The House has passed legislation to make the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday Commission a permanent agency with authorized spending of $500,000 a year.

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., passed the House Monday on a 305-84 vote. A similar measure is pending in the Senate, which failed to act before adjourning last year on a House-passed bill to make the commission permanent.The commission was established by Congress in 1984 to institutionalize the federal holiday in honor of the slain civil rights leader. Authorization for the commission expires May 1.