This afternoon, House Democrats released legislation to keep the federal government open and running through December 11, via a continuing resolution (CR) ahead of the end of the federal fiscal year on September 30. "H.R. 8319, the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act" has not been approved by Republicans or by the White House, nor does it contain all the exemptions or "anomalies" that they were seeking. Attached to this post is a section-by-section summary of the bill, the full text can be found here, and some highlights are below.
The House Rules Committee is meeting about the bill today and the full House chamber may consider the legislation tomorrow or Wednesday. Note that House Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin vowed earlier on to have a "clean" CR that did not contain contentious policy provisions. However, the Committee for Education Funding (CEF) reports that both sides were having trouble agreeing on provisions including authorization for school meals to be provided at closed schools and farm subsidies before more disagreements arose about when the Senate should consider a nomination to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created after Justice Ginsburg's passing on Friday. Consequently, it is not clear if the CR will sail smoothly through Congress as hoped for last week. Stay tuned for further updates on the Global School Business Network.
Yesterday, the House passed a continuing resolution (CR) funding package to extend federal funding through December 11, punting the threat of a federal shutdown until after the 2020 elections. House Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin negotiated an agreement on the package with slight revisions to the measure reported on in our prior legislative alert. (Click to read the latest version of the CR bill text and summary.)Notably, the revised CR package approved by the House would extend the USDA's Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program until the end of next September to ensure students who normally would receive free or reduced-price meals at school are receiving cash cards to help buy food. The P-EBT provides households $5.70 for every school day missed, and POLITICO reports that millions of households have received one-time payments of $250-$450 per child depending on where they live. The program extension through the end of the 2020-2021 school year is expected to cost $2.7 billion. (See Section 4601 of bill)Also, the CR package would extend school meal waivers under the National School Lunch Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Woman, Infants, and Children (WIC) through the end of September 2021, making it easier for schools to distribute food to children while school campuses are closed. The waivers had only been extended through December 31, 2020 previously, but if this measure comes into law, it will provide districts more stability and flexibility as they continue feeding and educating students this school year. (See Section 4602 of bill)The stopgap funding measure will now go to the Senate, where it is expected to pass before the September 30 deadline. We will continue to share any updates about the CR package's progress on this thread.