Lawmakers return to Washington to try to focus on fiscal 2025 spending bills even as Democrats face an ongoing debate about whether President Joe Biden should end his re-election bid.

House Ag Committee member Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., announced on Saturday that she believes Biden should drop out of the race.

In a statement released by her campaign, she said that “given what I saw and heard from the President during last week’s debate in Atlanta, coupled with the lack of a forceful response from the President himself following that debate, I do not believe that the President can effectively campaign and win against Donald Trump.”

But Biden continues to insist that he’s not dropping out of the race, saying in a ABC News interview that he would only step aside, “if the Lord Almighty comes down and tells me that.”

Biden also dismissed a report that Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., is organizing a group of colleagues to urge him to step aside. Biden insisted he has the full support of the Democratic congressional leadership.

Biden, meanwhile, is hosting a NATO conference and is expected to hold a press conference this week.

Amid the Democratic turmoil, both the House and Senate are set to advance FY25 spending bills important to agriculture and food policy. The House and Senate are in session for just one week before the Republican National Convention starts July 15 in Milwaukee.

The House Appropriations Committee will debate the Interior-Environment and Energy-Water measures on Tuesday, and will then turn to a trio of bills, including the Agriculture-FDA and Labor-HHS measures, on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee will debate its version of the FY25 Agriculture bill.

The House’s Agriculture bill, which is far more partisan than the Senate version is likely to be, contains an array of GOP policy priorities, including provisions to block USDA’s implementation of new regulations on the meat and poultry industry and to slow down new food traceability requirements at FDA.

The bill would also authorize a pilot program testing food purchasing restrictions for SNAP benefits, an idea that is a priority for the subcommittee’s chairman, Andy Harris, R-Md.

Provisions in the House’s Interior-Environment bill include one that would block the EPA from implementing regulations on light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles intended to accelerate a shift to electrification of surface transportation. The Bureau of Land Management would be prevented from carrying out new regulations that put conservation on a par with grazing and other uses of BLM land. 

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Elsewhere on Capitol Hill, the House Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday focusing on concerns with EPA regulations, while the Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing the same day on regulation of digital commodities with CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam.

Later Wednesday, a Senate Ag subcommittee will hold  a hearing on concerns about rural infrastructure  

Also this week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the June Consumer Price Index amid continued voter concern about inflation. The CPI for food eaten at home was unchanged in May after falling 0.2% in April.

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

Monday, July 8

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

Tuesday, July 9

9 a.m. – House Appropriations Committee meeting to consider the fiscal 2025 Commerce-Justice-Science, Interior-Environment and Energy-Water spending bills, 2359 Rayburn.

10 a.m. – House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on the Federal Communications Commission, 2123 Rayburn.

10:30 a.m. – House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on the Federal Trade Commission, 2322 Rayburn.

2 p.m. – House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee hearing on the California Air Resource Board’s locomotive regulations, 2167 Rayburn.

Wednesday, July 10

9 a.m. – House Appropriations Committee meeting to consider the FY25 Labor-HHS, Transportation-HUD and Agriculture spending bills, 2359 Rayburn.

10 a.m. – House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing on EPA, 2154 Rayburn.

10 a.m. – Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on oversight of digital commodities, 328A Russell.

1 p.m. – Bipartisan Policy Center Climate and Trade Summit.

2 p.m. – House Agriculture Committee hearing, “Examining the Consequences of EPA’s Actions on American Agriculture,” 1300 Longworth.

2:30 p.m. – Senate Agriculture subcommittee hearing, “The State of Rural Infrastructure: Emergency Response, Recovery and Resilience,” 328A Russell.

Thursday, July 11

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

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

9:30 a.m. – Senate Appropriations Committee meeting to consider its FY25 MilCon-VA, Agriculture and Legislative Branch spending bills, 106 Dirksen.

1:00 p.m. - Agri-Pulse hosts webinar: "What happens when animal diseases cross boundaries?" Registration is free.

Friday, June 12

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

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