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House of Representatives Passes Continuing Resolution Averting Gov't Shutdown

© REUTERS / JOSHUA ROBERTSThe U.S. Capitol Building as seen on February 4, 2020
The U.S. Capitol Building as seen on  February 4, 2020 - Sputnik International
During recent weeks, Republicans and Democrats have been engaged in heated debate over the federal budget, set to expire at the end of September. The deal between the parties will keep the government funded through 11 December, gaining more time to agree on a new budget.

US House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a continuing resolution that averts the government from shutting down before the US presidential election, voting 359 to 57, with one voting "present". The short-term federal funding leg will now go to the Senate.

Earlier in the day, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi issued a statement, saying that a bipartisan agreement between the GOP and Democrats has been reached on the continuing resolution, avoiding the government shutdown.

“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. We also increase accountability in the Commodity Credit Corporation, preventing funds for farmers from being misused for a Big Oil bailout", Pelosi stated.

She also announced that "the vital, expiring lifeline of Pandemic EBT [federal program providing food support for schoolchildren]" has been renewed for a full year, along with introducing lower administrative requirements on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) "for families in the middle of this crisis".

Democrats and Republicans in congress have not been able to agree on a federal budget for several weeks, as the deadline for the government funding expiration was set to 30 September, raising the possibility of another government shutdown in the wake of the national election.

The talks were stalled particularly due to Dem's insistence on a larger second coronavirus relief package, which would include "at least $2.5 trillion", refusing to negotiate otherwise, while GOP members offered a much smaller package, pointing to recent changes in the country's economy.

The announced continuing resolution will prevent the government from shutting down before the national election, leaving the two parties with more time to agree on a federal budget amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

The first coronavirus relief bill created by Congress was signed by US President Donald Trump in March, providing government aid in the form of $3 trillion for Americans and US companies affected by the economic consequences of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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