriations bills by December 9th. When members return next week, the Senate will have just 15 working days and the House 12 working days to complete appropriations. The goal is for the full Appropriations Committee to be finished with their work by December 2nd in order to provide enough time for passage on the floor of both the House and Senate.
It is unclear at this point whether Congress will opt for two or three “minibuses” or one large omnibus spending package. Another possibility is a so-called “CRomnibus,” in which any spending bills that are not completed would be extended through a continuing resolution, or CR. Many factors including the election results and the addition of policy riders to spending measures will help to decide how the remainder of FY 2017 for WIC and all other government programs is funded.
Child Nutrition Reauthorization Update: The Senate Agriculture Committee, chaired by Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), remains hopeful that its bipartisan Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) bill, S.3136, will advance in the coming weeks. Policymakers may attach this legislation to either an omnibus or minibus. Still, there is no guarantee that progress will be made on CNR before the end of the 2016 calendar year. We will keep you posted on any updates.