POSTED: Saturday, October 5, 2013 - 11:23am
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 3:51pm
(CNN) — The stalemate in Washington could mean higher grocery prices.
Because with Congress locked up and not passing budget, it means they're not likely to pass a new farm bill either.
That means you could see higher prices at the grocery store for stuff like milk, cheese, and butter.
When the government shut down on Monday at midnight, it also marked the expiration of the latest farm bill.
The bill does a lot of things including managing food stamps and regulation crop insurance.
That regulation helps give farmers a cash buffer.
Without it, the cost of maintaining their livestock can easily outweigh the sales they make.
The bad part is, there's a trickle-down effect.
And the Farm Bureau says that come January, consumers will face the impact of the higher costs farmers are paying to feed and transport their livestock.
One New York Agriculture Representative says that this means the price for milk may double in the coming months from about $3.00 a gallon to $6.00 per gallon.
This could ripple to other milk-dependent foods like cheese and butter.
Analysts expect Congress to extend the law for another year or two, rather than agree on a new bill.
But it's not clear when that might happen.
If lawmakers don't take action soon, it will be bad news for all of us.
Many shoppers aren't going to be willing to pay so much for a gallon of milk.
And without making those sales, farmers, especially in smaller markets, are at risk of going out of business.
The timing is not great.
Prices for so many groceries have already been going up.
A gallon of milk has already risen a quarter this year.
Bread and orange juice is also up.
And the problem feels even worse since wages for American workers are basically stagnant.