Central Valley Business Times: Central Valley congressman blasts Congress

Jan 1, 2013
In The News

Central Valley congressman blasts Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C.

January 1, 2013 10:05pm

•  Says partisanship has trumped putting the country first

•  “I am happy to now say goodbye to the 112th Congress”

A veteran of the halls of Congress, Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, has few kind words for where he works.

“Far too many of those serving in this institution lack the will to put the country first and partisan interests last,” he says.

Mr. Costa makes his criticism in a written statement following passage earlier Tuesday evening of legislation to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff” of dramatically higher taxes and deep cuts in federal spending.

The across-the-board spending cuts have been delayed for two months. The legislation also includes a one-year extension of the Farm Bill.

“There was time to get this done; there was time to have put together a bigger deal; there was time to pass a five-year Farm Bill,” says Mr. Costa.

“Now is not the time to congratulate ourselves, or act like Congress did something heroic. Regular order, spirited debate, and compromise have been replaced by brinkmanship and high-stakes political games that jeopardize the stability of our economy and financial security of America’s middle class and businesses,” Mr. Costa says.

Representing part of the nation’s richest farming region, Mr. Costa says extending the old farm bill through next September does little to help agriculture.

“Despite all the hard work and compromise to craft a bipartisan Farm Bill, Republican Leadership chose an all too familiar, kick-the-can approach that does nothing to modernize our agriculture programs or address the crisis facing our nation’s dairy industry. We had the bill and the agreement but what American agriculture got was more of the same,” he says.

“Last night we waved goodbye to 2012, and I am happy to now say goodbye to the 112th Congress. I hope that in the next Congress, we find some more common sense and willingness to compromise to solve problems on behalf of the American people,” Mr. Costa says.

On Thursday, he will be sworn in to another term as congressman, where he has served since first being elected to the office in 2004.