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All of which could impact WIC. There are only 21 days left to leave comments during the public comment period for the proposed change to the public charge rule. We also look at what to expect for the coming weeks in Congress in this in-between period before the new Congress starts. Here is our post-midterm election summary and what Tuesday's results mean for the WIC program. This is it! Election Day is almost upon us!

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It's time to vote! While voting ends tomorrow, the time to have your say about WIC in the proposed public charge rule continues, and it's important to participate in the public comment process too. The charge on public charge continues, with additional help, namely a webinar happening tomorrow, to help agencies and individuals submit comments on the proposed rule change.

And, of course, we are counting down the days to the mid-term elections, which are important for a number of reasons, including WIC. The story featured a mother who is a former participant in WIC and what her future may hold with the proposed changes to the public charge rule. This week's WIC Policy Update reminds us of the importance of voting in the upcoming midterm elections in general and for the sake of WIC as well as the importance of submitting comments during the public charge comment period.

The comment period is now open until December 10, This will formally open the public comment period on the rule, which will last until December Here's what WIC agencies can do now. WIC plays a key role in helping families recover from disasters, which has happened recently in the wake of Hurricane Florence in North and South Carolina. It's been several days since the US Department of Homeland Security released its proposed regulation related to public charge.

Where do we stand now? What happens next? Also, WIC funding was included in a continuing resolution through December 7. The proposed rule significantly expands the public charge test to punish immigrants for accessing a wide range of federal programs, including SNAP and Medicaid.

However, WIC is not listed in the proposed rule.

FY2013 Supplemental Funding for Disaster Relief: Summary and Considerations for Congress

The proposed regulation is therefore narrower than the leaked drafts that were published in news outlets this past spring. While NWA staff continue to analyze the proposed rule, here are some key insights:. Department of Homeland Security DHS unveiled a proposed regulation yesterday evening that would greatly expand the public charge test for those applying for legal residency or entry to the United States.

The proposed regulation would penalize immigrants who access a wide range of public assistance programs, including Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program SNAP.

This op-ed was co-written by Rev. The original purpose of the op-ed was to place it in the media to raise attention to this issue, and we are also sharing it here. Plus we provide an update on appropriations and more. A new farmers market debuted this summer in Adams County, Colorado.

The market is situated in a food desert and lower-income area of the City of Thornton. This area had no continuous seasonal farmers markets—only a produce booth at the three-day Thornton Harvest Festival. WIC participants - pregnant women, infants, and children - are among the most vulnerable in natural or human-caused disasters.

Although not an emergency-assistance program, WIC can play an important role in helping families impacted by disasters get back on their feet. NWA has compiled some key resources to help you be as prepared as possible in the event of a disaster. Pam looks for innovative ways to improve the health and nutrition of WIC families and the broader community. Pam actively participates in several community coalitions and boards relating to wellness, health disparities, food security and poverty. In this post, Pam talks about her Dedicated Dads program. This week's Washington Update talks mostly about the Senate, which is the only chamber in session at the moment, and its plans to move the next appropriations package, which will include funding for the military and domestic programs.

In this week's policy update, there isn't much to report because both houses of Congress adjourned for the summer recess last week. But now, while members of Congress are back at home in their states or districts, is one of the best times to engage with your member of Congress! NWA says that including a question in the census on citizenship is political and would alienate many immigrants, potentially resulting in an inaccurate count of people living in the US.

This, in turn, could impact the distribution of WIC funds to state agencies.

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It also includes information about WIC funding and breastfeeding resolutions that will be waiting for legislators when they return in September and HHS's move to allow cheaper, lower-quality health insurance plans. August brings a slew of ways to recognize the importance of breastfeeding. WIC plays a vital role in the promotion and support of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding peer counselors, IBCLCs, lactation consultants, and other lactation professionals help WIC elevate the capacity of breastfeeding to improve health outcomes of moms and babies.

This afternoon, the Senate voted to pass a four bill spending package that included funding for WIC. NWA is launching an Immigration Resources page on its website as a central location for all materials related to public charge, increased ICE enforcement, and other issues related to the intersection of WIC and immigration.

Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2013

NWA will post new resources to this page as they are available, including when the public charge regulation is made available for public comment. Instead of bullying other nations at the behest of corporate infant formula lobbyists, the administration should focus on supporting breastfeeding mothers and their babies by promoting secure safe, hygienic, and private spaces for mothers to breastfeed. The farm bill, which is under consideration every five years, authorizes agriculture subsidies and nutrition programs, including SNAP.

The process has historically been bipartisan, balancing rural concerns with the need for robust nutrition support. This week's WIC policy update highlights the farm bill, immigration, the Senate minibus, and more! When our neighbors fear heading to WIC clinics, schools, or shopping in a grocery store, can we truly say that we are the land of the free? In the past six weeks, nearly 2, children were taken from their parents and housed in temporary detention centers, including one in an abandoned Walmart. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ICE officials have been reported to separate even younger children from their parents, and there is at least one report of ICE separating a mother from her child while she was breastfeeding.

Appropriations Process Moves Forward The House and Senate appropriations committees are moving forward with consideration of appropriations bills. The bill was originally anticipated to include agriculture alongside energy and water, but instead includes the military construction and VA, energy and water, and legislative branch bills. It is unclear what the next package of bills will include, and when it might be taken up, though both leadership in chambers have expressed interest in advancing the appropriations process rapidly this summer, to hopefully avoid the need for continuing resolutions and shutdown battles during election season.

