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675 posts
  • California in Congress
California Sens. Dianne Feinstein, left, and Kamala Harris.
California Sens. Dianne Feinstein, left, and Kamala Harris. (Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call)

California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris voted no on an effort to end the government shutdown Monday, saying they don’t have the assurances they need that a legislative fix for the so-called Dreamers will happen.

The funding measure, which needed 60 votes and allows the Senate to move forward to reopen the government, passed Monday by a 81-18 vote, signaling the three-day government shutdown will end soon. The House already passed a stop-gap spending bill with nearly party-line support and is expected to quickly bring up the Senate measure and give it final approval.

An agreement to end the shut down came together with an assurance from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that the Senate will vote on a legislative fix for Dreamers by Feb. 8, the day the stop-gap funding runs out.

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  • Congressional races
  • California in Congress
  • 2018 election
Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove)
Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove) (Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call)

California Republicans are trying to turn the tide of opinion over the unpopular GOP tax bill ahead of the midterm elections.

Over the weekend, U.S. Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Irvine)  joined four other Republican House members from California to publish an op-ed in the Orange County Register defending the bill. The editorial, written by Walters, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, and Reps. Ed Royce of Fullerton, Tom McClintock of Elk Grove, and Steve Knight of Palmdale, is part of a larger messaging war between the two parties over the massive tax overhaul passed late last year.

Walters, McClintock and Knight are among the targeted Republicans in this year’s midterms; Royce, facing a similarly competitive race, announced recently he would not seek reelection.

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California state lawmakers are angling for another fight with the Trump administration, this time to revive federal net neutrality rules that they say are crucial to a fair, open and free internet.

Politicians courting endorsements from influential activists and party groups are used to being grilled on their policy positions or voting records. But in the #MeToo era, they’re facing blunt questions on potential sexual harassment skeletons in the closet.

  • Politics podcast

On an issue where the stakes were already high, California elected officials have ramped up their criticism of a promised crackdown on illegal immigration and lack of action on Capitol Hill in solving the problem facing hundreds of thousands of young residents.

This week’s California Politics Podcast takes a closer look at threats by President Trump’s administration to conduct raids in search of those in the country illegally, and the political stalemate over the status of so-called Dreamers.

We also discuss the likely measures which will earn a spot on the November statewide ballot. And we examine whether statewide races for positions other than governor or U.S. senator will be able to break through by the time of the primary election in June.

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  • 2018 election
  • California Democrats

California billionaire Tom Steyer announced recently that he won’t be running for U.S. Senate or governor this year. But that certainly doesn’t mean he’s stepping out of the political spotlight.

Speaking to protesters at the Women’s March in Chicago, Steyer urged the crowd to get more politically involved.

“This year is different. This year we have to be more purposeful,” said Steyer, wearing a white sweatshirt with the words “NEED TO IMPEACH” emblazoned on the front. “Because in 10 months, there are going to be 435 congressional seats up … and that means we are going to have to be more organized, we are going to have to be engaged, and we are going to have to go to the polls and flip those seats.”

  • California in Congress

As Democrats and Republicans each try to blame the other party (and President Trump) over what looks likely to be a government shutdown, look no further than California’s delegation for the split. 

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) retweeted a critical post from Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein in 2013, when Republicans led a 16-day shutdown in their failed bid to repeal Obamacare.

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California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra
California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra filed a friend-of-the-court brief Friday to support mandatory union fees for public employees.

The brief was filed in opposition to the case of Mark Janus, an Illinois state employee who objects to paying fees to a union that supports collective bargaining that affects him. His case is being considered by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Becerra’s brief asserts that collective bargaining serves important state interests and that cost-sharing among employees represented by the union is an integral part of the collective bargaining system.

  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election