Nightly News | September 20, 2012
>>> and now to capitol hill where a fight over the federal budget has put a big piece of legislation on hold. and that, of course, has left farmers across the country in limbo. our report from nbc's kelly o'donnell.
>> reporter: for family farmers across america, first, the pain of drought. and now this. today, congress delivered a disappointing blow.
>> we will deal with the farm bill after the election.
>> reporter: but the current law expires in ten days.
>> if we are fortunate enough to have lunch or breakfast today, we ought to care about the farm bill .
>> reporter: the obstacle is not about farms, but the funding for the farm bill . food stamps , they want to delay a messy fight on how much government should spend on food stamps , many demand far deeper cuts to the program than the planned 16 billion reduction.
>> the number of able-bodies have doubled. the federal debt is up by five trillion.
>> reporter: the family business is at stake for colin johnson , a 36-year-old father of three.
>> it's cone, okay.
>> reporter: he relies on some government protections in the farm bill like crop insurance .
>> as a young farmer that doesn't have a lot of cash reserves and equity, i think really strongly about whether or not i want to put the crop in for next year.
>> reporter: dairy, fruit and live stock farmers could experience problems because of the disaster aid and the 5 hundred billion dollar package. farmers say they need certainty now to plan and borrow, meaning they must know what the specific subsidies will be.
>> what will the farmer bill be? they are saying call john boehner , because we don't know.
>> reporter: and the political pressure is falling square ly on the house, because the senate has already passed their version with big support from both parties. now for consumers, no immediate plan is happening, but the prices could go up early next year.
>> kelly o'donnell, on the hill