SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) – The clock is ticking for lawmakers on Capitol Hill to reach an agreement to prevent a government shutdown. The U.S. House of Representatives failed to pass a continuing resolution on Friday to keep the government open.
Here in Illinois it could affect a lot like air travel and more than 42,000 federal workers who wouldn’t get a paycheck.
“It’s going to have a real meaningful impact in people’s day to day lives,” Rep. Nikki Budzinski (D-IL), said.
But there’s another area that has some in Illinois concerned: agriculture and farming. That includes concerns about the farm bill.
“With the farm bill scheduled to sunset here at the end of this month, what does that mean for the future of the farm bill,” Kevin Semlow, the executive director of governmental affairs and commodities division of the Illinois Farm Bureau, said. “It means that the passage of bringing that bill up is going to be delayed.”
The measure includes crop insurance for farmers.
“It just brings a lot of risk assessments, assurance to farmers to help them plan better for the future and if they do have a problem with a crop, they can still come back and farm in the future and come back and rebound from that and we don’t see a loss in production and availability of our food sources,” Semlow said.
But a government shutdown could create a problem for people who have claims.
“Those can’t be processed and paperwork will be backlogged and those types of things, so it does have an impact,” Semlow said. “I’m optimistic that a shutdown won’t last that long.”
The bill also includes the SNAP benefits program. Budzinski, a member of the House Committee on Agriculture, said if Congress can’t reach an agreement by the end of the year on the farm bill, one of the consequences people will see is an increase in milk prices.
“Because of the fact that we haven’t been able to readdress dairy prices within the new farm bill to account for inflation, to account for our current economy, it will roll back to a previously set amount, which is back to 1910, and because of that, it will lead to skyrocketing prices,” Budzinski said.
Budzinski also said it could also lead to some trade programs running out of funding.
“It’s going to impact our ability to keep a competitive advantage in trade,” Budzinski said. “We really need to get to again, one, keeping this government functioning, two the work of passing a farm bill.”