Leaked drafts indicate that, if approved, the rule would punish immigrants for accessing WIC and other public benefits on behalf of themselves or their family including US citizen children. OMB is still accepting meetings from elected officials and advocacy groups, all of whom object to the significant ramifications that this rule would have on the health and economic security of local communities.

fy supplemental funding for disaster relief summary and considerations for congress Manual

NWA met with OMB last month to express our concerns, and we are hopeful that these meetings will delay publication of the proposed rule. The House Freedom Caucus played a consequential role in the outcome of the bill by withholding support for the farm bill until Speaker Paul Ryan R-WI promised a vote on a controversial hardline immigration measure.

Unfortunately, this is not the end of the story for the House Farm Bill, as a second vote may be taken later this week. The House of Representatives today rejected the farm bill H. The House Freedom Caucus played a significant role in the outcome of the bill by withholding support for the farm bill until Speaker Paul Ryan R-WI promised a vote on a controversial hardline immigration measure.

Unfortunately, this is not the end of the story for the House Farm Bill, as a second vote may be taken before Tuesday. NWA is pleased that deeper cuts were not made, but remains concerned about the continued trend of decreased WIC funds — a reflection of declining caseload resulting from low unemployment rates, fertility rates and birth rates, heightened fear of immigrants, and shaming by policy makers of individuals and families participating in safety net programs - putting pressure on clinics to do more with less.

Once this happens, there will be a comment period likely 60 days , after which DHS will review comments and issue a final rule. As a reminder, until the rule is finalized, the public charge test remains unaltered, and WIC clinics should reassure immigrant families that WIC policy has not changed. Yesterday afternoon, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture released its funding bill for Fiscal Year The subcommittee is scheduled to mark up and vote on the bill this afternoon at 4 pm.

NWA is pleased that deeper cuts were not made, but remains concerned about the continued trend of decreased WIC funds, which is putting pressure on clinics to do more with less. Senate appropriators appear to be a bit further behind in the process. On the House side, Republican leaders are proposing to bring small batches of appropriations bills to the floor, starting with non-controversial bills, rather than relying on a last-minute bill omnibus. Republican appropriators in the House hope to pass all 12 bills before September 30, and expect the bills to be largely partisan, as they do not need votes from Democrats to pass the bills.

The executive order requires relevant federal departments including USDA to review programmatic regulations and submit a report to the White House identifying opportunities to strengthen work requirements and tighten eligibility criteria, particularly for immigrants. The executive order lays out a justification that is rooted in many misconceptions about poverty, taking aim at single mothers and declaring that public benefit programs create dependency on the federal government. The farm bill is generally passed every five years to reauthorize both farm subsidies and certain nutrition programs, including SNAP.

WIC is not included in the farm bill, as it is separately authorized through Child Nutrition Reauthorization last attempted in Last night, President Trump issued an executive order targeting public benefit programs. Returning to our nation's capital this week after a two week Spring recess, members of Congress will be focused primarily on FY appropriations. As a reminder, Congress passed an FY omnibus spending bill just before they left for recess on March 23, meaning that government funding for the next six months is set and Congress is now free to focus on how the government will be funded in FY Congress had begun to consider FY appropriations prior to the Spring recess, but negotiations were stymied by the need to pass a long term spending package for FY After the passage of an omnibus spending bill that funds the government through September 30, both chambers of Congress have recessed for two weeks.

Congress plans to resume legislative business on the week of April 9. With the passage and signing of the omnibus bill, Congress narrowly avoided a third government shutdown of the year. After both chambers had passed the omnibus bill late last week, members of Congress departed for their two-week spring recess. After passage in the House yesterday afternoon, the bill was passed in the Senate in the wee hours of Friday morning.

After months of negotiations, five continuing resolutions, and two government shutdowns, the House of Representatives finally released the text of its FY omnibus spending bill last night.


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The House passed the spending bill this afternoon by a vote of , with opposition from conservative Republicans and some Democrats. Congress Nears Spending Deadline Congress must pass FY spending legislation before midnight on Friday in order to avoid a third government shutdown this year. Members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have said they are close to an agreement on an omnibus spending package for the rest of FY , but some outstanding disagreements over key policy issues remain.

Congress must pass a spending deal by March 23 to continue government funding, and Congressional leaders are optimistic that they will reach an omnibus agreement to complete the appropriations process for the fiscal year. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on an omnibus bill this week. The Senate is likely to proceed after passage in the House, but it must begin consideration of the bill this week to avoid procedural delays that could bring about a last-minute shutdown, as Senator Rand Paul R-KY was able to do in February.

If Congress fails to reach an agreement by March 23, the government will shut down for the third time this year. Department of Homeland Security DHS will expand the definition of public charge to punish immigrants who are using nutrition assistance and public health programs that they are legally permitted to use. The leaked draft is unprecedented and deeply concerning. These grants will assist our WIC state agencies with much-needed repairs to building and other WIC related infrastructure as well as technology systems that were damaged as a result of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Our thoughts remain with the communities damaged by natural disasters and NWA hopes that these funds will deliver quick relief to WIC clinics, staff, and participants in the affected regions. These grants will assist our WIC state agencies with much-needed repairs to building infrastructure and technology systems that were damaged as a result of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.


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Virgin Islands has been included in the two-year budget deal introduced yesterday by Senate leadership.