The countdown has begun….again!
I know it seems like we are always up against a critical deadline, and that’s often the case – and this critical deadline is a really, really big one! Congress needs to take action to keep the government funded by November 17th….and they also MUST pass emergency child care and WIC funding at that time or millions of families, along with businesses and our economy, will be harmed. 
Here’s what’s going on: Remember back in September when the Republican leaders in the House of Representatives almost shut down the entire United States government? (How can one forget!) Well the deadline they temporarily extended the government funding to will expire on November 17th. Right now key Congressional leaders are negotiating a deal that will not only keep the government funded but will hopefully also include emergency funding we desperately need to address the child care cliff and the funding shortfall for WIC. Without these 2 key provisions millions of families across the country could suffer.
*The childcare situation: Critical child care stabilization funds that saved an already broken child care industry from total collapse during the pandemic expired in September, putting 3.2 million children at risk of losing access to child care, increasing costs for families and worsening the ongoing crisis of early educators being pushed out of the workforce, further exacerbating the lack of access to the care families need.  This is why Congress must prioritize providing at least $16 billion in emergency child care dollars in the November package to prevent the flood of child care centers closing down which is making it even more difficult for parents to work. .
*The WIC situation: WIC provides nutritional assistance, breastfeeding assistance, and formula to 7 million pregnant and postpartum women, infants, and young children. Unless immediate action by Congress is taken in November, WIC will experience a funding shortfall early next year which will lead to many women and children being waitlisted for the program and/or their benefits being cut. This hasn’t happened since the 1990s! So far both the House and Senate have failed to provide enough funding for WIC to protect eligible women and children who apply for WIC. 
There are other things in the mix too. Congress might try to attach a tax package that could include an expansion of the Child Tax Credit (good!!) and some Republican Members of Congress are attempting to misuse the negotiations process to make cruel, ineffective, and radical changes to our immigration and asylum system (really bad!!).
As you can see, really important things are happening on Capitol Hill in DC right now and we need your help making sure the priorities of moms, parents, children, families, and workers are included in this November funding package. **SIGN our letter now and then share our action page with all your friends and family!
The letter to Congress that you will sign on to will state the following:“Dear Member of Congress,Congress must pass a bipartisan, bicameral continuing resolution (CR) that keeps the U.S. government funded and addresses pressing emergency needs of moms, families, businesses, and our economy, including: stabilizing the child care industry by passing at least $16 billion in child care funding; and including a downpayment on emergency WIC funds in November, with the end goal being to fully fund this vital nutrition assistance program so it can serve all pregnant women, postpartum moms, babies, and toddlers. It is imperative that these emergencies receive the aid needed without being subject to any caps or offsets. Any CR package passed in the coming days should be free of poison pill policy riders that are harmful and/or irrelevant to the functions of government, including: anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ+, anti-IRS, and anti-women riders. We also oppose cruel, ineffective changes to our immigration and asylum system. Instead, Congress should advance bipartisan solutions to provide smart resources at the border that make the existing process work better while keeping communities safe. Congress should increase funding to improve asylum processing, reduce backlogs and work permit waiting times, resource states, localities and community shelter and support services, and access to legal counsel.. We also greatly welcome the inclusion of any expansion of the highly successful Child Tax Credit. Overall, we are calling on you to step up to the plate at this critical time and pass funding and policies that lift up our families, children, and economy and do no harm.”
Thank you so much for all you are doing to raise your voice and protect our families! It’s so important right now that we continue to speak out.