california

Culture Before Politics Inspires Resistance to Trump’s Border Proposals
Border politics have never cleaved neatly along partisan lines

California Rep. Scott Peters has worked with his Republican colleagues to secure border infrastructure funding. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Democrat Scott Peters, a former environmental lawyer, represents a majority Anglo district near the Mexican border town of Tijuana.

Texas Republican Will Hurd, a 39-year-old former CIA officer who’s nearly two decades younger that Peters, represents a majority Latino district a thousand miles to the east that spans 40 percent of America’s border with Mexico.

Issa Skips Town Hall, But Has Impromptu One Outside Office
Greeted critics and supporters

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., spoke with protesters and supporters outside of a district office for more than an hour, local media reported. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Darrell Issa skipped a town hall event organized by local groups on Wednesday, but did meet with protesters and supporters outside a district office earlier in the day.

The California Republican had been invited to a town hall event organized to pin him down on his views on the 2010 health care law, but his office said he already had a commitment, the San Diego Union Tribune reported.

McClintock Goes Into Overtime in Town Hall Meeting
California Republican congressman needed police escort to leave hall last time out

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., heard some anger on Tuesday, but didn’t need a police escort this time. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo).

After being escorted by police from a rambunctious town hall meeting a couple weeks ago, California Republican Rep. Tom McClintock stayed late at another on Tuesday.

An estimated 900 people showed up for Tuesday’s meeting in the small town of Mariposa. McClintock’s stops in Mariposa usually see 60 to 80 people, the San Francisco Chronicle noted.

Tennessee, Texas Stand Out for Strengthened Hill Sway
In Roll Call’s Clout Index for this Congress, California delegation’s longtime hold on top spot is threatened

Party affiliation and longevity have helped propel members of the Tennessee delegation such as Sen. Bob Corker into positions that convey authority and power, Hawkings writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

No state in this decade has seen a more meaningful boost than Tennessee in institutionalized congressional influence.

Only eight states, all with much bigger delegations because they’re much more populous, have more overt sway at the Capitol this year. That is one of several notable findings from the new Roll Call Clout Index, which the newspaper uses to take a quantifiable measurement of every state’s potential for power at the start of each new Congress.  

Kamala Harris Aims for Influence as a Check on Trump
Even as a freshman, Calif. Democrat has started Senate career with a bang

California Sen. Kamala Harris has been sharply critical of President Donald Trump’s recent actions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Donald Trump received less than a third of the votes cast for president by California voters, and that’s something the state’s new senator, Kamala Harris, is well aware of.

Harris, the former state attorney general, had already spoken up on the Senate floor against the nominations of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos by the time she gave her more traditional “maiden speech” Thursday. The freshman Democrat started by recounting how her mother, an Indian immigrant, chose to marry her Jamaican father in the U.S. instead of returning to India for an arranged marriage.

Pro-Pot Lawmakers to Join Forces, Launch Cannabis Caucus
Move comes amid uncertainty for state marijuana laws under Trump

Inventory including “Merry N’Berry” on display at the medical marijuana dispensary Takoma Wellness Center, in Washington, D.C. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers looking to draw attention to pet issues have formed groups in favor of everything from auto care to zoos. Now, there’s a caucus for cannabis. 

Rep. Earl Bluemenauer said the move — to be announced at a press conference Thursday — is a sign of how mainstream the drive for marijuana legalization has become.

Harris Was Only 2016 Senate Democratic Candidate to Get Cash From Mnuchin
And she voted against him for Treasury secretary

California Sen. Kamala Harris received a $2,000 campaign contribution from Steven Mnuchin last year, but voted against confirming him as Treasury secretary on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In the 2016 election cycle, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin donated to only one Democratic Senate candidate. 

But it wasn’t Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, the only Democrat who voted to confirm him for the position Monday night and who is up for re-election next year. It was freshman Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who has her own history with the new Cabinet official and voted against Mnuchin’s nomination.

McClintock Escorted Out by Police After Town Hall Turns Rowdy
Hundreds gather outside event as those inside question Obamacare repeal, travel ban for immigrants

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., heard from a number of protesters at a town hall in Roseville, Calif. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., was escorted out of a town hall meeting on Saturday with the aid of police after numerous protesters criticized him.

Hundreds of protesters outside the Saturday event chanted, “Vote him out,” the Sacramento Bee reported.

For 20, a New Year’s Boost in House Legislative Sway
How the winners of top committee assignments made their own luck

Keep an eye peeled for these House members with plum new committee assignments, from left to right, first row: Pete Aguilar, Earl L. “Buddy” Carter, Katherine M. Clark, Ryan A. Costello, Carlos Curbelo; second row: Suzan DelBene, Debbie Dingell, Brian Higgins, John Moolenaar, Grace Meng; third row: Dan Newhouse, Scott Peters, Mark Pocan, Raul Ruiz, David Schweikert; fourth row: Terri A. Sewell, Scott Taylor, Tim Walberg, Jackie Walorski and Mimi Walters. (Bill Clark, Meredith Dake-O’Connor and Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photos. Scott Taylor courtesy Scott Taylor for U.S. Congress)

Specialization seasoned with seniority is the surest recipe for a meaningful legislative career in the House, which is more than big enough to swallow all the dilettantes and short-timers without a trace. It’s finding a substantive niche, then fitting in over the long haul, that proves perennially frustrating for many members. 

But the goal of becoming a successful and substantive lawmaker just got a whole lot easier for a score of them.

Report: Hunter Used Campaign Funds to Fly Family Rabbit
Comes after son used campaign credit card for playing video games

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., used $600 in campaign money to fly a family rabbit, an ongoing review of his expenses revealed.