Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.) spoke in detail about the fiscal cliff and the Farm Bill on the Senate floor this evening. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D., Ore.) also took part in the discussion.
Sen. Merkley noted in part that agricultural disaster assistance was not included in the Sandy supplemental and was promised as part of the Farm Bill. To listen to the discussion he was referencing, which occurred on Friday on the Senate floor, just click here (MP3- 5:25).
David Rogers reported yesterday morning at Politico (“3 bills take aim at milk prices”) that, “With just days left, House Republicans continued to struggle Saturday night over how to untangle themselves from a New Year’s imbroglio over dairy policy and their refusal to allow floor debate on a more comprehensive five-year alternative in this session of Congress.
“Absent some action, an outdated 1949 farm law kicks back in on Tuesday, Jan. 1, requiring the Agriculture Department to begin buying up dairy products at a rate of $38.54 per hundredweight, or more than double the prevailing price today.
“No one truly knows the full impact at the grocery story, but the threat of $6 per gallon of milk brought President Barack Obama off the sidelines Friday and accelerated efforts to find a fix to be voted on as early as Monday.”
(Note that recent news items on the dairy issue can be found here (NBC “Today” show on Saturday), here (front page of Saturday’s Des Moines Register), and here (Op-Ed in today’s Wall Street Journal)).
In his article yesterday, Mr. Rogers explained that, “Toward this end, not one but three different bills were posted Saturday night on the House clerk’s website, each a candidate for action but also adding to the confusion as to the direction the House will take.