National WIC Association

May 5, 2023

Families at risk as Congress debates debt ceiling and funding for critical programs like WIC

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The ongoing debt ceiling and budget fights in Congress have raised concerns about the future of non-defense discretionary spending, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which is vital to supporting the health and nutrition of women, infants, and children. However, failure by Congress to take action this month could lead to a default on national debt, with disastrous consequences for the economy and an increased demand for programs like WIC.

The following statement is attributed to Dr. Jamila Taylor, President & CEO of the National WIC Association:

“The limitations placed by Congress on non-defense discretionary spending disregard the actual needs of families throughout the nation. Resetting WIC's federal funding to fiscal year  2022 levels would make it impossible for the program to accommodate its increasing number of participants. This would result in more than 250,000 WIC participants being sent to waiting lists for the first time since the 1990s. This outcome is unacceptable, particularly as our nation grapples with a maternal health crisis and runs contrary to bipartisan legislation passed last year to extend postpartum Medicaid access.

“As President Biden convenes with Congressional leaders next week, critical investments for the next generation are on the chopping block. Budgets reflect our values, and if we truly value our nation's health and future, we must prioritize the needs of children and families. Congress must come to a bipartisan agreement that prioritizes the needs of families and protects WIC funding so families can receive the support they need to thrive.”