On Wednesday, September 30, 2020, the Senate gave final approval to (HR 8337) a continuing resolution or CR that will keep the government from shutting down at the start of the fiscal year. The CR provides level funding (FY 2020 funding levels) with some slight adjustments to address formulas and some program changes. The CR does extend some expiring programs such as TANF and the transportation trust fund and funding. Funding will extend to December 11, 2020.
The one significant exception to the limited CR is that it allows a continuation of some pandemic provisions for nutrition programs. The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT) was included in earlier COVID-19 relief measures and allows families to receive an EBT card to purchase food to replace the school meals. With schools conducting remote learning, children are missing the benefit of school meals. The CR extends this provision until September 30, 2021. State Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) agencies will also be allowed to use some of the pandemic waiver provisions. Other improvements include allowing Puerto Rico and other territories to implement P-EBT.
The CR also extends temporary changes to the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition program by allowing greater flexibility for eligibility determination and the food products that can be purchased.