Blumenthal toasts success with a glass of milk

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) raised his glass of milk Thursday on the Senate floor to celebrate a reported breakthrough in a deal on dairy in the farm bill negotiations.

“[Milk] is the only beverage that is permitted on the floor other than water,” Blumenthal said before raising his glass. “So I am pleased today to have milk on the floor. ... ‘Got milk?’ I’m willing to share.”

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Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), who was also on the Senate floor, praised Blumenthal for having a “calcium rich diet.”

Blumenthal said he was “pleased” that farm bill conferees were nearing a deal on dairy policies — the last issue that needed to be worked out in the bill.

“I am pleased they have reached a dairy compromise,” Blumenthal said. But the senator didn’t reveal any details about the deal.

Some Republicans don't want any future dairy program to include supply management aimed at limiting production and driving up milk prices. Others say a proposed margin insurance program that protects dairy farmers when the price differential of feed and milk drops needs supply management to keep the cost of the insurance low to protect farmers.

— Erik Wasson contributed to this article.

This story was updated Friday at 5:15 pm