Last night, President Biden laid out the details of his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, a 'human infrastructure plan' aimed toward children, students, and families during his first joint-session address to Congress to mark his 100th day in office. Before the event, the White House called the ambitious plan a "once-in-a-generation investment in our nation's future."
Rev. Douglas Greenaway, President & CEO of the National WIC Association (NWA) issued the following statement in response:
"The American Families Plan is an extraordinary effort by the Biden administration to revitalize the economy by centering on the needs of our nation’s families and children.
“The creation of a comprehensive paid family leave program that guarantees workers twelve weeks of paid leave is a crucial step towards closing inequity gaps. Invaluable for all families, this program is particularly significant for new parents. Regardless of income or identity, they deserve the crucial opportunity to nourish and bond with their children in the critical weeks after the baby arrives without worrying about their next paycheck. The American Rescue Plan’s expansion of the child tax credit has helped families throughout the pandemic. Making this expansion permanent and refundable will ensure low-income families can get the full benefit of the credit, regardless of how much they make.
“As WIC providers, we recognize the importance of tailored nutrition access in shaping lifelong habits that yield favorable health outcomes. President Biden's commitment to child nutrition in his plan is a critical investment into our nation’s youth. The expansion of the Community Eligibility Provisions (CEP), making summer meals permanent for eligible children, and creating a healthy foods incentive demonstration program will help ensure the nutritional needs of families are met.
"President Biden understands the challenges facing our healthcare system and the need for early interventions like WIC to combat chronic diet-related conditions, including obesity and diabetes. We urge Congress to pass the American Jobs and Family Plans to provide these critical investments for WIC families. Still, more steps should be taken in the months ahead to work with appropriators to expand WIC. Over 6 million mothers, pregnant women, and children rely on the WIC program to access nutritious food and breastfeeding support.
“We know that for every $1 invested in WIC, there is a return on investment of at least $2.48 in medical, education, and productivity costs. Investments in WIC are solid investments in our nation's immediate and long-term health, food, and economic security. We look forward to pushing these provisions forward and keeping the pressure up on Congress to fund critical policy changes that strengthen WIC's impact."
To learn about the American Families Plan, check out this resource : Facts About the American Families Plan