The House Agriculture Committee's farm bill likely won't get a floor vote until September at the earliest due to the appropriations process that is expected to dominate the chamber's work this summer, Chairman Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., told Agri-Pulse Thursday during a break in the committee's debate over the legislation. 

It's not certain the bill will be brought to the floor at all, given the narrow GOP majority in the House and the lack of legislative time left before the November elections. 

Before reconvening the committee's debate Thursday afternoon, Thompson said in an interview that his next step will be reaching out after the committee vote is to talk to Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Republicans on her panel.

He said there’s a “serious commitment” to complete the fiscal 2025 appropriations process before the House recess in August. Because of this, the next likely open spot for a farm bill floor vote is in September. 

The House is scheduled to be in session for three weeks in September and then out until after the November elections. Congress could wind up passing another extension of the 2018 farm bill. 

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Thompson and his staff have been working for weeks to convince some Democrats to vote for the bill. But Thompson told Agri-Pulse that he believes Democrats have shown “schizophrenic support” for the bill, and may be misinformed on the measures he's using to fund the bill.

“It seems like those who are informed about what's in the bill love the policy side,” Thompson said. Democrats "have been misled. The fact is, you have to pay for those new things.” 

A handful of Democrats, such as North Carolina Rep. Don Davis, hadn't indicated how they were going to vote on the bill. Following his opening statement at the markup, Davis told Agri-Pulse he was still weighing his decision and was waiting to see how amendments play out before making a final call. 

“There are some good things in the bill and then there are some things that I believe, as I was sharing, that need to be more sensitive towards our helping families that are struggling now,” Davis said. 

Other Democrats used their opening statements to openly oppose the bill, particularly provisions restricting the Thrifty Food Plan, which would reduce projected SNAP spending by about $27 billion. 

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