The House of Representatives passed a measure to extend the current farm bill until January 31 in order to avert a potential sharp increase in dairy prices tied to the lapse in farm policy. On December 31, dairy subsidies are set to revert to "permanent law" written in 1949 that could double the price of milk in grocery stores.
Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, says many senators oppose the extension because it could trigger $5 billion in "direct payment" subsidies to growers. Many Democrats have also argued that the potential for a so-called dairy cliff has been overblown.
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