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The Legislature is moving quickly to confirm Xavier Becerra as California’s next attorney general.
Just three days after a special committee advanced his nomination, the Democratic congressman from Los Angeles will come before the full Assembly this morning for a confirmation vote. The Assembly meets at 9 a.m.
Becerra is expected to easily win approval from the Democrat-dominated chamber, but he could still face opposition from Republican lawmakers who object to his promise to vigorously challenge the incoming Trump administration on issues like immigration, climate change and health care. Though Tuesday’s committee hearing was largely friendly, the three Republican members still voted against recommending Becerra’s confirmation.
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The Senate will separately begin its consideration of Becerra next Wednesday in the rules committee. Senate leaders have expressed support for his selection.
BY THE NUMBERS: The Senate also meets at 9 a.m. Why the rare Friday floor sessions? Because the Capitol will be closed for business on Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. While the Legislature usually operates on a Monday-Thursday schedule, lawmakers cannot collect their per diem allowance if they are out of session for more than three consecutive days. Legislators receive these daily tax-free living expenses on top of their salaries, though a handful, mostly those who live close to the Capitol, do not accept the payments. The per diem rate rose in October to $183, from $176 in the 2015-16 fiscal year, which should be worth about $37,000 to lawmakers this session.
WORTH REPEATING: “Home deduction will stay. Remember, we make policy in the world of politics.” – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, describing one aspect of the federal tax code revisions under way
IMMIGRATION NATION: As President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration looms next week, immigrant rights activists and their allies are planning a national day of action Saturday to protest his campaign pledges to ramp up deportations of undocumented immigrants and build a wall along the border with Mexico. Los Angeles will host a major rally, organized by the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, labor unions and environmental advocacy group NextGen Climate, among others, 11 a.m. at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes. Speakers include Democratic Assembly members Jimmy Gomez of Los Angeles, Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher of San Diego and Miguel Santiago of Los Angeles; state Controller Betty Yee and billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer. More California events, including marches and legal resources fairs, are planned in Bakersfield, Fresno and San Jose.
VIDEO OF THE DAY: “Who is the most forgotten soul in California?” asks Gov. Jerry Brown.
ACA-VOIDING THE REPEAL: With Congress already taking its first steps to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Democrats are also working feverishly to preserve President Barack Obama’s signature policy achievement. Rallies are planned across the country on Sunday to galvanize support for the law, including on the steps of San Francisco City Hall at 1 p.m. with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Reps. Anna Eshoo of Menlo Park, Mike Thompson of St. Helena, Zoe Lofgren of San Jose, Eric Swalwell of Dublin and Ro Khanna of Fremont. Sen. Kamala Harris will also lead an event at the LAC+USC Medical Center at 1 p.m., while the California Nurses Association, a supporter of single-payer health care, has planned rallies for the Capitol and Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood for 5 p.m.