Saturday, October 20, 2018
 Dairy Product Prices Could Increase if Farm Bill Isn't Passed  

Stalled negotiations over a farm bill threaten more than trouble for farmers and consumers, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says. They're also a broader test of whether Washington can work.

The huge bill, more than a year overdue, is caught in a dispute between the House and Senate over how much to cut the food stamp program, among other issues. Vilsack notes that failure to pass it before the end of the year could double milk prices for Americans, spark retaliatory tariffs from Brazil and leave livestock producers who have been hit by storms and drought without standard federal assistance.

In an interview with USA TODAY's Capital Download, Vilsack characterized the talks as a case study of an embattled government.

"This is a bill that should reignite what little DNA is left of bipartisanship in Washington, D.C.," he says. "This has been a bill that's always been relatively easy for Congress to get done, and if we don't get it done, I think it sends another negative message to the country about the workings of government."

On the other hand, passing the farm bill could be a tonic for what ails the capital, he argues, likening it to a stumbling football team that decides to get back to basics.

"We (should) get back to blocking and tackling — pass a bill, a major bill," he says. "When that happens, basically, relationships are formed, opportunities for success are created and I think it creates a momentum" that could boost prospects in Washington for a budget agreement and even immigration legislation.

He says "folks have been stuck" in House-Senate negotiations that missed a self-imposed deadline last week to agree on a framework so a bill could be passed before the end of the year.

Source: USA Today

Posted on Wednesday, November 27, 2013 (Archive on Wednesday, December 04, 2013)
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