Weeks into the 118th U.S. Congress, committee assignments for the House of Representatives continue to be finalized.
Newly-minted Rep. John Duarte (R–Modesto) has been placed on two committees: the House Committee on Agriculture and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
In an interview on Sunrise FM debuting today, Duarte spoke about his committee assignments and how he sees them impacting his district in the Central Valley.
The big picture: Joining fellow Californians Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R – Richvale) and Rep. Jim Costa (D–Fresno) on the agriculture committee, Duarte will have a hand in crafting the new farm bill which is scheduled for this year.
- Duarte’s focus will center around crop insurance, disaster relief and grants through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program. He also stressed the importance of using the farm bill to keep American farmers producing at the abundant quality that they have historically.
- Duarte also joins LaMalfa on the transportation committee as the only other Republican from the Golden State.
What we’re watching: The recent intense storms have brought flooding and water infrastructure to the forefront yet again in the Central Valley. Duarte’s place on the transportation committee could have an important impact on preventing future flooding throughout the 13th District.
- The transportation committee oversees the work the Army Corps of Engineers does in the field of flood control.
What they’re saying: In the interview, Duarte stressed the importance of widening Highways 5 and 99, and also said California’s High-Speed Rail will not receive any federal funding if he has anything to say about it.
- “There is nobody I’ve met out here, Democrat or Republican, who will make a sound sincere passionate argument for the bullet train,” Duarte said. “These are our Valley districts. We deserve to have a say in how these transportation dollars are spent, and they need to be spent on assets they need, not assets that serve somebody’s fantasy from a decade and a half ago who was just flat wrong then and has more evidence that they’re wrong about the need of a bullet train now.”