Past News

Duvall, Costa discuss outlook for agriculture

Reflecting on the disruptions of 2020 and the outlook for 2021, American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall and U.S. Rep. Jim Costa offered their opinions on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic during separate appearances as part of the California Farm Bureau Annual Meeting.

Duvall and Costa spoke with California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson during "coffee talk" sessions within the virtual Annual Meeting format.

Peterson, Costa Welcome USTR Consultation on TRQs on Canadian Dairy

In response to an announcement today that the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative will begin consultations on the enforcement of tariff rate quotas (TRQs) for imported dairy products from Canada, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Jim Costa of California welcomed the news in a statement:

Costa Statement on Passage of Defense Spending Bill


(FRESNO, CA) – Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement after passage of the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):

“Strengthening our national security and keeping our country safe is more important than ever,” said Costa. “This bipartisan legislation takes important steps to ensure the U.S. military remains the strongest in the world, secures a pay raise for our hardworking service men and women, and helps our Vietnam veterans receive the coverage they deserve.”

Costa pledges to build stronger nutrition programs

Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., seeking the House Committee on Agriculture chairmanship, is committing to making nutrition programs among his top priorities in the 117th Congress.

Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., has been the House Agriculture Committee chairman but lost in the 2020 election. Rep. David Scott, D-Georgia, also is seeking the chairman’s role. An official announcement of the next chair is expected by early January.

California farm groups urge Costa appointment as Agriculture Committee Chair

A coalition of California farm organizations and water districts has formally asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to appoint Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, as the new chair of the House Agriculture Committee.

In a letter sent to Pelosi today, the 70 organizations said Costa “possesses the experience and leadership adeptness” to serve effectively as committee chair. The position opened last week when the current chair, Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., was defeated for re-election.

Costa’s bid for House Ag Committee chair boosted by Calif. farmers

Rep. Jim Costa’s (D–Fresno) bid to become the next chairman of the powerful House Agriculture Committee gained considerable steam on Friday.

A lengthy assortment of California grower groups and agriculture services associations arrived in full-force behind Costa’s candidacy in a letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“We believe that Congressman Costa possesses the experience and leadership adeptness needed to carry the Committee and its important work forward,” the letter reads.

California Democrat Jim Costa in Running to Lead House Agriculture Committee

Fresno’s Rep. Jim Costa has thrown his hat in the ring to be the head of the House Agriculture Committee in the next Congress, a position with huge influence over federal policies affecting farmers and food supply in the U.S.
The committee’s former chair, Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minnesota, was ousted in his 2020 election and therefore will not serve in the next Congress. But Democrats will still control the House, so the position of chair is up for grabs.

Costa Statement on Court Ruling Blocking Administration’s Attack on Hungry Americans


(FRESNO, CA) - Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement after a U.S. District Court blocked implementation of the Trump Administration’s rule that strips Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits away from millions of Americans by subjecting them to time limits on benefit eligibility and weakens states’ ability to target assistance in high-unemployment areas: 

Costa Statement on House Passage of Updated Heroes Act Providing Coronavirus Relief for the American People

(WASHINGTON) – Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement after the House passed the updated Heroes Act, a $2.2 trillion bill that strengthens our response and provides critical relief for families, workers, and businesses, including American agriculture, to deal  with the ongoing economic hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic:

Costa Statement on Castro Appointment as CSU Chancellor

(WASHINGTON) - Congressman Jim Costa (CA-116) released the following statement on Fresno State University President Joseph Castro’s appointment as the next chancellor of the California State University system:

"As the first California native to be named chancellor of the California State University (CSU) system, the largest in the nation, I can think of no one more deserving of this promotion than Dr. Joe Castro. A valley native raised in an immigrant household, his life story is that of the American dream.

