U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack warned Monday that an “extreme Republican” government shutdown next week could cost nearly 7 million low-income women and children their food benefits through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.

“WIC is a program that impacts and affects over 50% of all the newborns in this country. Nearly 7 million pregnant moms, new mothers and young children count on WIC every single day to receive support — nutrition assistance support,” Vilsack told reporters at the White House on Monday.

“With a shutdown, what we would see across the United States is a denial of those benefits and opportunities,” he added. Vilsack said the WIC program would stop immediately, while the SNAP program could survive through the month of October.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives is working to advance spending cuts as a condition to keep the U.S. government open, with the Democratic-controlled Senate unlikely to agree. With no agreement, a partial shutdown of the government would go into effect by Sunday.

The White House has blasted “extreme House Republicans” who “continue to demand a reckless laundry list of partisan proposals as a condition of keeping the government open.”

The Biden administration warns a shutdown would “undermine our economy and national security, create needless uncertainty for families and businesses and have damaging consequences across the country.”

Moody’s Investors Service also warned Monday that a government shutdown would negatively impact the United States’ current AAA credit rating for sovereign debt.

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