House passes spending bill to avoid government shutdown, sends it to Senate

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during her weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol on August 6, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Stefani Reynolds | Getty Images

The House passed a bill Tuesday that would fund the government into December and avoid a shutdown before a Sept. 30 deadline. 

After clearing the House in an overwhelming vote, the legislation heads to the Republican-held Senate. Earlier Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she reached a spending agreement with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Republicans. 

Pelosi said the proposal would include $8 billion for nutrition assistance for schoolchildren and families. It renews Pandemic EBT, a program that provides food benefits while schools are closed set to expire at the end of September, for a full year. 

It also adds increased accountability for farm aid money to prevent it from gong to large oil companies, according to Pelosi. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had criticized a lack of farm assistance funds in a bill House Democrats released Monday. 

The bill would fund the government through Dec. 11, avoiding a potentially chaotic shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic and before the Nov. 3 election. Lawmakers then aim to hash out an agreement to fund the government through Sept. 30, 2021, the end of the next fiscal year. 

Lawmakers have said they want to get past the shutdown threat to focus on passing more coronavirus relief, which they have failed to do for months amid disagreements over the size of a fifth aid package. 

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