On Thursday, March 21, the House and Senate both passed a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government for the remainder of the 2013 fiscal year - until September 30th. President Obama signed the CR preventing a possible government shutdown.
The CR did leave the sequester cuts in place, but with some changes. One of the changes will allow more funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Without this change, the sequester would have meant a 5% reduction in the funding for WIC resulting in 600,000 to 750,000 women, infants, and children being cut from the program. With the additional funding, WIC will instead experience a 1% cut and the National WIC Association is hopeful that the program will be able to function for the rest of the fiscal year without having to cut participants from the program.
Today, WIC serves 53% of all infants born in the US and 25% of all pregnant women. It is a critical program that ensures pregnant women and their children are receiving the nutrients they need. WIC serves children until they are 5 years old, giving kids the start they need for healthy growth and a healthy life. The additional funding for this program will help mothers and children throughout the country.