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Stopgap farm bill passes U.S. House, extends current law to January

WASHINGTON, Dec 12 (Reuters) - With the new U.S. farm bill a month away from completion, the House of Representatives passed a stopgap extension of current law to avoid the "dairy cliff" although some lawmakers called the threat of high milk prices a fiction.

The House passed the extension until Jan. 31 on a voice vote after less than 10 minutes of debate. Agriculture Committee chairman said House and Senate negotiators were making "significant progress" toward a new farm law and the extension would end "panic" over a possible doubling of milk prices.