U.S. House approves bill to avert federal shutdown that includes nutrition waiver extension

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill to avert a federal government shutdown. The bill includes a provision extending school nutrition waivers supported by KASB through June 2021.  

Federal Fiscal Year 2020 closes on September 30 but Congress has not passed all the appropriations bills needed to continue federal programs beyond that date. The “Continuing Resolution” passed by the House on Tuesday keeps the federal government operating through December 11. The vote tally was 359-71 for passage. 

Kansas Representatives Sharice Davids and Steve Watkins voted for the bill; Rep. Ron Estes voted no; Rep. Roger Marshall was listed as “not voting” on the measure. The legislation now moves to the U.S. Senate for passage, where the House vote margin is considered likely to influence passage. 

School nutrition waivers were part of the federal CARES Act that sent billions of dollars to U.S. schools. The law allowed school districts some flexibility to serve school meals outside school buildings (such as “drive through” meals distributed in school parking lots) and to serve all students regardless of financial status and extended several other waivers as well.  

The United States Department of Agriculture, which administers the school nutrition program, recently extended the CARES Act waivers until the end of the calendar year but cited fiscal uncertainty in refraining from further extending the waivers.  

The continuing resolution appropriates “such sums as may be necessary” to extend the waivers through June. 

KASB asked Congress in May and August to continue to authorize the waiver extensions. You can read more about our efforts here.  

Share this post