The Democratic leadership moved that the House go along with the bill including the food tax cut. By that time it had been sent back from the Senate.
However, a heated drama unfolded when House Minority Leader Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, attempted to amend the bill to include a complete repeal of the food tax.
Armstead was summoned to the speaker's podium, where he and a visibly livid Thompson engaged in a lengthy argument.
The two argued over the House's past practice of making substantive changes to bills at this point in the process.
Thompson explained it was a practice he ended when he became speaker.
"That's when you went home over the weekend and found out that you voted for something you didn't realize you were voting for," he told the House following the exchange.
"The ruling of this chair is that we will not go back to this practice."
After the Republican amendment was rejected, the House approved the bill with the 1 percentage point reduction by a 91-2 margin.
Thompson, still red-faced from the exchange with Armstead, stood by his decision when speaking to reporters after the session.
"My members know what we're voting on; we don't sneak stuff in legislation," he said.
He said even though he supported elimination of the food tax, he felt compelled to abide by the rules he had set for the House.
"Once I was told by the clerk that it was substantive change, the ruling's clear - it doesn't make a difference what's in it.
"I have a job as presiding officer of this House to preside over this House and make rulings that are consistent with legal precedent with this House."
However, Republicans cried foul, pointing to another bill designed to give one-time bonuses to certain low-income state retirees.
The House passed a bill that would have provided $600 bonuses to that group. The Senate then amended it and asked the House to go along with $1,200 bonuses.
Instead, the House leadership referred the bill back to the House Finance Committee, which now is proposing the amount be doubled again, to $2,400.
Armstead said House leadership supported that maneuver so Republicans saw no reason that their food tax amendment should not have been considered.
"The House rules and the joint rules clearly gave us the right to bring before this House for debate the ability to fully eliminate the food tax," Armstead said.
"I am utterly disappointed - disappointed beyond words - the extent to which this leadership of this House would go to prevent a vote for fully eliminating the food tax."
Delegate Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, pointed to the pension bonus bill, which emerged from the House Finance Committee Wednesday afternoon, as highlighting inconsistencies in the House.
"Twenty minutes prior to this floor session, we did the very thing that they ruled out of order," Carmichael said.
"They're playing fast and loose with the people's money, and they will go to any length to avoid voting on providing any real tax relief to West Virginians in the form of the elimination of the food tax."
Though the Republicans did not get a full repeal, the 1-cent reduction now goes to Tomblin for his signature before becoming law.
Contact writer Jared Hunt at jared.h...@dailymail.com or 304-348-5148.