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Grocery prices hinge on Farm Bill | News

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Grocery prices hinge on Farm Bill

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Congress has passed a stopgap measure on the farm bill that could help dairy prices, among other groceries, from surging in the next few months.

The national average for a gallon of milk could jump from $3.50 to more than $8.00.

"They need to keep the prices low," said Charles Miller, General Manager at Rodman's Grocery Stores.

The farm bill provides subsidies to farmers allowing them to keep prices lower. If Congress fails to pass a long-term bill beyond January, farmers would not receive those subsidies and their costs would increase. In turn, so would the price of your grocery store milk, cheese, butter -- you get the idea.     

"Everything would go crazy sky high. Restaurant prices would be so high they'd go out of business," said Miller.

Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) said it's important to support farmers as well as families. The former Virginia governor added that a farm bill should do that while finding new ways to save money.

"We're actually changing the way we do aid to rural america by not subsidizing farmers for crops but instead helping them buy crop insurance. That's a huge policy change that also saves money," said Kaine.

That policy change along with a portion of the bill that deals with food stamps, have been the main reasons progress has stalled in congress. 

Searching for savings, some in the GOP have pitched up to $40 billion in cuts from the programs, a move most democrats have not favored and the reason why some experts say the extension that just passed the house won't pass the senate. 



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