William Thomas

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Bill Thomas, Republican of Bakersfield, California, used to represent California’s 22nd Congressional District which covers most of Kern and San Luis Obispo Counties and part of Los Angeles County, including the cities of Bakersfield, Taft, Tehachapi, Arroyo Grande, Paso Robles, Lancaster, and Ridgecrest.

The largest economic interests in the district are agriculture, energy and defense. Agriculture in Kern and San Luis Obispo Counties is a multi-billion dollar industry. As one of the nation’s top agriculture regions, the counties produce over $2.5 billion in crops such as cotton, citrus, grapes, pistachios, almonds, carrots, and livestock. Kern County annually produces more oil than the state of Oklahoma. Eastern Kern County and northeastern Los Angeles County are home of Edwards Air Force Base and the Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division, at China Lake.

Thomas was elected Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means in January 2001.

Prior to his election as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Thomas served as Chairman of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee. In 1998, Thomas was appointed Administrative Chairman of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare. Thomas also served on the Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee. He was Chairman of the House Administration Committee from 1995–2001. He retired after the end of the 109th Congress.

He and his wife, Sharon, have two grown children, Christopher and Amelia. The Congressman graduated from Santa Ana Community College and obtained both his bachelor and master degrees from San Francisco State University.


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