The House of Representatives passed the $94.5-billion fiscal year 2007 agriculture appropriations bill by a vote of 378-46. The bill includes $18.4 billion in discretionary spending, with the rest in mandatory spending (farm programs, food stamps, etc.) The bill is similar to the committee-passed bill (see May 19 BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly for spending details).

A number of amendments were considered during debate on the House floor. Defeated were amendments to reduce the sugar loan rate, to restore Wetlands Reserve Program acres to the maximum 250,000 acres, and to eliminate the Market Access Program (MAP). The House-passed bill fully funds MAP at $200 million and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) program at $34.5 million.

In addition, the House struck the House Appropriations Committee's provisions that would have extended the peanut storage and the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) programs for one month, which would have allowed them to expire at the end of the 2002 farm bill.

The Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee is expected to consider its FY '07 appropriations bill next month. -- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent