Absence of a Farm Bill looms as lawmakers are at odds - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Absence of a Farm Bill looms as lawmakers are at odds

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Time is ticking as the end of the year is a little over three weeks away - and still... no Farm Bill in place.

Lawmakers continue to disagree on how to proceed, only delaying the passing of a new bill.

According to the Telegraph Herald, Speaker of the House John Boehner said he hasn't seen any real progress in reaching a resolution. Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said, however, that he remains optimistic.

Congressman Steve King, R-Kiron, stated in the Sioux City Journal if House and Senate leaders fail to come to an agreement by Monday, important legislation won't happen.

Amidst the arguing in Congress, the absence of a Farm Bill could ultimately affect the consumer. Milk prices could double next year. The Secretary of Agriculture said the price of a gallon of milk could jump to $7, a leap from the current price of about $3.47. Cheese, butter and other dairy products could become more expensive as well, along with other commodities like corn, wheat and soybeans.

The absence of a current Farm Bill would revert policy back to a law made in 1949, causing the increase in prices.

There are other components in the bill, like the food stamp program. About 47 million Americans receive food stamps, and those in Congress can't agree on how much to cut from the program. According to the Sioux City Journal, the Republican-led House passed a bill this summer that would cut $4 billion annually from the program. The Senate, on the other hand, passed a bill outlining a $400 million annual cut.

Despite the disagreement, many analysts expect Congress to come together on a deal by January 1, 2014. But, until then, the "dairy cliff" might as well be the only item on the agenda.

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