Costa Announces Congressional Endorsements, Outlines Top Priorities for Agriculture
(FRESNO, CA) - Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16), who is seeking the House Committee on Agriculture chairmanship, received endorsements from a broad coalition of Congressional members who support his priorities for the 117th Congress:
“Congressman Costa has been a great advocate for specialty crops like those we grow here in Washington,” said Congresswoman Kim Schrier, M.D., a fellow member of the Agriculture Committee. “He also shares my goals of expanding on the 2018 Farm Bill to protect communities from catastrophic wildfires by implementing wildfire mitigation projects, creating healthier forests, and providing businesses and residences with assistance to mitigate risks. I support Jim because he’ll be a voice for western growers and all of American agriculture.”
“As representative of the Salad Bowl of the World, in the top agricultural producing state in the country, I proudly represent the specialty crop farmers and farmworkers who keep our nation healthy and food secure," said Congressman Jimmy Panetta, a fellow member of the Agriculture Committee. "In fighting for the Central Coast’s agricultural communities, I have found a partner, leader, and convener in Jim. From negotiating the 2018 Farm Bill to fighting for our essential farmworkers to ensuring equitable pandemic relief to the agricultural sector, I can rely on him to do what it takes to bring people together and get things done. I am confident that, if selected to chair the House Agriculture Committee, Jim will continue to demonstrate that same type of inclusive, bipartisan, and forward-thinking leadership not just in my district, but also in rural districts throughout the nation.”
"I've worked with Congressman Costa for years and I know he has the expertise and knowledge to lead agricultural conservation and nutrition efforts that will best position the U.S. for long-term food sustainability,” said Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA), Chairman of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife. “Jim knows how to get things done, and he has my full support."
Rep. Costa received support from Agriculture Committee members, including Representatives Kim Schrier, Anthony Brindisi, Salud Carbajal, Josh Harder, TJ Cox, and Jimmy Panetta.
Additional members in support are Representatives Mike Thompson, Katie Porter, Raúl Grijalva, Kurt Schrader, Julia Brownley, Lou Correa, John Garamendi, Jared Huffman, Jackie Speier, Judy Chu, Mike Levin, Dutch Ruppersberger, Henry Cuellar, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Nanette Barragán, Anna Eshoo, Zoe Lofgren, Alan Lowenthal, Jerry McNerney, Scott Peters, Raul Ruiz, Representative-Elect Kai Kahele, and many more.
To address the real challenges facing American agriculture, Rep. Costa’s priorities include:
- Fighting to protect the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) from attempts to reduce benefits to our most vulnerable populations.
- Strengthening agricultural markets at home and abroad and create sustainable markets for American agriculture.
- Building on conservation efforts through innovation and science to give America’s farmers the tools to conserve natural resources and mitigate climate changes.
- Forging strong bipartisan coalitions to address rural issues, including broadband, new economies and clean energy.
- Expanding on the 2018 Farm Bill to protect communities from catastrophic wildfires by implementing wildfire mitigation projects, creating healthier forests and providing businesses and residences with assistance to mitigate risks.
- Supporting small farmers by expanding services and programs to ensure funding goes to those in most need.
- Investing more in agricultural research to help create and sustain regional food systems.
- Leveraging the work of the Ag Committee to link Democratic initiatives to help rural America.
In the 116th Congress, as Chair of the Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture, Rep. Costa championed critical efforts to combat the impacts of COVID-19 on the American food system, including ensuring farmers, farmworkers, food processing facilities and other links in our food supply chain had appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and a sufficient safety net to minimize health risks and market disruptions that impact consumers. He led efforts to include ag-based resources in both the CARES Act and the Heroes Act.
His actions included:
- Ensuring farmworkers received protections, including PPE and essential worker status.
- Introducing a framework to support agriculture in COVID-19.
- Seeking direct support for agriculture producers, including specialty crops.
- Holding the administration accountable for its disruptive trade policies.
- Pushing USDA for answers on Food Box Contracts.
- Streamlining the connection between farmers and food banks.
“I want to thank my colleagues for their support,” Costa said. “My top priority on the Agriculture Committee is to ensure that no American goes hungry. We must preserve and expand nutrition programs for the most vulnerable members of our communities, work to solve the real struggles in rural America, confront the challenges farmers face from climate change and maintain and expand foreign markets for American crops. If elected Chairman, I will push for policies that better position our food systems for the future."