Democrats in California’s congressional delegation were quick to weigh in Thursday on the U.S. bombing of a Syrian airbase, expressing horror at atrocities committed by Syrian President Bashar Assad during a years-long civil war, but most faulting President Trump for not going to Congress before launching the missile strikes.
Tonight's airstrikes will not displace Assad, but may deter chem weapon use. Actions in Syria still not authorized by Congress. Need a vote: pic.twitter.com/UiSNCb8p6Q
Maria Elena Durazo, who served for years as the leader of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor before stepping down in 2014, said Thursday she will make the jump into electoral politics and run for state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León's seat representing parts of Los Angeles when he is termed out in 2018.
Durazo was widely considered one of the most powerful figures in Los Angeles politics when she gave up her labor post to become a vice president of Unite Here, a union representing hospitality workers in the United States and Canada.
The county labor federation reached new heights of power during Durazo's tenure, helping elect a bevy of labor-friendly candidates to the Los Angeles City Council and the county Board of Supervisors. She also scored numerous legislative wins, including a minimum wage law requiring some large Los Angeles hotels to pay workers at least $15.37 an hour.
After a week of fierce debate between opposing interests, the state Senate on Thursday approved a proposal to raise gas taxes and vehicle fees by $5.2 billion per year to pay for the repair of California’s pothole-ridden, decaying system of roads, highways and bridges.
The plan was forcefully pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown as a necessary response to 23 years without a gas tax increase, which has resulted in a backlog of $130 billion in repair and replacement projects throughout the state.
The governor and legislative leaders ended up giving nearly $1 billion to specific transportation projects in the districts of legislators who had been on the fence before voting for Senate Bill 1.
Amid all the self-reflection and infighting among Democrats about how they find their way out of the wilderness in Washington, Sen. Kamala Harris is emerging as a more nuanced political character than many on either side of the political line expected.
California’s freshman senator has embraced an approach somewhat at odds with her liberal image as she talked about the path back for Democrats and why she won’t unconditionally slam the door on working with Republican President Donald Trump.
Devin Nunes’ departure from his role as leader of the House investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election put a blot on the Tulare congressman’s record that the preceding drip-drip-drip of controversy had not.
For weeks, Nunes has been beset by criticism, especially after his startling trip to the White House to receive what he described as classified evidence indicating possible surveillance of some members of Donald Trump’s transition team. And for weeks, Nunes steadfastly denied he’d done anything wrong and pledged to remain at the helm of the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation.
But Thursday, a new investigation — this time by the House Ethics Committee into whether Nunes had inappropriately released classified information — marked a more serious turn for the Republican congressman.
Two judges on the appeals court panel sided with state officials who argued that the program, which requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, fell within their authority to regulate industry.
A third judge on the panel of the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento agreed with the business groups who claimed that cap and trade functioned as an unconstitutional tax.
Ahead of a vote on legislation to raise taxes and fees to repair California's roads, state Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and Gov. Brown on Thursday supported a new bill that would provide $500 million for pet projects in the district of state Sen. Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres), including the extension of a Bay Area commuter rail line to Ceres and Merced.
Cannella’s vote is seen as crucial because at least one of the 27 Senate Democrats is expected to vote against Senate Bill 1, which would deprive the transportation proposal of the two-thirds vote needed for approval. The GOP lawmaker did not comment Thursday on whether he will vote for the plan, but had previously said he might if his requests, including the rail extension, were included.
Another $427 million was put in the budget for Riverside County transportation projects in districts of legislators including Sen. Richard Roth (D-Riverside) who had also been a holdout