Congressman Jimmy Panetta, whose district includes San Benito County and parts of Gilroy, has been appointed to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, and retains his spot on the House Agriculture Committee, his staff announced.
“I am proud to be appointed to this important and influential committee, where I will continue my work to expand opportunities for those living and working on the Central Coast of California,” the second-term Democrat said in a statement.
“ Through my position on the committee, I will be at the forefront of promoting smarter trade policies that benefit our local industries including agriculture, enacting fairer tax policies, increasing access to health care and coverage, and protecting federal programs for vulnerable children and our seniors,” he said. “I am committed to ensuring that such policies are crafted through an evidenced-based process and considered through regular order. That way, we can ensure that we are working toward creating an economic environment that fosters prosperity for the people of the Central Coast and our country.”
The 40-member committee, the oldest in Congress, is the chief tax-writing committee in the House of Representatives. The Committee on Ways and Means has jurisdiction over all taxation, trade, tariffs and other revenue-raising measures, as well as Social Security, Medicare, unemployment benefits, child and family support laws, and adoption and foster care programs. The committee has six subcommittees pertaining to issues in health, human resources, oversight, tax policy, social security and trade.
Panetta also was pleased to retain his spot on the Agriculture Committee.
“As the proud representative of the Salad Bowl of the World, I am honored to have the opportunity to continue my service on the House Agriculture Committee,” he said in a statement.
“One of my proudest achievements during my first term was passing the bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill,” he added. “This legislation fulfills a promise to support our farmers, rural communities and neighbors. I helped craft a Farm Bill that promotes our specialty crop and organic sectors, expands opportunities for beginning farmers, invests in agricultural research, increases access to nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables, and protects nutrition assistance benefits.”
Panetta, a veteran, also was appointed by Congressional leadership as the Congressional co-chair of the bipartisan U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on Prisoners of War and Missing in Action (POW/MIAs).
“I am truly honored for this appointment as providing closure to the family, friends and loved ones of missing servicemembers is a nonpartisan, necessary and noble cause,” he said.
The U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs (USRJC) was established in 1992 by U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin to determine the fates of Americans and Russians from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Cold War.