Costa Continues Fight for Increased Funding for Wildfire Suppression, Support to Fire Victims

(FRESNO) – In an effort to prevent destructive wildfires that have plagued California and the western United States in recent years, such as the Creek Fire burning in Fresno and Madera counties, Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) joined 42 lawmakers calling for increased federal funding to support comp

Costa, Blue Dogs Host Discussion on Expanding Access to Quality, Affordable Health Care in Rural Communities

FRESNO—Today, Congressman Jim Costa joined other members of the Blue Dog Coalition for a discussion focused on expanding access to quality, affordable health care in rural America.

Joining Rep. Costa on the call were Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (NM-02), Co-Chair of the Blue Dog Task Force on Rural Opportunity and Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX-28).  Costa was also joined on the call by Dr. Michael Peterson, Associate Dean of UCSF Fresno.

California congressmen showing support for United States Postal Service

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Standing outside the Downtown Fresno Post Office, Congressmen Jim Costa and TJ Cox said the post office serves a vital role in America and should not be cut, especially in the middle of a pandemic.

"Nearly 100 percent of veterans' prescriptions arrive through the mail," he said. "So a delay in those prescriptions is a delay in health care. And I'm not going to put our veteran's health at risk, right? For a political ploy by this administration."

Cox, Costa Vow to Fund Delivering the Mail … and Ballots

Blaming President Donald Trump for attempting to manipulate the election by slowing the postal service, two Valley congressmen vowed to fight for the mail.

Standing in front of the post office in downtown Fresno, TJ Cox and Jim Costa, both Fresno Democrats, said they are returning to Washington later this week to support a party plan to fund the post office and prevent further reductions of service.

Costa said that cuts to the postal service puts “Americans health and safety at risk.”

Valley officials demand funding for U.S. Postal Service, Postmaster ensures election priority

FRESNO, California (KGPE) — The US Postmaster announced the United States Postal Service will suspend operational changes until after the November election.

The decision came down shortly after valley congressmen held a press conference downtown to support the Delivering for America Act. The legislation would give $25 billion to the USPs and not allow for changes until after the pandemic.

“We need it,” said Valley Resident Annette Simon. “We count on it. We need it.”

Costa Co-Sponsors Bipartisan, Bicameral Emergency Wildfire and Public Safety Act

(WASHINGTON) – Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) helped introduce the Emergency Wildfire and Public Safety Act along with bill authors Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) and Congressman Doug LaMalfa (CA-01).  This bipartisan bill will help protect communities from catastrophic wildfires by implementing wildfire mitigation projects, sustaining healthier forests that are more resilient to climate change and providing important energy and retrofitting assistance to businesses and residences to mitigate future risks from wildfire.  

Costa Supports Amendment to Fund Demining in Nagorno-Karabakh

(WASHINGTON) Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) supported an amendment to provide $1.4 million in funding for demining efforts in Nagorno-Karabakh:

“This funding is more critical now than ever before to ensure the safety of the Armenian people,” said Costa. “The recent violence along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border has been a terrible reminder of the danger Armenians are faced with every day. I’m proud to support this amendment and solidify U.S. global leadership in efforts to promote peace and stability in the region.”

Costa Statement on House Passage of the Great American Outdoors Act

(WASHINGTON) – Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement after the House passed the Great American Outdoors Act:  

“This legislation will help preserve, protect, and maintain Yosemite and Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks by investing in long overdue maintenance,” said Costa. “It will increase safety in our parks and enhance recreational opportunities. These are the kinds investments we need to make for future generations to come. It’s part of America’s legacy.”

Costa Statement on Escalation of Tensions Along the Armenian-Azerbaijani Border

(FRESNO,CA) Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement in response to the recent escalation of tensions along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border:

"Azerbaijan's violation of the ceasefire once again delays the progress towards peace for Nagorno-Karabakh. In midst of a global pandemic, where supplies and resources are low, it is critical now more than ever Azerbaijan be held accountable for its disgraceful actions. I support re-examining our security assistance to Azerbaijan immediately."


