california

Interior nears a contract with a company its secretary used to lobby for
Conservation groups fear water deal will be a hazard for protected salmon and other aquatic life

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt testifies in May 2019. The department he leads is close to completing a contract for a water district he represented as a lobbyist. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Interior Department is close to completing a permanent water supply contract for a water district once represented by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt as a lobbyist, despite concerns that doing so would imperil aquatic species including endangered salmon. 

Conservation groups say the deal between the Interior Department and the Westlands Water District, which serves and is run by farmers in California’s Central Valley, promises to permanently divert more federally managed water to the district just as climate change threatens to make the state hotter and more prone to extreme drought.

Why Katie Hill had to go
California Democrat couldn’t stay on in a chamber that had promised to change its ways

With the new rules in place regarding relationships between lawmakers and their staff, California Rep. Katie Hill had no choice but to resign, Murphy writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — There is nothing worse than watching a person you’re rooting for make a mistake. In the case of former Rep. Katie Hill, the talented newcomer made a major mistake when she engaged in a relationship with a campaign staffer leading up to the 2018 midterm elections. She was right to resign her seat last week because of it.

Hill’s mistake was not simply having an affair, especially in this case when the relationship seems to have been consensual and even something her husband was aware of and participated in. But the California Democrat’s choice to start and continue a relationship with a young staffer on her congressional campaign happened at the very time that other women on Capitol Hill were fighting to protect staffers long subjected to sexual harassment by their bosses there.

Democrats’ Bernhardt probe has California’s Cox in a tough spot
His committee thinks Interior secretary may have improperly intervened in decision to send water to Democrat’s farming constituents

Rep. TJ Cox represents farmers in California’s Central Valley. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A draft report by the National Marine Fisheries Service concluded in July that giving farmers in California’s Central Valley more water would harm salmon, steelhead trout and killer whales.

But after the Interior Department’s Fish and Wildlife Service intervened, the final report, released on Oct. 22, reached a new conclusion: The government could maximize water deliveries and protect the fish at the same time.

Impeachment deposition derails House Oversight hearing

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., talks with reporters after a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus in September. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Members of the House Oversight Subcommittee on the Environment quarreled Tuesday during a chaotic 30-minute delay to a hearing that prevented members from attending an impeachment inquiry deposition.  

In one instance, Reps. Kelly Armstrong and Jim Jordan pushed back on a line of questioning from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, saying they “can’t be two places at once.” Both blame the Democratic majority for having scheduled committee hearings while impeachment inquiry depositions were taking place.

Saga is not over for Katie Hill’s office, staff and constituents
California Democrat announced resignation plans over the weekend

California Democratic Rep. Katie Hill is resigning after just nearly nine months in office. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Timing, even in resignations, is everything.

Rep. Katie Hill has announced she will resign from the House, but the timing of her exit will determine a range of next steps — including her staffers’ future plans, how her constituents will be served in her absence and even her final paycheck.

Katie Hill pledges fight against revenge porn

Rep. Katie Hill speaks at a press conference outside of the Capitol in June. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Katie Hill addressed supporters in a video posted to her campaign's YouTube account, for the first time since announcing her resignation Sunday. Hill, D-Calif., said that she will “fight to ensure no one else has to live through what [she] just experienced.”

She said that her decision to step down from her seat after being the victim of what she characterized as “electronic assault” or “digital exploitation,” noting that some call it “revenge porn,” has been the “most difficult decision” of her life.

Zuckerberg declines Rep. Katie Porter’s challenge to work as a content monitor
Porter pushes Zuckerberg on working conditions, benefits for Facebook content monitors

Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., attends the House Financial Services Committee hearing Tuesday, October 22nd. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call),

Rep. Katie Porter used her time during Wednesday’s House Financial Services hearing to press Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the working standards and benefits for the company’s small army contractors monitoring the platform’s content.   

The California Democrat compared the parts of Facebook’s conduct policies for content moderators to a dystopian depiction in an episode of Netflix show “Black Mirror.” She asked the tech CEO if he would be “willing to spend an hour a day, for the next year,” working as a content monitor for the platform.

Indicted Rep. Duncan Hunter fails to get local GOP endorsement in crowded primary
Six-term California Republican has secured San Diego GOP’s primary endorsement in all of his prior elections

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., faces a tough “top-two” primary field that includes at least three other well-known GOP candidates. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Federally indicted Rep. Duncan Hunter failed to earn the endorsement of his local Republican Party on Monday despite representing San Diego County in the House for more than 10 years.

It was the first time the six-term GOP congressman from California’s 50th District has failed to capture the endorsement.

Ex-Rep. Darrell Issa is not Duncan Hunter’s only problem in California primary
Radio host Carl DeMaio is also a factor in GOP battle for San Diego-area seat

Republican House candidate Carl DeMaio of California during a September interview. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

One’s a six-term congressman whose father held the seat for 28 years before him. Another served nine terms one district over. But a gay conservative talk radio host who doesn’t even live in the district is giving both a run for their money among Republicans in Southern California’s 50th District.

Former San Diego city councilman Carl DeMaio may have an early lead on incumbent GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter, who is under indictment on corruption charges, and former Republican House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, who announced a comeback bid just nine months after retiring from the neighboring 49th District.

By writing off climate change, are Republicans writing off young voters?
Trump’s environmental moves could well be harming the GOP in the long run

Young people who are witnessing the effects of climate change in their own lifetimes should not be expected to move away from the fight, Curtis writes. Above, young climate activists rally in Washington on Sept. 13. (Nathan Ouellette/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — It makes sense that young people, who will have to live with the consequences of decisions made by their elders, are becoming increasingly passionate about climate change and global warming. Once an afterthought on the list of issues at the top of voters’ concerns, the future of the environment is now the topic of candidate town halls, serious investigative reports and, on Wednesday, a congressional hearing featuring young people offering advice and warnings.

It’s hard to miss the extreme weather patterns that bring 500-year floods way too often. But are politicians missing the boat on an issue that could transform the voting patterns of a generation?