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CLSA Wire

Federal Appropriations Update – Continuing Resolution Likely Through Dec. 11

The new Fiscal Year (FY) will begin at midnight tonight on October 1st.  At the time this update was prepared on September 29th, a government shutdown is unlikely following the House passage of a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government at FY20 levels through December 11, 2020.  The bill, H.R. 8337 – which passed 359-57 – is the second CR introduced in the House and is expected to pass the Senate and be signed into law without incident.

Of particular interest to CLSA’s membership, the bill includes provisions to bridge existing health extenders and the Rare Pediatric  Disease Priority Review Voucher (RPD PRV) program through the length of the CR.  It also extends the availability of funding for multi-year grants issued by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that were interrupted by COVID-19 but would have expired at the end of FY20.

The earlier version of the CR introduced by the House did not include the Republican-backed $30 billion to replenish a farm bailout program, which prompted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to tweet his disapproval over the initial legislation. However, the stalemate on additional COVID-19 relief legislation, and no appetite for a government shutdown heading into an election, resulted in the reopening of negotiations.

The House-passed bipartisan bill headed to the Senate does include $30 billion in reimbursement to the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) for farm assistance.  It also includes multiple Democrat-backed priorities including: extending the Pandemic EBT program through September 2021, extending waivers for the National School Lunch Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) that were included in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act through September 2021, extending the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) waivers through September 2021, and prohibits payments to fossil fuel refiners and importers from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) or the Department of Agriculture.

For more information about the state of the federal appropriations process, please contact Dani Mitchell (dmitchell@califesciences.org), CLSA’s Manager of Federal Affairs and Programs.