Thursday, October 1, 2015

Congress Passes Bill Funding Government

A message from Feeding America:

"Today, Congress voted on a short-term spending bill to keep the government funded through December 11, 2015. The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 78-20, and the House passed the bill by a vote of 271-151. The President is expected to sign the bill shortly.

With a shutdown averted, attention now turns to Congress to negotiate a broader budget deal in December. Democrats are demanding increases in domestic spending to match any boost for military spending. But raising existing spending caps will raise opposition from conservative Republicans who will also seek to attach controversial policy riders.

Will there be any impact on federal nutrition programs?

All federal nutrition programs will continue to operate as usual at least through December 11, 2015. There should be no interruption in SNAP benefits and all commodity, child nutrition, and seniors programs will continue operating under current law.

Additionally, the CR included a provision that should allow SNAP benefits to be funded through the entire month of January. This should hopefully remove the prospect of delayed benefits should a timely agreement to fund the government beyond December 11th not be reached and provide a cushion to ensure SNAP benefits can continue to be paid if a shutdown occurs at that point.

What about Child Nutrition Reauthorization which was set to expire on Sept. 30?
Unfortunately, Congress was not able to reauthorize the Child Nutrition bill before the deadline of September 30. While the programs will continue to operate under current law, it is critical that Congress completes the reauthorization bill as soon as possible. Remember, the reauthorization process is our chance to make much needed investments toward closing the summer meal gap. We know the Senate is very close to introducing a reauthorization bill. Ranking Member Sen. Debbie Stabenow said today that the Agriculture Committee has made "positive steps." That's a good sign. But we can't let CNR get pushed aside by larger political dynamics likely to emerge in December and election year politics of 2016. Now is the time to act!"

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