WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Reps. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., and Dan Newhouse, R-4th District, will serve as co-chairmen for the Congressional Wine Caucus.
As grape growers, both will lead the bicameral and bipartisan organization for the 116th Congress.
“I am proud to represent the flourishing, high-quality wine region of central Washington, and I am honored to join my friend and colleague, Rep. Mike Thompson, to serve as the first co-chair of the Congressional Wine Caucus from Washington state,” said. Newhouse.
“Mike truly understands the priorities and concerns of the wine community, and I look forward to working with him ensure that our nation’s wine industry – from wine grape growers to winemakers and sellers – can continue to thrive and grow.”
“When the Congressional Wine Caucus was founded, we had a mission to educate our fellow members about the strong economic contributions made by grape growers and wine makers to our communities and to ensure they have a voice in Congress. I am proud that my new co-chair, Rep. Dan Newhouse, is a fellow grape grower and knows these issues firsthand,” said Thompson.
“Together we will continue our mission of advocacy and education in order to support our nation’s incredible wine community from the vineyard to the glass.”
Wine is produced in all 50 states and generates jobs and revenue in both rural and urban communities, according to the caucus. The wine industry contributes an estimated $220 billion to the U.S. economy annually and creates the equivalent of more than one million full-time jobs.
In Washington state, there are nearly 1,000 wineries and more than 350 wine grape growers.