The U.S. House and Senate Agriculture Committee has been forced to start all over on a new farm bill despite spending half a trillion dollars and over a year composing the first bill.
The current farm bill was developed in 2008, and after a congressional vote in December, the 2008 version was extended until Sep. 2013 in an effort to keep milk prices low.
Officials say if the farm bill was not extended, milk prices could have skyrocketed to as much as eight dollars a gallon.
Legislators in the Senate attempted to create a new five year bill to replace the four-year-old version, however the effort failed to pass in the House in December.
NewsCenter 16 spoke with Rep. Marlin Stutzman of Indiana’s 3rd district the first week in January about congressional gridlock surrounding the bill. The representative said that an extension is better than no action at all as Congress works toward a permanent bill.
"I would like to see us split the farm bill, separate the farming from the food stamp policy,” said Rep. Stutzman, “That way, farmers aren't often held up in negotiations. And that way we really separate the two issues and deal with food stamps on one hand and ag policy on the other, but so far they've been married together for a long time."