WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday said there was a serious risk the deeply divided U.S. Congress will not complete work on a new five-year farm bill by year-end.

“There is a very serious risk that we might not get a farm bill done this year,” Vilsack said in a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

House Republicans and Senate Democrats remain deadlocked about how to best achieve major savings in farm programs, with debate centered on the level of crop subsidies and cuts to the food stamp program for the poor.

“We're going to encourage Congress to get this done,” Vilsack told reporters after his speech.

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