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Farm Bill Compromise May Come Today


WASHINGTON DC (WSAU) A proposed extension of federal farm programs could come up for a vote today in Congress. House and Senate Ag Committee leaders from both parties have announced a one-year extension of the 2008 farm bill that expired three months ago.

House Republicans are also looking at two other options – a one-month extension, and a measure that would only extend policies for the dairy industry.

Some lawmakers have been driven toward a compromise by a possible jump in consumer milk prices. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has said that Americans could pay seven-dollars-a-gallon for milk if dairy program ends, and the government returns to a 1949 program to determine producer milk supports.

A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said G-O-P leaders had not decided how to proceed on a farm bill extension. The Senate passed its version of a farm bill last summer – but Boehner has delayed a vote in the House, amid concern over the food stamp spending in the bill.

The proposed committee extension also includes disaster aid to farmers affected by this year’s drought – plus a voluntary insurance program for dairy producers that was included in both the Senate and House committee versions of the new Farm Bill.