Once again Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) released his annual budget resolution that would balance the budget over the next 10 years relying on steep spending cuts. The proposal entitled Path to Prosperity: Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Resolution cuts non-defense discretionary programs like WIC by $791 billion over 10 years and block grants the SNAP program that would not respond with increased funding during recessions.
In fact, an analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that 69% of the cuts come from low-income programs. An analysis by the National Women’s Law Center also outlines the way the Ryan Budget cuts programs for women and families.
In contrast, it cuts the top corporate and personal income tax bracket rate to 25%, costing $5.7 trillion over the next 10 years, which is made up for by more severely cutting other vital programs, including Medicare and Medicaid.
And, according to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute, the budget would lead to job loss and reduced GDP. In FY2015, the Ryan Budget would result in 1.1 million jobs lost and reduce GDP by 0.9 %. In FY2016 when the discretionary cuts take place, 3 million jobs, including WIC jobs, would be lost and GDP will decline by 2.5%
In order for WIC to receive a funding allocation, the House and Senate must pass their versions of the Agriculture Appropriations bill. Then the two bills are conferenced, meaning that the House and Senate work out their differences. Finally, the conference is voted on by both House and Senate. If it passes it goes to the President to be signed into law or vetoed.
House Appropriation Chairman Rogers (R-KY) and Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) are planning on passing their chamber’s version of the bills and conferencing each of the twelve appropriations bills separately as they become ready to do so, rather than waiting to conference all twelve bills at once. This will move the appropriations process along faster this year compared with the past few years. Chairman Rogers plans to have all 13 bills passed out of the House Appropriations Committee by July 4th, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has stated that he plans for the Senate to consider their versions of the appropriations bills in June and July.
NWA worked with Senator Gillibrand (D-NY) and Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI) on Dear Colleague sign-on letters in the Senate and House that request WIC be funded in FY2015 to meet caseload needs and provide inflation-adjusted authorized amounts for the MIS/EBT ($32.07 million), Infrastructure ($14.96 million), and breastfeeding peer counselors ($96.2 million). This means that the breastfeeding peer counselor funding request of $96.2 is over $30 million above last year’s allocation of $60 million for peer counselors.