In September 2001, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) was the only member of Congress to object to an Authorization for the Use of Military Force, a resolution in response to the terrorist attacks that paved the way for the war in Afghanistan.
In the 16 years since, the resolution has been used by President George W. Bush, President Obama and now President Trump as justification for more than 35 military actions in nearly 20 countries around the world -- which means those presidents have not gone back to Congress for new permission to send troops into harm's way.
On Thursday, the House Appropriations Committee opened the door to ending that 2001 authorization when it added Lee's amendment to a Defense Department measure. Congress would have 240 days to debate a new authorization. At the end of that time the 2001 authorization would be repealed.
President Trump's voter fraud commission will not be getting the names and addresses of California's registered voters. The panel's request was denied on Thursday by Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who said it would only "legitimize" false claims of massive election cheating last fall.
Padilla refused to hand over data, including the names, addresses, political party and voting history of California's 19.4 million voters. Kris Kobach, the secretary of state of Kansas who serves as vice chairman of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, sent letters to all 50 states on Wednesday for information he said would help the group examine rules that either "enhance or undermine the American people’s confidence in the integrity of federal elections processes."
Padilla, though, suggested the effort is little more than a ruse.
Supporters of state Sen. Josh Newman filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking to stop a recall campaign against the lawmaker, alleging that signature gatherers have misled voters and the petition contains false information.
The Democratic legislator from Fullerton faces a recall funded by the California Republican Party for voting with other lawmakers to increase the state’s gas tax and vehicle fees to raise $5.2 billion annually for road repairs.
On Tuesday, the state party announced it had submitted 84,988 signatures to election officials, some 20,000 more signatures than would be needed if officials determine they are valid.
A group of nine state attorneys general, including California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra, filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday seeking records that would clarify how the Trump administration is enforcing federal immigration law.
The request seeks the number of immigration detentions, deportations and detainer requests, and the rationale for each, as well as clarifying information on whether Trump is following through on comments that he will not target young people who were brought to the country illegally by their parents.
The attorneys general also want to know whether immigrants in the country illegally have been detained at schools, hospitals and places of worship, which the state officials feel should be off-limits for enforcement.
For 50 years, California has had a law that aims to encourage developers to build housing.
But the law has failed at helping stem the statewide shortage of homes that drives California’s affordability problems. The reason? The law requires cities and counties to produce prodigious reports to plan for housing — but it doesn’t hold them accountable for any resulting home building.
Cities and counties resent the law. To avoid complying, they've asked the state to let prison beds count toward their low-income housing goals, among other things. And despite knowing about the law's weaknesses for decades, state lawmakers have provided no incentive, such as a greater share of tax dollars, for cities and counties to meet their housing goals.