The plan, coalition leaders said, borrows from existing proposals from Gov. Jerry Brown, Democrats in the Assembly and Senate and GOP lawmakers who have failed to reach a deal for a year. The coalition plan includes a 12-cent hike in the gas tax, $500 million from cap-and-trade revenue and new fees for car owners, among other revenue increases. It also has a number of reform measures advocated by Republicans to reallocate transportation dollars and streamline environmental reviews.
“We can do reform. We can do revenue,” said Matt Cate, the executive director of the California State Assn. of Counties. “But what we can’t do is wait anymore.”
The House voted 285 to 138 Wednesday to reject an amendment from Rep. Barbara Lee that would have ended President Obama's authority to use military force against Islamic State.
Congress approved an Authorization for Use of Military Force in the days after Sept. 11, 2001, to give President George W. Bush authority to use the military. Obama has said he believes that authority extends to fighting Islamic State, which sprung up as Al Qaeda's strength waned.
Lee and other members of Congress say the president should have had to come back to Congress for a new authorization.
Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose) said in an interview between House votes that his staff was very excited about meeting the television show host and educator Bill Nye the Science Guy, who was on Capitol Hill to talk about space exploration and funding for NASA.
"He's a very sensible, adamant, thoughtful person," Honda said.
Honda, 74, said he had heard of Nye, but didn't know who he was at first. When his staff tried to explain, Honda said he compared Nye to Don Herbert, the science show host from his childhood.
On the eve of the California Senate acting on 10 gun control bills, state lawmakers on Wednesday said mass shootings, such as the one in San Bernardino last December, require legislative action to close loopholes in California’s already strict laws.
Eight members of the state Assembly touted a batch of proposals that include outlawing the manufacture and sale of semiautomatic rifles that have detachable magazines as well as those with “bullet buttons” that allow swift replacement of magazines.
Those already possessing such guns would have to register them with the state as assault rifles.
U.S. Reps. Zoe Lofgren and Lucille Roybal-Allard called for President Obama to stop deportation raids of Central American children and their families Wednesday.
Young children from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador who fled violence in their home countries and are living in the Chicago area waved American flags and hugged the California congresswomen and Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) as they spoke at a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol.
Hundreds of thousands of children have crossed the U.S. southern border in recent years seeking asylum. Because being present in the U.S. illegally is a civil offense, there is no right to an attorney during immigration or asylum proceedings. That means many children stand alone before an immigration judge when they ask to stay in this country.