Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog

Political Notebook: Valadao lands plum assignment

Michael Doyle of The Bee’s Washington Bureau files this report from D.C.:

Congressman-elect David Valadao (Fresno Bee file photo/2010)

Congressman-elect David Valadao, R-Hanford, has landed an influential Capitol Hill position before he’s even taken office, with a newly assigned seat on the House Appropriations Committee. The panel is popular because it decides where the federal government will spend its money. Although lawmakers have sworn off earmarks for the time being, reducing the ability of committee members to steer dollars to their districts, the appropriations panel retains considerable clout.

Valadao, a dairy farmer elected to represent the newly drawn 21st Congressional District spanning Kings and portions of Fresno, Tulare and Kern counties, said in a statement that the committee position “will play a key role in securing important water infrastructure for the Central Valley.”

Valadao was one of six Republican members, and the only one from California, added to the appropriations panel by the House Republican Steering Committee. Unless membership changes further, he will be the only lawmaker from the Central Valley o the committee, making him a go-to guy.

Valadao and Tal Eslick, who’s in line to be Valadao’s chief of staff, have been interviewing other potential staffers, and in recent days were assigned office space in the Longworth House Office Building.

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