The U.S. Senate this week overwhelmingly passed a $124.5 billion fiscal year 2010 appropriations bill for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. Mandatory program spending is set at $100.8 billion, while discretionary programs equal nearly $23.7 billion.

With both the House and Senate having cleared their versions of the bills, staff members from both chambers will begin discussing proposals for a final text to be negotiated in the fall by appropriators.

Neither bill proposes statutory changes for crop programs in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008.

• Food-aid funding for P.L.-480 Title II program is the same as the House — nearly $1.7 billion.

• House and Senate McGovern-Dole overseas food-for-education program funding at almost $200 million is an increase from fiscal 2009.

• Each chamber funds export promotion and development at the same authorized levels as in fiscal 2009 — the Market Access Program at $200 million and the Foreign Market Development Program at $34.5 million.

• The Senate bill provides $7.55 billion for USDA’s Women, Infants, and Children’s Program — slightly more than the House bill.

The FDA is funded in the Senate bill at a proposed $2.35 billion — much less than the House version. Both WIC and FDA would receive more funding than in fiscal 2009.