House and Senate leaders burning the oil over the weekend agreed on a compromise budget reconciliation package that extends the Milk Income Loss Contract program for two years. The budget package, including nearly $50 billion in future spending cuts, passed the House on Sunday night, and is expected to be approved by the Senate this week.
Assuming it passes the Senate and is signed by President Bush, the reconciliation bill revives the MILC program for two more years, making it run concurrent with the scheduled lifespan of other 2002 Farm Bill programs. The payment rate, as expected, will be reduced from 45% to 34% of the difference between the monthly USDA Class I mover and $13.69 per hundredweight.
In other legislative dairy news, the Senate did pass last week a bill to regulate the marketing of milk between state and federal orders. The Senate bill, S. 2120, is identical to Rep. Devin Nunes' bill, HR 4015, which is seen as a way to reduce the disorderly marketing of milk in the West.