The Senate Agriculture Committee approved, 16-5, draft farm bill reauthorization legislation April 26 after adopting an amendment that would provide $800 million in mandatory spending on renewable energy programs over five years. The energy amendment, offered by Senators Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Dick Lugar (R-IN), was approved by voice vote, and would restore mandatory funding for the legislation’s energy title, which authorizes biofuel and renewable energy programs administered by the Department of Agriculture. The amendment included $241 million for the Rural Energy for America Program, $216 million for the Biorefinery Assistance Program, and $193 million for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program. The draft bill also would authorize $1.2 billion in discretionary, nonmandatory funding for energy programs.