National WIC Association

Weekly WIC Policy Update

November 27, 2017

Another Continuing Resolution (CR) Expected to Fund Government Past December 8

Congressional leaders say they will need to enact a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to provide them with additional time after December 8 (the deadline for the current CR) to arrive at an agreement on how to fund the government for the remainder of FY 2018. There are only eight legislative days when both chambers are in session between now and December 8.

Democrats in both chambers would like to raise the spending caps on domestic discretionary programs mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011. Because a spending bill will need 60 votes to pass the Senate, and Republicans currently hold 52 seats, Majority Leader McConnell will need votes from Democrats to pass a longer-term spending measure.

President Trump plans to meet tomorrow with congressional leaders of both parties on the spending issue.

Nestlé Leaves Grocery Manufacturers Association

Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, announced in late October that it would be leaving the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the food industry’s most powerful lobbying group in Washington, DC. The departure of Nestlé, a conglomerate that owns thousands of popular food brands, signifies the emerging divisions in the food industry over rapidly evolving consumer demands, such as labeling on GMO foods. Iconic food brands that are hesitant to modernize are going up against manufacturers of healthier and more transparent products. In the past year, an increasing number of member companies have decided to leave GMA.

Senate Republicans Hope to Pass Tax Bill by the End of the Week

Republicans in the Senate will be working hard to pass their tax reform legislation by the end of the week. President Trump is scheduled to visit Capitol Hill tomorrow to urge Senators to advance the tax bill quickly to a conference between the House and Senate. The Senate vote could take place as early as this Thursday.

It is still uncertain whether Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will be able to cobble together the 50 Republican votes he needs for the tax bill to pass. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) has voiced concern about the provision in the bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, while Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) says he opposes the bill in its current form. Three other Republican Senators, Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Bob Corker (R-TN), and James Lankford (R-OK), have expressed unease about just how much this tax bill would add to the deficit. No Democrats are expected to vote yes on the bill.

Even if the Senate is able to pass the bill this week, Republican lawmakers still face the hurdle of reconciling the Senate and House measures, which are significantly different in their current forms.

Lobbying Action*: Tell Your Senators To Vote No on Tax Bill

We need your help! If you work for WIC, this is about your future, and the future of the families you serve. The US Senate is voting this week on a tax bill that is expected to hurt working families and weaken our health care system by chipping away at the Affordable Care Act and leading to cuts to Medicaid and other vital programs. Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, had this to say about the Senate’s bill: "It’s a debate about the future. Are we folks who care about leaving this country better for future generations? Or are we all about ‘party-time’ here, to make ourselves beloved by people not having to pay taxes but throwing kids under the bus down the road?”

Please call your Senators and tell them to vote No on the Senate’s tax bill. You can dial the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected with your Senators. You can use the following sample message:

  • My name is (insert your name), and I am a constituent. I am opposed to the Senate’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
  • The tax plan is bad for children. It cuts taxes for those that don’t need cuts, increases taxes on some families, and does little to nothing for vulnerable children and families.
  • It will also drive up deficits, leading to cuts in programs that help children.
  • The Senate should reject this bill and instead be advancing policies and programs that help all of our nation’s children, including investments in health, nutrition, WIC, childcare, and education.
  • At a time when millions of children live in families struggling to make ends meet, I strongly urge my Senator to oppose the current tax plan.
  • Thank you.

*As a reminder: It is your democratic right to lobby. Lobbying is a particular type of advocacy involving an attempt to influence specific legislation by communicating directly with an elected official or his or her staff. Each state has specific laws for state employees about lobbying efforts while on the job. We recommend limiting lobbying efforts to coffee breaks, lunch breaks, after hours and other times not considered “work time.”