california

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.

Lawmakers Push to Include Digital in Infrastructure Plans
We need firewalls, not physical walls, says Rep. Ted Lieu

California Rep. Ted Lieu said the country is better protected by firewalls than the physical wall President-elect Donald Trump has proposed. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As rebuilding the country’s infrastructure looks to be an area President-elect Donald Trump and Democrats can agree on, lawmakers from both parties are trying to make sure the conversation includes digital infrastructure. 

California Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu said digital infrastructure is as vital to the country as roads and bridges.

Will Applegate’s Rematch With Issa Be Successful?
Mixed record for California challengers on their second chance

California Rep. Darrell Issa will face another challenge from Doug Applegate, a retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel, in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

No one paid much attention to Doug Applegate’s challenge to California Rep. Darrell Issa until there were only five months left in the campaign, and the Democrat came within 2 points of knocking off the Republican incumbent.

Applegate didn’t waste any time and has already announced his 2018 candidacy, but will more time be enough to put him over the top? 

Incoming Rep. Correa Plans Wait and See Approach With Trump
California Congressman spent much of early life in Mexico; says he’ll do battle over immigration, if necessary

Incoming Reps. Lou Correa, D-California, and Ruben Kihuen, D-Nevada, both spent parts of their childhood in Mexico and have criticized President-elect Donald Trump's immigration policy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep.-elect Lou Correa, D-California, said despite being a moderate Democrat, he plans to oppose President-elect Donald Trump's proposed mass deportations.

Correa, who will represent California's 46th Congressional District, was born in East Los Angeles and lived in Zacatecas, Mexico, for five years as a child before moving to Anaheim. His grandfather immigrated from Mexico early in the 1900s and was deported during the Great Depression.

Challenger Pits Pelosi Against Rank-and-File Democrats
Drama surrounds veteran lawmaker’s bid to retain control of divided caucus

Nancy Pelosi, who has been the top House Democrat since 2003, is facing a challenge from Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi puts her leadership position on the line Wednesday morning, facing criticism from rank-and-file Democrats and an opponent agitating for change after three consecutive unsuccessful attempts to retake control of the chamber.

The 76-year-old Californian is expected to prevail by capturing a simple majority in the secret balloting, but some Democrats predict the race could be close. As of Tuesday evening, at least 80 caucus members had publicly committed to Pelosi.