This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- Gov. Jerry Brown told the Times Wednesday that a decision by President Trump to withdraw from the Paris Accord on climate change would be "tragic."
- Legislators at the state Capitol will winnow down the hundreds of bills pending by Friday afternoon, quietly killing some of them which have been sitting in what's called the "suspense file."
- African Americans in the California Democratic Party want an apology made to Rep. Maxine Water (D-Los Angeles) after her microphone was cut off at last weekend's convention.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Monday she will oppose the confirmation of every Transportation Department nominee until the Trump administration funds California's electric train.
On Monday she said she plans to vote against Jeffrey Rosen’s nomination as deputy secretary of Transportation.
In the recent spending bill, Congress directed the administration to fully fund the Caltrain Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project, but the administration has not yet released the funds. In February, President Trump delayed making a final decision on the project after the 14 Republicans in the California delegation asked him to, a move that caused panic from the governor's office and local leaders.
“Despite approval from Congress, the administration continues to withhold funding without any rational justification — wasting almost $1 million a week and jeopardizing 10,000 jobs nationwide. It is long past time for the administration to release the Caltrain corridor funding," Feinstein said.
Electrification would allow Caltrain to replace its diesel locomotives with electric trains and is a crucial step for the future of the bullet train, which several Republicans in the delegation oppose. In recent months, Feinstein has repeatedly urged Californians to contact the Republicans in the delegation about the train.