The lingering debate over who will be the next Speaker of the House will delay an informal kickoff to the farm bill process in the 118th Congress. 

House Agriculture Committee chairman-elect Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson has postponed his planned bipartisan farm bill listening session; the event was originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, Pa. 

Previous Ag Committee members and potential new members from both sides of the aisle planned to attend the event, which Thompson has been touting for months as the first opportunity for both Republican and Democratic members to hear farmers’ concerns firsthand. The event is now rescheduled for the afternoon of Friday, January 13 at the same location.

The House began its fourth day of votes on Friday in its ongoing attempt to confirm a new speaker. California Republican Kevin McCarthy flipped several votes throughout the day after offering a new deal to the conservatives holding off their support. 

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Thompson has won the support of House Republican Steering Committee to chair the House Ag Committee, but cannot officially assume the role until a speaker is elected. The delay also keeps members from officially being added to the committee and hearings from taking place, meaning the Pennsylvania event could not be billed as a field hearing.

According to a notice from Thompson’s office, the original attendee list included Democrats Chellie Pingree of Maine, Jimmy Panetta of California and Dwight Evans of Pennsylvania. Freshman Wisconsin Republican Derrick Van Orden was expected to join other Republicans including Austin Scott of Georgia, Doug LaMalfa of California, Mary Miller of Illinois, Jim Baird of Indiana and Dan Meuser of Pennsylvania.  

The House is adjourned until 10 p.m. on Friday evening, when member-elects are expected to cast speaker ballots for the 14th time.

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