Capitol Alert

McClintock likely to draw big crowds over Obamacare repeal, travel ban

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, speaks at a town hall meeting in San Andreas, Calif., on March 19, 2014.
Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, speaks at a town hall meeting in San Andreas, Calif., on March 19, 2014. NYT

Massive protests that have gripped the nation since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, erupting at statehouses, filling city streets and packing airports in recent weeks, are increasingly breaking out on the home turf of members of Congress. It doesn’t matter if you’re red or blue. This weekend, Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, could be forced to answer some tough questions of his own.

Throngs of protesters showed up at Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s San Francisco home over the past few days, expressing concern over Trump’s cabinet picks and a disputed travel and refugee ban focused in part on people from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Roughly 100 people filled an Elk Grove meeting room at a town hall by Rep. Ami Bera last weekend carrying signs that said “No ban, no wall,” and “Support sanctuary cities.” And Saturday, a planned Democratic protest is expected to draw hundreds of people to town hall meeting hosted by McClintock in Roseville, the Republican-heavy population center of his congressional district.

McClintock has both received praise, and come under fire for backing Trump executive orders. He strongly supports Trump’s order that halts travel to the U.S. from some Muslim-majority countries and indefinitely bans Syrian refugees, saying in a prepared statement that “there is no unconditional right to enter the United States.”

“The President has a sworn responsibility to assure that those entering our country are not hostile to our Constitution, our people or the rule of law. The order is limited to countries that are hot-beds of Islamic extremism and provides for case-by-case waivers to assure that bonafide dissenters from these regimes can enter. This is a temporary stop-gap to give the administration time to put a new vetting system in place that can adequately assess the veracity of a refugee’s claims and his intentions.”

McClintock also recently alluded to chaos in the ranks of the Republican-controlled Congress, and longstanding plans to repeal Obamacare, despite not having a clear replacement. McClintock said in a secret recording shared with the Washington Post that it’s “going to be called Trumpcare. Republicans will own that lock, stock and barrel, and we’ll be judged in the election two years away.”

McClintock, whose town hall was scheduled before recent backlash over Trump’s proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act, tighten immigration and ban refugees, could face a big crowd.

“The congressman’s town halls are always well attended,” said spokesman Bill George, “and we look forward to a discussion of the issues with our constituents.”

IF YOU GO: The Town Hall is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at Tower Theatre at 417 Vernon St., Roseville.

FOLLOW THE MONEY: Want to find out who is contributing to a candidate seeking elected state office? Track down special interest groups raising money for statewide ballot measure? Digging up data can be tedious and time-consuming. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla is seeking to make that process easier, and campaign finance data more accessible.

A public meeting on efforts to replace the state’s campaign access portal is set for 10 a.m. at the Ronald Reagan Building Auditorium at 300 S. Spring St., Los Angeles. Padilla is asking for the public’s input on how the system should work.

FUTURE OF HEALTH CARE: Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones will discuss the future of Obamacare under a Trump administration. Jones is expected to weigh in on the healthcare debate, and ways California can preserve access, at a morning address with the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Health Care Council in Los Angeles.

WORTH REPEATING: “Federal grants fund professors, graduate students and others who are conducting invaluable research in security, in defense, advancements in public health and energy, and technology innovations of every kind. It is completely inappropriate to threaten withholding of federal funding to that system.” – Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, in response to Trump suggesting pulling federal funds from UC Berkeley this week following raucous protests over a planned speech by controversial Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos.

MUST READ: Many of California’s 5 million residents who benefited from the expansion of Medi-Cal under Obamacare live in the state’s Inland Empire, an area seen as Republican stronghold in an otherwise deep-blue state. The dynamic is putting political pressure on congressional Republicans, who have not come up with a replacement plan but already, have taken steps to to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the current host of NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice” suggested he and Trump switch jobs.

Angela Hart: 916-326-5528, @ahartreports