The fight over renewing the nation's farm bill has centered
on cuts to the $80 billion a year food stamp program, but experts say there could be unintended consequences if no agreement is reached -- such as higher milk prices.
Members of the House and Senate are scheduled to begin
long–awaited negotiations on the five–year, $500 billion bill this week.
If they don't finish it, dairy supports could expire at the end of the year and send
the price of milk skyward.
Lawmakers are hoping to resolve the debate before election-year politics set in as there could also be political ramifications depending on how the deal shakes out.
The House and Senate are far apart on the sensitive issue of
how much money to cut from the food stamp program, as it is commonly known. That is making it difficult for Congress to nail down a final agreement.
The farm bill sets policy for farm subsidies, food
stamps and other rural development projects.