Federal Election Outcome: Last Wednesday, Donald J. Trump was declared 45th President-Elect of the United States. He will take office on January 20, 2017. In addition, Republicans have maintained control of both the House and Senate by a margin of 46 seats in the House and 3 seats in the Senate.
It remains unclear what the implications of a Trump Administration and a divided Republican-led Congress will be for WIC. Over the coming days and weeks, the National WIC Association will speak with many of you and come together with our national partners and our friends in Congress to determine what we might expect and what our 2017 advocacy strategy will be.
Throughout this time of change, we will keep you informed as we identify next steps, and better understand the new political landscape.
One thing that remains unchanged after last Wednesday, which for some was triumphant and others devastating, is the need that families of all backgrounds, ethnicities, races, creeds, and cultures have for the safe and healing space that is WIC and the support that you provide to these families across America each and every day.
We know that you will continue to be leaders for WIC and help us support, promote, and protect a program that provides necessary public health nutrition assistance and a caring, loving, nurturing environment to more than 8 million vulnerable mothers and young children.
NWA is on the frontlines to protect WIC for you and your WIC families. We are here to help you do the same. We have your back.
As the path forward becomes clearer, we will keep you informed of ways that you can get involved in making sure WIC is protected and preserved. Please feel free to reach out to our team via Elisabet Eppes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remarks of President Obama on the Election Outcome: Watch President Obama's moving speech from last Wednesday, in which he addressed the results of the election and discussed the next steps we must take as a country to come together. "We have to remember that we're actually all on one team,” the President said, after acknowledging that “…everybody is sad when their side loses an election.” The President went on to say, “we’re not Democrats first, we're not Republicans first, we are Americans first. We're patriots first. We all want what’s best for this country."
Trump Administration Begins to Take Shape: Yesterday, Donald Trump announced that he has chosen Reince Priebus, the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, as his White House chief of staff, and has named Steve Bannon, the Trump campaign CEO and executive chairman of Breitbart News, as his chief strategist and senior counselor.
Mr. Priebus, one of the longest-serving chairmen of the Republican Party, has generally been well-liked by different party factions and represents the Republican “establishment”, while Mr. Bannon, whose news website is known for pushing conspiracy theories and has been criticized as being racist, sexist and anti-Semitic, is viewed as an insurgent firebrand.
In addition, Mr. Trump has selected Michael Torrey, a lobbyist for the American Beverage Association, the Snack Foods Association, and Dean Foods, to lead the effort to appoint new officials to the US Department of Agriculture.
These advisor selections provide a glimpse into what a new Trump administration may look like and what its priorities may be.
Appropriations: Congress returns to Washington, DC, this week for their lame-duck session, which will potentially last until the December holidays. Congress’s key task during the next four weeks 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. The Senate has just 15 working days and the House 12 working days to complete appropriations.
Conservatives are calling for a Continuing Resolution (CR) into the spring, which could allow them to fulfill their goal of at least $30 billion in cuts to discretionary spending in 2017. The CR would also likely lead to a funding stalemate with Senate Democrats early in the new year.
New Leadership: Republicans and Democrats in both chambers of Congress are scheduled to choose their leaders for the 115th Congress. It is expected that House Republicans will nominate Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) for a two-year term. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced that the House Democratic Caucus will meet Thursday to hold leadership elections. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is expected to be elected by Senate Democrats to serve as Senate Minority Leader and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is expected to retain his post as Republican Leader.
Child Nutrition Reauthorization: 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. We will keep you posted on any updates.