Congressional leaders are headed to a showdown on multiple issues in coming days, including the need to agree by Nov. 17 on another stopgap spending bill, which this time could include a one-year extension of the 2018 farm bill. 

House Speaker Mike Johnson last week floated the idea of a “laddered” stopgap bill that would set varying expiration dates for different areas of the government, triggering the threat of rolling shutdowns into the new year. Democrats quickly rejected the idea, and some House Republicans are questioning the strategy as well. The continuing resolution that has been funding the government since fiscal 2024 started Oct. 1 expires Nov. 17. 

Johnson told Fox News Sunday that he appeared "a little haggard" on the show because he was up late Saturday night working on a new CR. "We recognize that we may not get all the appropriations bill done by this deadline of Nov. 17, but we're going to continue in good faith."

House Republicans are also at odds with Senate Democrats and the White House over what to do about funding for Israel and Ukraine. The House last week passed a $14.5 billion aid bill for Israel that was tied to equivalent cuts to the Internal Revenue Service.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., called the aid package “unserious and inadequate” and said the Senate would insist on including funding for Ukraine as well. Senate Republicans also want to include border security measures, including changes in immigration policy.  

Schumer hasn’t said yet when the Senate will move a new continuing resolution. With work on a new farm bill largely stalled, leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and ranking member John Boozman of Arkansas, want to include in the CR a one-year extension of the 2018 farm law. That would effectively give lawmakers until after the 2024 elections to enact a bill.

On Friday, the ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, David Scott, D-Ga., endorsed a one-year extension, calling it the "responsible thing to do. It allows our farmers, ranchers, and foresters to operate with an element of certainty while we continue working on a bipartisan five-year farm bill."

The committee’s chairman, Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Pa., had been reluctant to support an extension that long, but last week he indicated to Agri-Pulse that he was open to the idea, as long as there is a commitment not to delay moving the legislation quickly in 2024. 

A senior Republican on the committee, Georgia Rep. Austin Scott, told Agri-Pulse that the year-long extension would give some certainty to farmers on the operation of commodity programs next year. 

A one-year extension is “where I think we’re headed,” said Scott, who chairs the subcommittee that oversees commodity programs. He said he hoped lawmakers would move a new bill early in 2024.  

“Our ag economy needs it. Rural America needs it. And so I hope we move expeditiously in the first quarter of next year,” Scott said. 

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Meanwhile this week, the House will continue debating its fiscal 2024 appropriations bills, including the Financial Services bill, and a measure that funds the departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development.

House Republicans are moving FY24 bills that would slash spending levels well below caps set in the debt-ceiling agreement this spring and include a number of policy provisions that are non-starters with the Senate and the White House. 

Republican leaders, who have had trouble uniting their own members on some of the spending bills, had to punt final action on the Transportation-HUD bill from last week because of concerns among some GOP members about its cuts to rail funding. 

The Financial Services bill includes a policy rider that would block the Securities and Exchange Commission from finalizing regulations that would require public corporations to disclose greenhouse gas emissions in their supply chains. Another provision would require agencies to reinstate telework policies, practices, and levels that were in effect before 2020.  

The Senate moved its first three FY24 bills in a package last week and hasn't scheduled floor action on additional measures. The Senate package included the Agriculture bill to fund USDA and FDA. The House version of that bill was defeated in September in part because of the deep cuts it would make in USDA programs. 

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

Monday, Nov. 6 

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

Tuesday, Nov. 7

3 p.m. - Farm Foundation Forum, “Innovation in Gene Editing and Plant Breeding: A Look at Scientific Advancement and Consumer Perspectives in Food and Agriculture.”

Wednesday, Nov. 8 

10 a.m. – Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, “Accessing Clean Water Infrastructure Assistance: Small, Rural, Disadvantaged, and Underserved Communities.” 

Thursday, Nov. 9

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

Noon – USDA releases monthly Crop Production report and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates

Friday, Nov. 10

Veterans Day

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