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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Consumers may soon have a reason to cry over spilled milk if government dysfunction continues on Capitol Hill. According to a report by CNN Money, Congress failed to pass a farm bill before breaking for the Thanksgiving holiday and if it fails to do so by January, subsidies for dairy and other commodities will expire.
This inaction would trigger a funding formula that dates back to the 1940s and could cause the price of several commodities to spike, including corn, soybeans and wheat. By early January, consumers could see the average price of a gallon of milk double from $3.47 to $7.
"The key here is to focus on getting the job done and understanding that there is a consequence if the job doesn't get done," Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said during a call with media. "No one wants to do that."
The bill has not yet passed due to a conflict over the food stamp program, the news outlet reported. House Republicans have proposed a bill that would cut $40 billion in funding and drop 3.8 million food stamp recipients next year and 14 million recipients by 2023.
House Republicans contend that their version of the bill closes loopholes that let "people whose monetary resources are above eligibility standards into the program," a memo from the Office of House Majority leader Eric Cantor stated.
Meanwhile, the Senate's version of the bill would save $4 billion from food stamps and includes provisions aimed at ending fraud and abuse.
Republicans and Democrats are also divided on another provision of the bill regarding subsidies to farmers, CNN Money reported.