Millions of Americans who depend on food stamps will receive the benefits through February despite the government shutdown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says.
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said the USDA will take advantage of temporary funding to cover the cost of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for February, estimated at $4.8 billion for the approximately 38 million recipients.
@SecretarySonnyAt the direction of @POTUS, we've announced a plan to fully fund SNAP benefits for February, despite Congress' inability to send the President an appropriations bill that secures our borders. We're doing right and feeding everyone. Details: http://bit.ly/2Ff3QCt
The USDA is asking states to issue February's benefits on Jan. 20, earlier than usual, to take advantage of a 2018 continuing resolution that kept the government funded temporarily as Congress unsuccessfully tried to pass an appropriations bill for fiscal 2019. The CR expired Dec. 21 but allows the government to make payments for 30 days after it expires. SNAP is fully funded for January.