(Host) Political leaders have joined dairy farmers throughout Vermont to call on Congress to pass a regional milk pricing system. Governor Jim Douglas and farm advocates say the Northeast Dairy Compact helped stabilize farm income without costing taxpayers.
But the compact expired two years ago, and congressional staff have been pessimistic about its chance of passage. Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy says the pressure now has to come from the states:
(Leahy) “A lot of the governors are getting more and more involved. I think you’re going to find, and the White House is going to find that there’s going to be both Republicans and Democratic governors that are going to want to do this. And ultimately, the lights are going to go on. This is best for the farmers and best for the taxpayers, so I have not lost hope.”
(Dillon) A compact bill has been introduced in the U.S. House, but there isn’t yet any legislation in the Senate. A Leahy spokesman says a bill would be introduced in about two weeks.