Siouxland lawmakers pessimistic about passing new Farm Bill befo - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Siouxland lawmakers pessimistic about passing new Farm Bill before holiday break

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One year ago, U.S. Senator Charles Grassley, of Iowa, was certain that a farm bill was going to pass. Instead, lawmakers passed a one-year extension.

Now, with that extension set to expire at the end of the year, Chairmen of the House and Senate ag committees announced they won't be able to come to an agreement before they adjourn for the year.

Grassley said he thinks they're far enough along in the negotiation process that the farm bill will get done sometime in January. But, he's frustrated that it has taken this long to get to where they are.

"Farmers need the long view, they usually farm not just for the next year but for over the next several years they make planning," said U.S. Senator Grassley. "And not having a farm bill makes that more difficult for the farmers."

When asked about the potential sky-rocketing price of milk-- when dairy subsidies expire on January 1st-- Grassley said something needs to be done. He suggested a separate piece of legislation that has to pass before the end of the year, or take measures to make sure milk prices continue to stay where they are.

Grassley isn't the only one in Washington who's upset about the Farm Bill. U.S. Senator Deb Fischer, of Nebraska, said she's tired of "kicking the can down the road" on this issue.

"Our farmers and ranchers need to have that certainty and a five year farm policy is necessary to achieve that," said U.S. Senator Fischer.

As a back up plan, House Agriculture Committee Chairman, Frank Lucus, has indicated his willingness to support a short term extension in January. But Senator Fischer is hopeful that won't be necessary and that a final deal can be reached.

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