The following is a statement from Georgia Machell, Interim President & CEO of the National WIC Association, in response to Senate consideration of H.R. 6363, the FY2024 Further Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – “Once more, Congress is pushing forward with a short-term funding bill that temporarily prevents a government shutdown but also fails to meet the additional funding needs for WIC in fiscal year 2024. Congress can and must do better.
“For the nearly seven million women, infants and children who participate in WIC, the peace of mind that comes with knowing that WIC is on solid ground through the holidays is tempered by the growing uncertainty that looms when funding will expire on January 19. Congress has for months refused to consider the Administration’s urgent request for additional funds to cover WIC’s growing caseload. That inaction increases the chances that states may have to start turning eligible participants away in 2024, or that current participants may at some point face benefit cuts. Either outcome would be unnecessary and unacceptable.
“With this legislation, Congress has made it clear that they intend for WIC to continue serving every eligible family through January 19, 2024. Yet again, Congress has a simple task: provide the funding necessary to ensure that every woman, infant or child eligible for WIC is able to participate for the entirety of the fiscal year. Failure to do so is an abdication of their most basic responsibility to the American people.”