Costa Statement on Roundtable Discussion on USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service

 The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Chairman Jim Costa (CA-16) hosted a roundtable, in which USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Mindy M. Brashears and Food Safety and Inspection Service Administrator Paul Kiecker answered questions about the impact of COVID-19 on food supply chains.

Peterson, Costa, Plaskett, and Vela Highlight CFAP Concerns in Letter to Perdue

WASHINGTON (June 9, 2020) – In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue Tuesday, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota, and Subcommittee Chairs Jim Costa of California, Stacey E. Plaskett of the Virgin Islands and Filemon Vela of Texas relayed concerns with the implementation of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Costa Calls for Justice and Cooperation to Heal Racial Divisions

Four hundred years after America committed its original sin, slavery, we once again witness the racial fault lines that still exist in our country. We’ve made progress to bridge the gaps. We ended slavery and expanded rights after the Civil War. We stopped segregation and watched the Civil Rights Movement move us toward greater justice and equality.

Costa’s Expanding Medical Education Act Included In Next Coronavirus Relief Bill

(FRESNO) – After a decades long fight to improve access to healthcare for residents of the San Joaquin Valley, Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) announced today $1 billion dollars in funding for medical school construction, expansion, and training in underserved areas will be included in the Heroes Act, the next COVID-19 relief bill introduced by the House of Representatives. 

House Ag Subcommittee Chairs Costa, Fudge, Plaskett Introduce Legislation to Better Connect Farmers, Food Banks

WASHINGTON – House Agriculture Subcommittee Chairs Jim Costa (CA-16), Marcia Fudge (OH-11), and Stacey Plaskett of the U.S. Virgin Islands, unveiled legislation Friday that will help streamline the donation of food by farmers to food banks across the country as it confronts growing hunger related to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Costa Statement on President Trump's Meat Processing Executive Order

WASHINGTON- House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Chairman Jim Costa of California released the following statement following President Trump's executive order to keep meat processing plants open:

"In carrying out this executive order the Administration must ensure the health and safety of workers and provide all the resources necessary to do so. Our beef, pork, and poultry processing facilities are essential infrastructure and I have long said our food supply is a national security issue."

National Park Service Awards More than $3.1 Million in Grants to Preserve and Interpret World War II Japanese American Confinement Sites

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service is pleased to announce more than $3.1 million in Japanese American Confinement Sites grants that will fund preservation, restoration and education projects throughout the country. The 22 projects funded will help tell the stories of the more than 120,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of whom were U.S. citizens, imprisoned by the U.S. government during World War II following the attack on Pearl Harbor by the nation of Japan in 1941.

Coronavirus outbreaks triggers call for more protections for meat plant workers

A series of coronavirus outbreaks in meat packing plants have lead workers and lawmakers to call for improved working conditions.  

Last week, Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer, shut down a pork processing plant in South Dakota that accounts for up to 5 percent of production after more than 500 of its workers were infected and one died from COVID-19.

Congressman Costa Leads 126 Members in Calling on President to Ensure Direct Relief to Farmers and Producers in the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA) led 126 members in the U.S. House of Representatives in calling on the President to eliminate payment limits for specialty crop, livestock, and dairy producers before the final Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) details are announced.

Costa Introduces Resolution to Support 2020 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

(FRESNO) – In support of 2020 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW), Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) introduced a resolution recognizing the vital needs of crime victims and survivors across the country and throughout the world.  The 2020 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week theme— “Seek Justice | Ensure Victims’ Rights | Inspire Hope” – emphasizes how victim service providers and others can help all survivors in the aftermath of criminal victimization.

Costa, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Members Call on Congressional Leadership to Help Protect Farmworkers During COVID-19 Crisis

WASHINGTON—Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) and Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24)spearheaded a letter signed by all Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) calling on Congressional leadership to include protection and financial assistance for farmworkers to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Members Call on Interior, California to Work Together to Manage California Water Supply

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representatives Jim Costa, Josh Harder, TJ Cox and John Garamendi (all D-Calif.) today called on Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and California Governor Gavin Newsom to maintain coordination of operations between the State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project.

