Chairman Rogers Statement on the Nutrition Assistance for Low-Income Women and Children Act

Oct 4, 2013

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers spoke on the House floor today in support of H.J.Res. 75, the Nutrition Assistance for Low-Income Women and Children Act, which provides immediate funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children program until December 15, 2013, or until another appropriations bill is enacted. The bill passed the House on a vote of 264-144.

Chairman Rogers' statement follows:

"Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.J. Res. 75. This bill ensures that the nearly 8.7 million women, children, and infants who rely on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children will continue to receive critical nutrition assistance without interruption.

"The bill provides funding for WIC, at the fiscal year 2013 post-sequester rate of $6.5 billion, until December 15, or until we can work out a deal to enact full-year appropriations legislation.

"That is the ultimate goal of this bill – to move us closer to ending this government shutdown by providing regular appropriations for all government programs. To achieve this, we must have an adult conversation about what this might entail and how we can get there.

"As we work this out, we must ensure that our most vulnerable citizens don’t fall victim to politics. This bill will take care of those who count on WIC to meet their nutritional needs.

"Because this language was essentially included in my initial, clean continuing resolution, I do endorse it today. This House should support it today.

"But our colleagues in the Senate should also support it. This would be the seventh bill we’ve sent to them to help reopen the federal government. Altogether, these bills provide nearly one-third of the discretionary funding needed to operate the federal government. We have essentially passed one-third of a clean continuing resolution – which the Senate keeps demanding from us. And yet, they won’t vote on these bills that would be part of that clean CR. The math doesn’t add up.

"Though this piecemeal funding approach is not my preferred mechanism to move forward, it does move us incrementally out of this mess. I would rather we fund the government with regular Appropriations bills.

"This House passed four of those this year – and unfortunately, our colleagues on the other side of the Capitol passed none. For all of their talk about returning to regular order, it seems that the Senate has made very little action to achieve it.

"We’re in this mess today in part because of that, but passing this bill will help us get out of it.

"I urge my colleagues to support an end to this shutdown, support this important funding for the WIC program, and pass this bill today. Thank you"