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Pelosi, Mnuchin Reach Deal to Avert Government Shutdown

A bipartisan agreement has been reached to avert a partial government shutdown late Tuesday evening, and a vote passed after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary finalized details that will give more assistance to struggling farmers and others experiencing food insecurities. A lopsided vote of 359-57 passed a stopgap funding measure that would extend current funding for all federal agencies through Dec. 11, and the bill was sent on to the Senate.

The bill will restore money for farm payments sought by lawmakers from both parties that House leaders had rejected in an earlier stopgap measure introduced Monday. It also would restore new money for a pandemic-related program funding subsidized meals to children who would normally receive them when schools are open, among other nutrition assistance, House Democrats said.

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Speaker Pelosi released a statement about the measure, which includes new provisions that would extend pandemic-related flexibilities in the food stamp program for another year and expand the school meals program to those attending child care centers that were closed because of the pandemic, among other things.

“We have reached an agreement with Republicans on the CR to add nearly $8 billion in desperately needed nutrition assistance for hungry schoolchildren and families,” Pelosi’s statement reads.

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The agreement also contains language Pelosi said would prevent “funds for farmers from being misused for a Big Oil bailout,” after earlier reports surfaced that the administration has been planning to divert Commodity Credit Corporation funds to refiners.

“The last thing the United States needs right now, in the midst of a pandemic, is a lapse in government funding that was set to expire at the end of this month,” Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., said during floor debate.

The CR is expected to clear the Senate by early next week, where it would then be sent on to the White House. Once signed into law, it would spare the country a partial government shutdown when the new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1, in the midst of a pandemic and just over a month out from the elections.



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