Murray Secures Full Funding for WIC, Protecting Lifesaving Benefits for Nearly 7 Million Moms & Kids Nationwide


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Recent studies show that $1 invested in WIC saves about $2.48 in medical, educational and productivity costs


Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement after releasing the Fiscal Year 2024 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, announcing full funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children—better known as WIC.


“As someone who relied on food stamps when my family fell on hard times, I know full well that investing in WIC doesn’t just feed moms and babies—it’s an investment in our country’s future. Few programs are as thoroughly backed by research as WIC and the evidence makes clear: WIC saves lives and it also saves money.


“Under the cuts proposed by House Republicans, states would have been forced to deny families WIC benefits for the first time ever—forced to pick and choose which moms and babies should get help and who should go hungry. This was never an acceptable outcome to Democrats.


“I said I would move mountains to fully fund WIC and that’s exactly what I did. Full funding for WIC should never have been in question, but I’m glad that the millions of moms and babies who rely on this program won’t have to suffer the stress and harm of losing access to the lifesaving nutritional support and essential health care services WIC provides. As we move forward, I hope my colleagues will realize that cutting WIC is not only deeply wrong but short-sighted—a dollar spent on WIC saves taxpayers more than a dollar in the future.”


Chair Murray led negotiations to ensure the steep cuts to WIC proposed by House Republicans didn’t go into effect and held the line to ensure full funding for WIC under the tough fiscal constraints of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

  • As early as September of last year, when new estimates indicated additional funding for WIC would be needed, Senator Murray made clear that she would fully fund WIC, telling the Washington Post: “As we get new information about what the needs are, you can bet that I will fight tooth and nail to ensure we are not shortchanging WIC.”
  • As time went on and stopgap measures were employed, Senator Murray continued to make clear that WIC would be a priority in full-year funding bills, stating in November on the Senate floor: “failing to fully fund WIC for the first time ever is not an acceptable outcome to me under any circumstances.”
  • Leading up to and even in the midst of recent negotiations, Murray made clear that WIC funding must be protected, saying just last month: “Republicans in the House are trying to cut… the program… I just will not accept this. This is a national priority and has been for 50 years, and we have an obligation to fund it.”


The final Fiscal Year 2024 Agriculture Appropriations Act fully funds WIC—which serves nearly 7 million women and kids nationwide and serves about half of all infants born in the U.S.—by providing $7.03 billion for the program, a $1.03 billion increase over fiscal year 2023 that meets the administration’s updated request. This increase will ensure that all eligible participants can continue to receive essential nutrition assistance and support provided by WIC.


USDA research back in 1988 found WIC participation improved the chance of women receiving prenatal care, and reduced premature births, low birth weights, infant mortality, and even health care costs. Additional research has shown benefits to child nutrition, immunization rates, cognitive development, and more. Recent studies have shown that $1 invested in WIC saves about $2.48 in medical, educational, and productivity costs.