Government shutdown could affect WIC program

Local News

The countdown has begun and Congress has three days to make a decision before Federal funding runs out and a government shut down begins.

The possible shutdown comes after lawmakers could not make a decision concerning President Trump’s border wall funding. Congressman Steve King voiced his concerns about  President Trump’s urgency to get the wall funded before the Democratic Party takes over the House. 

“My advice to the president is this is the last bite of the apple. This is your legacy, and it’s a mandate from the American people. You need to get the funding,” said Congressman King. 

He is not the only person who is concerned about the urgency of progress. Federal programs like Woman, Infant, and Children program, also known as WIC, said they could be affected by the duration of the program if the shut down lasts too long. 

The WIC program provides federal grants to the states for supplemental foods, health care, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant women and moms. If the shut down runs too long their funding could be affected.

Kevin Grieme, Health Director at Siouxland District Health Department, shared how this could affect the users of their program.

“What happens is, if it’s just a day or two, usually there are some cash reserves that they’ll go ahead and continue with the program with without any interruption. But if it would extend beyond that, say three days or up to a week or up to two weeks, then there is a potential that we could have to face the decision if we’re going to stop services,” said Grieme.

Parents that rely on the WIC program could go without milk or food for their children. Patricia Munoz, a recipient of WIC said she has never thought about a plan B if this were to affect her.

“Wow. That’s a good question. You got to really think about that right there. WIC puts food on the table. I mean it seems like nonsense, and it’s less, but it’s a big help for families out there,” said Munoz. 

While Democratic leaders immediately have rejected the proposal, lawmakers are considering short-term extensions of funding to move the deadline beyond the year-end holiday season.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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