WASHINGTON — The House on Thursday voted to extend expiring farm policies for an additional month, giving lawmakers a bit more time to approve a final long-term farm bill without causing milk prices to potentially double at the start of 2014.
“A 30-day extension, while not ideal, will provide conferees additional time to get some of the final details ironed out which will allow for the certainty a full farm bill provides to all areas of production agriculture,” said Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro.
Crawford is among the conferees who have been negotiating a final version of a five-year farm bill that would replace the expiring 2009 law.
Without a new law, federal agriculture policies would revert to the original 1949 law on Jan. 1. Agriculture officials have warned that there would be severe consequences to such a lapse, including the potential for dairy prices to double. The extension, which passed by voice vote, runs through January.
The House planned to adjourn Friday for the remainder of the year. The Senate is scheduled to be in session next week before also leaving for the holiday season. Congress won’t return to Capitol Hill until early January.