Moms, Kids Will Suffer Because Congress Ignored the WIC and Child Care Crises In Its Continuing Resolution
“While we are glad that Congress was able to reach a bipartisan agreement to keep the U.S. government open and temporarily funded, lawmakers neglected to address some key funding shortfalls affecting millions of families with young children. There are two urgent crises facing the country’s moms and young families, with grave ramifications for businesses and our economy, and Congress missed an opportunity to address both in its Continuing Resolution. While moms are pleased the country will avert a painful, unnecessary, chaotic government shutdown for now, the funding crises facing the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program and our child care system demand attention.
“WIC is on the brink of experiencing a massive funding cut for the first time in decades, causing real harm to pregnant and postpartum moms, babies and toddlers. If Congress doesn’t address it, babies will go hungry in the new year. New moms will go without breastfeeding support and without the assistance they need to afford formula, which is expensive. Toddlers will go without fresh, nutritious produce because their families can’t afford it. Put simply, the health of pregnant women, postpartum moms, babies, and toddlers will suffer.
“Similarly, if Congress doesn’t provide at least $16 billion in child care stabilization funds, our country’s already devastating child care crisis will get even worse. Right now, millions of our youngest children are at risk of having their child care centers shut down, and their parents – mostly moms – are at risk of being forced to leave the workforce to care for them. When that happens, families lose the paychecks they need to make ends meet, businesses lose workers they rely on, our economy is destabilized, and the country suffers.
“President Biden has already made a request for emergency funding for WIC and child care, recognizing the dire situation so many of our families are in and the harm that a failure to act could cause to our economy. Congress needs to follow the President’s lead. America’s moms want Congress to invest in our health, our families, our businesses, and our economy by providing emergency funding for WIC and stabilization funds for our child care system. And we want it done without the kind of ‘poison pills’ Republicans attach to too many appropriations, which moms oppose, including anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQIA+, anti-immigrant, anti-women, anti-IRS, and so-called ‘border security’ measures that would lead to harmful policy changes for asylum seekers. We oppose including harmful changes to asylum and other immigration policies in any measure.”