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Published November 25, 2013, 07:44 PM

Concerns grow over whether or not a new farm bill will be passed by the new year

With Congress failing to finish a draft of the farm bill over the weekend, concern grows over whether or not a new bill will be passed by the new year. The House is in recess until December 2nd, and the Senate until December 9th. The two chambers will only have one week to get the bill done before the next holiday recess.

By: Cynthia Johnson, WDAZ

With Congress failing to finish a draft of the farm bill over the weekend, concern grows over whether or not a new bill will be passed by the new year. The House is in recess until December 2nd, and the Senate until December 9th. The two chambers will only have one week to get the bill done before the next holiday recess.

This new farm bill has been a long time coming. The old bill expired September 30th last year and was running on a one year extension. But when September 30th, 2013 came around, Congress failed to meet deadline again on getting a new farm bill done.

Conferees have struggled to reach a compromise on farm subsidies and food stamp cuts. One of the biggest issues is whether farm program payments will be calculated on planted acres, base acres or a compromise between the two. When it comes to food stamps, the House wants to reduce spending by $39 billion over the next decade. The Senate proposed $4 billion in cuts to food stamps over the next decade.

North Dakota Lawmakers say a new farm bill would provide savings to the overall budget.

North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp said, "There's two things that are going to happen by the end of the year. We're either going to have a farm bill or we're not and we're either going to have a budget or not and both of those things need to happen if we are going to do the responsible thing in the United States Congress."

Minnesota Representative Collin Peterson is one of four main negotiators on the bill. The group met three times between Wednesday and Thursday last week, but failed to reach a compromise.

Also Dairy subsidies expire at the end of the year, which means if a new bill isn't passed, milk prices could soar to eight dollars a gallon.

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