No stopgap deal yet; House Democrats prep fallback bill

Negotiations to avert a partial government shutdown in 10 days were at a standstill Monday morning.

House Democrats were planning to file their own version of a bill before the Rules Committee meets at 1 p.m. that would remove agriculture and nutrition policy riders that were in dispute late Friday. That decision wasn’t sitting well with Senate Republicans, however, increasing prospects for a legislative ping-pong match and sending an amended version back to the House close to the Sept. 30 deadline.

The House bill would preserve the Dec. 11 end date both parties had agreed to Friday, but would drop a $30 billion replenishment of Commodity Credit Corporation funds for farm payments, which the White House and congressional Republicans have sought. It would also drop a $2.7 billion extension of the expiring Pandemic EBT program sought by Democrats, which provides meals for children who would normally receive free or reduced-price lunches when schools are open.

Those provisions had been tentatively agreed to as part of a “deal in principle” on Friday, according to sources involved in the talks. But when word got around, some Democrats balked at what they viewed as insufficient food aid for low-income families compared to the generous funding for farmers and ranchers.

[Stopgap funding talks bleed into weekend amid farm aid pushback]

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