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Child Nutrition Amendments of 1978 Statement on Signing S. 3085 Into Law.

November 10, 1978

I am signing into law S. 3085, the Child Nutrition Amendments of 1978. This legislation funds school food programs, the child care food program, and substantially expands the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

The amendments contain administration proposals to increase management efficiency and to establish national income standards to assure that only those persons in need receive program benefits. Other administration proposals in the amendments will reduce our expenditures for school feeding programs, simplify record keeping for the school breakfast program, and extend the child care food program, which provides nutritious meals to children in day care centers.

There are significant problems with this legislation which can be corrected by the next Congress. The spending levels for fiscal year 1980 and thereafter are higher than the substantial WIC increases that I recommended to the Congress. These increases and the failure of Congress to adopt administration proposals to achieve savings by more carefully targeting benefits to those most in need make it more difficult to reduce the budget deficit and cut spending. Furthermore, an entitlement feature for WIC in fiscal 1980 limits my ability, and that of Congress, to control costs through annual appropriations.

I am signing this act, however, because of the strengthening of these other child nutrition programs and because of WIC's success in improving the health of lowincome pregnant and nursing women and young children. It bas reduced anemia and the number of underweight infants at birth, and has dramatically reduced infant mortality rates. The WIC program is fully consistent with my commitment to preventive health measures and may actually reduce hospital expenditures and Medicaid costs.

I am nevertheless signing the bill because key members of the House and Senate committees have assured me that they will promptly enact a reduction of at least $50 million in the 1980 entitlement and will actively explore other cost-saving reforms. The Secretary of Agriculture is already preparing several of these reforms which I will submit in my budget and legislative program to the next Congress.

Note: As enacted, S. 3085 is Public Law 95627, approved November 10.

Jimmy Carter, Child Nutrition Amendments of 1978 Statement on Signing S. 3085 Into Law. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/244028

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