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Denham to serve as Rail chairman for 11th Congress
Congressman retains seats on Agriculture, Natural Resources committees
Denham rail pic
Congressman Jeff Denham (second from right) listens in with Turlock Mayor Gary Soiseth and Councilman Bill DeHart as a Union Pacific representative discusses the work the railroad was doing on the Monte Vista Avenue railroad crossing in December. - photo by Journal file photo

Heading into the 115th Congress under newly-elected President Donald Trump, Congressman Jeff Denham is eager to continue his roles in various House Committees.

Denham announced Thursday that he will continue his role as Railroads, Pipelines & Hazardous Materials subcommittee chairman on the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure for the new Congress, which convened Jan. 3. He will also keep his seats with the Agricultural and Natural Resources committees. Denham’s position on the three House Committees gives him the opportunity to address concerns crucial to the Central Valley, such as federal agriculture policy and reform, infrastructure development, energy reproduction and management of water resources.

“I’m honored and excited to continue my work as chairman of the Railroads, Pipelines & Hazardous Materials subcommittee, especially as we begin working with a new administration on outlining infrastructure priorities,” said Denham. “I also look forward to ensuring that the Valley’s agriculture and water priorities are represented and heard through my work on the Agriculture and Natural Resource committees.”

The 115th Congress marks Denham’s seventh year representing the Central Valley, and he has served as chairman of the Railroads, Pipelines & Hazardous Materials subcommittee since 2013. In his years as chairman, Denham has made the 10th District’s transportation and its infrastructure a top priority. The congressman has shepherded the passage of legislation that has strengthened safety regulations for the nation’s pipeline network and presided over hearings on the progress of California’s high-speed rail project, working to reduce the project’s cost and keep the state’s taxpayers from footing the bill.

The Natural Resources committee considers legislation about American energy production, mineral lands and mining, fisheries and wildlife, public lands, oceans, Native Americans, irrigation and reclamation. Denham has introduced and co-sponsored multiple significant pieces of legislation through his work on the Natural Resources committee, such as the New WATER Act, which offers solutions to California’s drought and water management crisis by helping to finance development of water resources infrastructure. 

As the state’s agriculture hub, the Central Valley has a voice through Denham’s seat on the Agriculture committee, which has jurisdiction over the Department of Agriculture programs. Denham brings his own experience as an almond farmer to the committee, where he worked to see the Agricultural Act of 2014 signed into law in years past, saving taxpayers $23 billion while eliminating unnecessary and duplicative programs. At a round table event with local farmers in October, Denham explained that the American Farm Bureau Federation is currently working on a new farm bill which will cover important issues including agricultural risk coverage, commodity program provisions, specialty crops, dairy, livestock, conservation and crop insurance issues. Denham said that the bill’s final language is expected to be completed this year.

For more information on the 115th Congress House Committees, visit