House GOP Uses ‘Flatly False’ Administrative Cost Estimate To Justify Cutting Nutrition Assistance

House Republicans are in the process of considering a fiscal year 2012 Agriculture Appropriatons bill that, as we’ve noted, would cut more than $800 million from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), preventing hundreds of thousands of eligible women and children from accessing aid. One of the justifications that the GOP uses is that “administrative costs of operating WIC are well above 40 percent.” As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities noted, this number has no basis in reality: “The claim is flatly false: USDA data show that only 9 percent of federal WIC funds are spent on administrative costs. The Committee’s claim rests on errors in basic arithmetic and the mislabeling of core WIC services for nutrition education and breastfeeding support as though they were administrative costs, which they are not.”