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Deal will prevent spike in milk prices

By Mary Clare Jalonick

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Dec. 31 2012 10:01 p.m. MST

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, walks to a closed-door GOP caucus as Congress meets to negotiate a legislative path to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff" of automatic tax increases and deep spending cuts that could kick in Jan. 1., at the Capitol in Washington, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012.

J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

WASHINGTON — White House and congressional bargainers have agreed to prevent milk price increases as part of their compromise to avert the "fiscal cliff."

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow says negotiators have agreed to extend portions of the expired farm through September. She says that includes language keeping milk prices from potentially doubling, but excluding other provisions including energy and disaster aid for farmers.

Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat, says she considers the extension to be "Mitch McConnell's version of a farm bill." She was referring to the Senate minority leader from Kentucky, who she said forced bargainers to accept the version of the farm bill that appeared in the deal.

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