House bogged down in fight over women, infant and children food program

Hoyer was one of several Democrats who appeared to be staging a mini-filibuster of the bill. Rather than propose an amendment, these members moved to "strike the last word," a parliamentary move that allows them to speak for five minutes without having to make an amendment proposal -- essentially allowing them to extend general debate.

Much of the substance was handled in a back-and-forth between Reps. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) and Jim McGovern (D-Mass.). Kingston argued that the more than $600 million in WIC cuts are acceptable because fewer people are using the program, and there are contingency funds that the government can draw from if more coverage is needed.

Specifically, Kingston said the bill funds WIC at about 8.3 million users, but these contingency funds would allow coverage up to 9 million users if needed. He also pledged repeatedly to help ensure that these funds are used if need exceeds current expectations.

However, Democrats continued to reject that explanation into Tuesday evening, and at one point, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) argued that there is no such contingency funding available.

Kingston also fought back by saying Democrats in 2010 cut $562 million in unused WIC funding, which is a big part of the reason why funding for the program is lower than normal. And, he reminded Democrats repeatedly that food stamp programs would increase under the bill, although Democrats countered that the increase is not as much as the Obama administration requested.

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