Congressional Work On Farm Bill Likely To Spill Into 2014 | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Congressional Work On Farm Bill Likely To Spill Into 2014

House and Senate negotiators working to finish a farm bill say it is unlikely their work will be completed before the end of the year. The House is only in session for the rest of the week, and according to one of the negotiators, this week's snowy weather has delayed some numbers-crunching needed to figure out how much elements of a possible deal will cost.

"We're going to pass it in January," said Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., as she left a closed-door meeting to negotiate details of the five-year farm bill.

Her House counterpart, Frank Lucas, R-Okla., stood next to her, nodding.

"I believe that's the scenario that you'll see," said Lucas.

They didn't get into details about where differences remain, but funding for SNAP, formerly called food stamps, and the structure of commodity programs have been sticking points.

One reason they were rushing to get it done before the end of the year is what's known as the "dairy cliff," a risk of soaring milk prices. Without a farm bill, dairy policy will revert to 1949 law, and wholesale milk prices could double. But Stabenow insists it won't happen immediately.

"I'm confident, talking with the secretary of agriculture just a little while ago, that we have no impacts on dairy in January," said Stabenow.

Lucas is planning to introduce a short-term extension of the 2008 farm bill that would last through the end of January. But he said he'd only want the House to vote on it if it looked like the two chambers were still too far apart in negotiations as this week comes to the close. And Stabenow says a short-term extension won't fly in the Senate.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit


What's A Writer Gotta Do To Get A Little Health Care Around Here?

When you're making plans to become a famous author, just remember that you're going to want health care — especially when 40 rolls around and your body is no longer made of rubber.

When Zero Doesn't Mean Zero: Trans Fats Linger In Food

One in 10 packaged foods still contains trans fats, according to a new study. The problematic oils give foods a rich taste and texture and extend shelf life, but have been linked to heart disease.
WAMU 88.5

Testimony Wraps In McDonnell Trial, Closing Arguments Expected Friday

Leaving the courthouse this afternoon, the former Virginia governor said he was confident in his legal team's defense: "We've got three of the best law firms in the country that are working on this case."

New Amazon Series Pilots Fall Short Of A TV Revolution

NPR TV critic Eric Deggans ranks Amazon's new batch of five series pilots, asking why none of them seem break the rules of TV quite enough to draw attention.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.