House Republican leaders are looking to get their agenda back on track after a group of hard-line conservatives angry over the debt ceiling agreement effectively brought action in the chamber to a halt last week. 

The conservatives joined Democrats in voting down a rule needed to allow floor votes on a series of GOP messaging bills that have no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate, including the REINS Act, a bill that would allow Congress to block regulations before they take effect. 

In a bid to end the impasse, GOP leaders sought to mollify the conservatives by adding to the group of bills a measure aimed at overturning new regulations for pistol braces. The House Rules Committee is scheduled to meet Monday to produce a new rule for debating the collection of bills. 

South Dakota Rep. Dusty Johnson, an ally of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and a member of the House Agriculture Committee, last week played down the long-term impact of the intraparty squabble. 

“The reality is there’s always discontent around this town and there’s always going to be some folks who are acting up or who want this town to run differently,” he told Agri-Pulse. “I don’t have any sense that this is going to have a long-term impact on the important work we’ve got to get done.” 

Some conservatives were furious with the outcome of the SNAP work requirement provisions in the debt ceiling deal; the Congressional Budget Office estimated the debt bill would add a net 78,000 people per month to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program rolls. But House Ag Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Pa., insisted last week the anger wouldn’t spill over into the farm bill. He told Agri-Pulse he’s trying to ensure there is bipartisan support for the legislation, but he has also indicated an interest in revisiting the work requirements, a red line for Democrats. 

“For all members, all 435 members, we’re just making ourselves very accessible to hear what their interests and needs, their concerns, are,” Thompson said, noting the committee has been taking online comments on the bill. “We’ve had the portal open now for weeks. It will close soon. We’ll continue to take information. We’ve been hosting one-on-one meetings and group meetings and we’ll continue to do so with anyone who wants to sit down and talk. Both sides of the aisle, too.” 

The deadline for submitting comments to the committee is Friday

Also this week, the House Ways and Means Committee will take up a GOP tax package that includes extensions of business expensing and bonus depreciation provisions and a new 60% tax on purchases of U.S. farmland by China and other “countries of concern” The bill also would roll back tax incentives for clean power and electric vehicles.

Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith, R-Mo., said Republicans are “taking action to deliver relief and create a better, stronger future for American workers and families.”

Biden and congressional Republicans dubbed the bill “Republican tax scam 2.0,” a reference to the 2017 tax law. But Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said Democrats were willing to discuss some of the provisions, including an extension of expensing for research and development. 

Also this week, EPA is supposed to finalize by Wednesday the renewable volume obligations under the nation's biofuel mandate for 2023 through 2025 under a timeline the agency reached in a consent decree with biofuel trade association Growth Energy. 

Last year, EPA proposed multiyear targets that would provide blending growth for conventional corn ethanol, but left producers of biodiesel and renewable diesel frustrated. At the time, Clean Fuels Alliance America lobbyist Kurt Kovarik said EPA’s proposal “fails to provide growth for investments the industry has already made in additional capacity … and fail to take into account the planned growth of the clean fuels sector.”

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EPA’s proposal last year also included “eRINs,” offering a path for manufacturers of electric vehicles to participate in the program through the usage of renewable electricity, including biogas from methane digesters on livestock operations. But according to media reports, that proposal may be scrapped in the final rule. 

Just because Wednesday is EPA’s deadline under the consent decree, that doesn’t necessarily mean the agency will publicly roll out the volumes that day. Last year, EPA received an extension to the consent decree that gave the agency until Nov. 30 to finalize its proposal; the agency then rolled out the multiyear targets Dec. 1. 

Here is a list of agriculture- or rural-related events scheduled for this week in Washington and elsewhere (all times EDT):

Monday, June 12

4 p.m. — USDA releases weekly Crop Progress report. 

Tuesday, June 13

8:30 a.m. — Bureau of Labor Statistics releases monthly Consumer Price Index.

10 a.m. — House Agriculture subcommittee hearing on rural development programs, 1300 Longworth.

10 a.m. — House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the American Families and Jobs Act, 1100 Longworth.

10 a.m. — House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on competition in the meat industry, 2141 Rayburn.

Wednesday, June 14

Noon — House Agriculture subcommittee hearing on USDA research programs, 1300 Longworth.

Thursday, June 15

8:30 a.m. — USDA releases Weekly Export Sales report.

9 a.m. — House Natural Resources Committee hearing on bill requiring the Bureau of Land Management to withdraw conservation rule, 1324 Longworth.

10 a.m. — Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee meeting to consider the Animal Drug and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Amendments of 2023 and other bills, 430 Dirksen.

Friday, June 16

Deadline for submitting farm bill comments to House Agriculture Committee. 

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