There are just a few days left until Congress takes its holiday break, but there is still a lot of unfinished business.
That includes a budget deal, the massive Defense Bill, and the Farm Bill.
Without a Farm Bill in place, milk prices could soar to $7 a gallon shortly after dairy subsidies expire December 31st. Those subsidies won’t be renewed unless lawmakers pass a new Farm Bill or extend the existing one before they adjourn for the year on Friday.
An extension is something Congressman Steve King says he’d only consider if Congress doesn’t have a Farm Bill by Thursday night.
“I’m a little concerned that we’ll get to some kind of agreement by the end of next week, we say, ‘alright, we’ve got a handshake on this, let’s vote on it the first day in January.’ We open it up and people poke holes in it all the way through Christmas and New Years. That may not be a good strategy. So, that would be a reason to think about an extension,” says Rep. King.
The key difference between the House and Senate versions of the Farm Bill is money for food stamps. The Senate plan would cut $4 billion from the program over 10 years. The House wants to cut about $40 billion.
Sen. Tom Harkin, who’s on the committee to hammer out a compromise on the Farm Bill, calls the House cuts “extreme.”