Political Notebook

Valadao appointed vice chair of appropriations subcommittee on ag

Congressman David Valadao of Hanford got a promotion this week when the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee appointed him vice chairman of the Agriculture Subcommittee.

The appointment makes sense — Valadao grew up in dairy farming and is one of the few members of Congress who can honestly claim to be a farmer.

The subcommittee’s official name is a mouthful — Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies and has jurisdiction over the Department of Agriculture, the Farm Credit Administration, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the Food and Drug Administration.

The vice chair serves as chair when the chairperson is not there, and assists in official duties of the appropriations committee.

The subcommittee plays a key role in funding the farm bill, including research into citrus greening disease (huanglongbing or HLB), which kills orange trees and for which there’s no cure.

This year, Valadao took credit for getting $20 million in additional research money added to the bill that funds the government, a move that evidently got noticed.

“Congressman Valadao has distinguished himself as knowledgeable on the appropriations process and agricultural issues,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., said in a statement. “In only his second term, he has already demonstrated his leadership and I know he will live up to the demands of the job over what I expect will be a tough but successful appropriations year.”

Valadao is happy about the new gig: “Agriculture is a huge part of my own life and is critically important to California's San Joaquin Valley. I am honored to further serve my constituents in this important role. ”

— Lewis Griswold