Pocan Calls on Congress to Prevent Price of Milk from Doubling
MADISON, WI—Imagine if a gallon of milk suddenly cost $7 at every grocery store in south central Wisconsin. Unfortunately, that could become a reality starting in 2014 if Congress does not pass a new Farm Bill by the end of the year. At a press conference today in Madison at the Jenifer Street Market, U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02) called for his colleagues not to leave Washington until action is taken to avoid these unnecessary price increases for families and farmers in south central Wisconsin.
“Congressional inaction has already shut down the government, and now it is threatening to double the price of milk to more than $7 a gallon,” Pocan said. “This type of price increase would devastate our Wisconsin families and gravely harm our Wisconsin dairy farmers. Although the House is scheduled to finish its work by the end of the week, we will not have done our jobs if we fail to address this vital concern. I call on my colleagues not to leave Washington until we pass a Farm Bill and protect the economic security of our families and famers.”
If Congress does not pass a new Farm Bill by the end of the year, the country will revert to the outdated dairy policies of the 1940s, which would effectively double the price of milk in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average for a gallon of milk was nearly $3.50 in October.
Members of the House and Senate on the Farm Bill Conference Committee are now working to finish a final agreement on new legislation, but with the House scheduled to leave Washington at the end of this week, time is quickly running out. Reports indicate that one of the major areas of disagreement remain over cuts to the food stamp program—the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). House Republicans are advocating for $40 billion in SNAP Cuts, which would deny benefits to approximately 150,000 Wisconsinites, put 4,000 Wisconsin kids at risk of losing access to free/reduced school lunches, and result in the loss of an estimated $170 million to the Wisconsin economy just next year. Pocan voted against these cuts earlier this year.
Monday’s press conference kicked off Pocan’s #MoreWork2Do Week, where he will highlight major priorities Congress should tackle before leaving on vacation. Due to a lack of leadership from House Republicans, this Congress is set to pass fewer laws this year than at almost any point in history. Among the priorities Pocan will highlight this week include the need to pass a budget, extend unemployment insurance benefits, pass comprehensive immigration reform, and focus on legislation to promote job creation and economic growth.