- The Washington Times - Monday, October 28, 2013

The farm bill fighting heating up in Congress could leave in its wake a major dent on the household economy — the price of milk.

The big debate is what to do about the $80 billion annual Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps. House and Senate members are set to negotiate the fate of the bill and its five years’ worth of funding this week, but if they don’t find consensus, then dairy supports may be left in limbo, The Associated Press reported.

The dairy subsidies expire at year’s end. And as a result, milk prices will soar, industry experts warn. President Obama has weighed in — but only to issue a simple directive, rather than substantive suggestion.

“What are we waiting for?” Mr. Obama said, AP reported. “Let’s get this done.”

But meanwhile, the House and Senate are far apart on the bill. The House has passed a measure that trims $4 billion, or 5 percent, from the food stamp program each year, and reformed eligibility requirements. The Senate only wants a scale-back of funding that’s about a tenth of that, AP reported.

“I think there are very different world views clashing on food stamps, and those are always more difficult to resolve,” said Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union, in the AP report.