Costa Calls for COVID-19 Materials Be Made Available to Diverse Communities

FRESNO – In an effort to ensure that the diverse communities of the Central Valley are fully informed about the COVID-19 pandemic, Congressman Jim Costa sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to request that resources and materials are produced in a wide range of languages to educate and inform those residents:

Chairman Costa Opening Statement at Hearing on Stakeholder Perspectives on Agricultural Trade


WASHINGTON- House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Chairman Jim Costa of California delivered the following statement at today's hearing on stakeholder perspectives on agricultural trade.

[As Prepared for Delivery]

"Good morning and welcome to today’s hearing on trade from the perspectives of the people actually growing, raising, and selling agricultural products. 


(FRESNO) - Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement after the announcement that a Madera County resident tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus):

“I’ve been briefed by healthcare officials in Madera County and am actively monitoring the situation," said Costa. "I have also made contact with both state and federal officials to ensure that our local healthcare providers are equipped with the resources they need to protect our community.”

Costa Brings Valley Health Leaders Together To Coordinate Coronavirus Response Efforts

(Fresno) – In response to the global outbreak of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), Congressman Jim Costa convened a group of valley healthcare leaders to discuss local efforts to combat the respiratory disease, which was first detected in China late last year.  Rep. Costa called on the Federal Government to work to provide a smart, robust and strategic response across the nation. He plans to support an emergency funding supplemental in the House that fully addresses the scale of this public health crisis:  

Rep. Jim Costa Proposes $32B Boost for California’s High-Speed Rail

“With this legislation, I’m trying to make a commitment at the federal level that we’re gonna put our shoulder to it and we’re gonna lean forward,” said Costa.

Costa considers it essential the federal government makes the same commitment, referring to President Donald Trump.


(Fresno) – After leading the fight in Congress for investment in America’s national rail infrastructure, Congressman Jim Costa unveiled the High-Speed Rail Corridor Development Act, legislation that would provide $32 billion to fund projects in federally designated high-speed rail corridors.

Central Valley Members of Congress Encouraged by State’s Framework for Voluntary Agreements for Bay-Delta and Water Users

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressmen John Garamendi (D-CA03), Josh Harder (D-CA10), Jim Costa (D-CA16), and TJ Cox (D-CA21) and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) issued the following statement after the State of California released its voluntary agreement framework to water users:


(WASHINGTON) Congressmen Jim Costa (CA-16) and Darren Soto (FL-09) released the following statement after introducing a resolution which recognizes Fresno native Tom Flores for his achievements in professional football and calls for his induction to the Pro Football Hall

Costa leads push for public medical school in the Valley


The half-century-long push to open a public medical school in the San Joaquin Valley gained additional steam Wednesday.

Reps. Jim Costa (D–Fresno) announced a new bill, the Expanding Medical Education Act of 2020, to help finance the construction of medical schools.

The bill prioritizes regions with a population of more than 1,000,000 that do not have a medical school in operation. It would provide up to $10 million in matching grant funds to a prospective medical school.

Costa Introduces Legislation to Expand Medical Education, Curb Doctor Shortages

FRESNO, CA – In his continued efforts to fight for better access to healthcare for residents of the San Joaquin Valley, Congressman Jim Costa introduced legislation that will provide $200 million dollars in funding to help curb the shortfall of primary care providers in California, particularly in underserved areas where patients have limited access to medical care.

Peterson, Costa Welcome Funding for Farm Bill Animal Pest and Disease Programs, Progress on Vaccine Bank

WASHINGTON (January 16, 2020) – Following an announcement from USDA on the award of $10.2 million in funding for animal pest and disease prevention and management efforts and the request for vaccine bank Foot and Mouth Disease proposals, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota, and House Agriculture Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Jim Costa of California issued the following statement. Both Peterson and Costa led bipartisan efforts to include of mandatory, long-term funding for these programs to ensure the U.S.