A gallon of milk could double in price if lawmakers don't pass a long-delayed farm bill by the end of the year, The Washington Examiner reports
Milk would likely cost between $6 and $7 a gallon if a new farm bill isn't enacted or extended, estimates the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, an alliance of grass-roots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform. Lack of action on the bill would result in the Agriculture Department ending ts current dairy price support program.
The 2008 farm bill expired last year but was extended through this year.
The House and Senate have passed competing farm bills, but the two sides are still far apart and a new deal isn't expected to be completed by Jan. 1.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters Thursday he's prepared to offer a one-month extension.
Prices wouldn't rise immediately. The Agriculture Department would have to write new rules before enacting them. But Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said his department was prepared to implement the new dairy law in "short order" if current law expires.
"Boy, I tell you, that's not something that I want to do," Vilsack said.
"I'm reasonably certain that's not anything that anybody in Congress would want to have happen, and I'm sure that no consumer is anxious to see that happen. So hopefully we continue to see progress," he told the Examiner.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has said he doesn't want to extend the bill again after Congress already extended the bill at the beginning of this year.
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