The House Ag Appropriations Subcommittee passed the fiscal year 2007 ag appropriations bill. The bill provides $18.4 billion in total discretionary funding and $76.079 billion in mandatory spending (farm payments, food stamps, etc.). Among the key items: Avian flu/pandemic -- countermeasures and monitoring programs are funded at $80 million.
Food Safety and Inspection Service is funded at $853 million, an increase of $24 million over last year.
User fees -- The subcommittee rejected the administration's request for $105 million in user fees for meat and poultry inspection.
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service received an additional $92 million at $904 million.
BSE detection and prevention activities were funded at $90 million.
Ag research -- Ag Research Service funded at $1.2 billion, a $49-million cut.
Conservation activities funded at $791 million, $40-million cut.
Among the eliminated programs were: Healthy Forest Reserve, Invasive Species Grant, Wildlife Air Safety Initiative, and Child Nutrition Program, contingency reserve fund.
Processed poultry products from China are prohibited from import into the U.S. The House Appropriations Committee is expected to consider the bill next week. -- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent