'Dairy Cliff' Averted

The fiscal cliff deal also prevents doubling the price of milk

As negotiations to avert the "fiscal cliff" ramped into high gear, one bill that was up for renewal, the Farm Bill, was getting a long look. The expired 2008 bill provided farmers with food stamps, subsidies, disaster aid, and protection from price increases. If we'd gone over the cliff, no new bill would have been put into place, meaning that the current dairy program would have lapsed. The result? $7 gallons of milk.

Thankfully, portions of the 2008 bill have been extended, including the provision that keeps milk prices down. The stripped-down bill doesn’t include energy subsidies or disaster aid, however, according to HuffPo.

Bickering over how much of the bill should be extended brought the negotiations down to the wire. Both the House and Senate Agriculture Committee chairmen announced Sunday that the entire bill would be extended, but the House GOP, looking at a potential $1 billion price tag, balked at the idea.

With the prospect of higher milk prices looming, though, they came together and passed the stripped-down bill. It’s not perfect, but it will at least save us some pain in the dairy aisle. 

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