The House passed an amendment by Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah, on Wednesday to praise Secretary of State James Baker for his peace-seeking efforts in the Middle East.

The amendment, part of a $5.8 billion State Department authorization bill, passed on a voice vote.Owens, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told the House Baker "has traveled to the Middle East on four separate occasions, making over a dozen stops in eight countries - all in pursuit of a viable Arab-Israeli peace venture with far greater chances for failure than success."

He added, "If there is anyone who can succeed in crafting a process acceptable to all sides . . . it is this secretary of state."