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Congressman-elect Scott Peters, who narrowly defeated incumbent Brian Bilbray in last month’s contest for the newly-drawn California 52nd District, has one of his first committee appointments. On Thursday the Democratic Caucus tapped him to join the House Committee on Armed Services, responsible for funding and oversight for the Department of Defense and the nation’s military.

He joins fellow San Diego local Duncan D. Hunter of East County, a former Marine who assumed his father’s House seat in 2008.

“Our military and defense industry is a large and critical part of our regional economy that employs hundreds of thousands of San Diegans,” Peters said in a release following the announcement. “As the Representative for the new 52nd District, which is home to seven military bases, serving on Armed Services is an important assignment and an honor.”

Despite likely cuts in military spending, Peters says he intends to push to retain funds at the local level, pointing to President Obama’s previously expressed goal of driving foreign policy more toward a focus on the Far East nations on the other side of the Pacific Rim and an ongoing campaign to continue technological development. San Diego’s geographical location and strong tech industry both bode well for the prospects of a less-than-devastating effect from a round of federal belt-tightening.

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