Nancy Pelosi unveils details of stimulus deal to avoid government shutdown

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday announced the details of a deal with the White House to avoid a partial government shutdown before the Nov. 3 election.

Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin previously agreed in principle to avoid a potentially bitter shutdown that would cause federal workers to miss paychecks.

“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 said in a statement. “We also increase accountability in the Commodity Credit Corporation, preventing funds for farmers from being misused for a Big Oil bailout.”

The bill must pass the Democratic-controlled House and the Republican-held Senate before funds for agencies run out at the end of the day on Sept. 30.

Pelosi said the deal also includes a continued boost in food stamp spending amid an increase in unemployment linked to the virus.

“To help the millions of families struggling to keep food on the table during the pandemic, Democrats have renewed the vital, expiring lifeline of Pandemic EBT for a full year and enabled our fellow Americans in the territories to receive this critical nutrition assistance,” Pelosi said.

“Democrats secured urgently needed assistance for schoolchildren to receive meals despite the coronavirus’s disruption of their usual schedules, whether virtual or in-person, and expanded Pandemic EBT access for young children in child care. We also extended key flexibility for states to lower administrative requirements on SNAP for families in the middle of this crisis.”

The Treasury Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mnuchin, a top White House negotiator with Democrats in Congress, and Pelosi have failed to agree on the terms of other legislation including a COVID-19 relief package that would send stimulus checks and renew an expired unemployment insurance supplement.

Pelosi was asked this week if “something is better than nothing” in a stimulus deal. She said: “No… It’s a missed opportunity.”

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