The U.S. House passed the agriculture appropriations bill on Thursday by a vote of 266 to 160. Earlier this year when Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack presented his FY 2010 budget request he listed several priorities including child nutrition, bioenergy, and food safety and the House followed through. As passed, the bill will increase spending by nearly 11% over fiscal year 2009 to $22.9 billion with the bulk of the increase going to USDA's Women, Infants and Children feeding program, the Food and Drug Administration and international food aid.
Passage of the bill followed heated debate, with the increase in funding over last year the major bone of contention. To view a summary of the House version of the bill, click HERE.