Just as the fiscal cliff negotiations had a 'plan B,' a back up plan has emerged in negotiations for a farm bill.
The New York Times reported House and Senate leaders were working Friday on an extension of the 2008 farm bill, which expired in September.
The extension would perhaps be for a year, the newspaper reported. An extension would head off a bizarre return to a 1949 law that could have the effect of driving up the cost of a gallon of milk to $5 or more.
However, if an extension of the 2008 farm bill is approved, it means the farm bill that was meant to replace it, which passed the Senate with support from boith Democrats and Republicans and passed the House agriculture committee with support from both parties will not take effect.
The replacement farm bill would have saved the government, and taxpayers, billions of collars.
The Republican leadership in the House refused to allow the replacement bill to come up for a vote.
On Saturday, north country Congressmanm Bill Owens, a Democrat, again expressed frustration over the replacement farm bill stalling in the House.
"There is no rationale nor excuse for not bringing a bill to the floor that had bipartisan support in the Senate, bipartisan support in the House agriculture committee," Owens said.
"Really what this amounts to is Mr. Boehner (House speaker John Boehner) and Mr. Cantor (Majority leader Eric Cantor) not wanting to bring a bill to the floor and have to rely on Democratic votes to pass it."
Owens said he would vote for an extension of the 2008 farm bill if it was identical to the original bill.
Monday, September 1, 2014, Watertown, NY
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