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Dodging a Bullet; Congress Works to Avert Milk Spike

Glass_of_milk_on_tableclothIt appears congress may find enough votes and keep the farm bill alive for another year.

Apparently, the angst caused by the idea of $8 per gallon milk over the Christmas family table was enough to motivate bipartisan action within the agriculture committee of both the House and Senate.

The current farm bill, passed in 2008, expired in September. If  the current one extended by January 1, farm programs would lose billions of dollars in financing and would revert to the 1949 law. The old law would reintroduce higher government price supports for milk, corn, rice, wheat and other crops and could lead to higher consumer prices and federal spending. An extension of the bill would help struggling farmers across the Midwest, who battled the worst drought in 50 years.

Fox News: A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said Sunday that Republican leaders had not decided how they would proceed on the farm extension, though a vote could come as soon as Monday.

One potential hurdle for the one-year extension is its cost: The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on Sunday estimated the extension, which also includes disaster assistance for farmers affected by drought, could cost more than $1 billion this budget year.

For what it’s worth, the author’s lactose intolerant family has long been using enriched rice milk at a cost of about $2.59 per quart. And yes, that would be well over $10 per gallon. Maybe we could get a few subsidies thrown our way?

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