Around The Capitol

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THE Nooner for September 4, 2017



Happy Labor Day! Thank you to first responders and others working today as Harvey cleanup continues and as they prepare Irma.


Yesterday was quite an interesting day in DC. Apparently, North Korea has a hydrogen bomb at the same time they're extending the range their missles, an Trump visited Houston.

Last night, President Trump's plan was leaked for ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that was enacted as an executive order in 2012. It defers deportation action for people who entered the United States without documents for a renewable period of two years as long as they are enrolled in school or working. The immigrants would lose elibility if they commit multiple misdemeanors or a felony.

As of March 2017, 242,319 applications were filed from California, of which 64% were immediately eligible and the rest potentially eligible (such as those not of school age or those out of school looking for a job). It is estimated that there are 519,000 eligible in the Golden State. Data are from the Migration Policy Institute, a nonprofit funded by most of the largest foundations, including Gates, Annie E. Casey, as well other nonpartisan policy organizations like the National Conference of State Legislators and the U.S. State Department.

A toubling thing about DACA as an executive order is that eligible students are fearful of applying, as they have to out of the shadows, give the government their address and, if the order repealed, wait for the po-po to come knocking on their door. 

The top 5 countries of those eligible are Mexico, Guatemala, Korea, El Salvador, and the Philippines.

The politics and policy are complicated. DACA was intended to a Band-Aid awaiting comprehensive immigration reform. Technically, a 6-year old enrolled in school is elibigle for DACA, but what do we do? Deport her parents and put her on foster care? But the non-DACA situation was poor policy as well.

There was the story of the UCLA graduate and Brown doctoral student Tam Tran, who died along with fellow DREAM Act activist Cinthyia Felix. Tran was born to Vietnamese parents in a Germany after her parents fled by boat. Germany doesn't have birthright citizenship, so Tran is considered both undocumented and "stateless."

These are very complicated issues.

Obviously, in California, the largest number are found in Los Angeles County, but counties with a significant agriculture population also have a large number of DACA-eligible residents.

This has Speaker Paul Ryan worried and has spoken out against the DACA repeal. While the GOP has a 46-vote margin--meaning Democrats need flip 23 seat--the Speaker doesn't want to for his vulnerable members--7 in California to vote to repeal a program that hasn't seemingly caused major problems. Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted yesterday "250 of my Apple coworkers are . I stand with them. They deserve our respect as equals and a solution rooted in American values." Celebrity chefs Jose Garces and Tom Collichio have been tweeting against the repeal.

The 7 vulnerable GOP incumbents are Denham, Hunter, Issa, Rohrabacher, Royce, Valadao, and Walters. Of those, Denham, Valadao could be the most vulnerable if they vote for a repeal, although Rohrabacher and Royce have signicant Asian populations. 

The Senate is very unlikely to approve repeal, as Orrin Hatch has spoken against it, and Lindsay Graham has a bill in this Congress for a full DREAM ACT (conditional permanent legal residency). His bill is cosponsored by Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). Texas also has a large number of DACA-eligible, and Governor Greg Abbott has spoken against it.

Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris are both co-sponsors of Graham's bill.

THE LATEST: Lindsay Graham put out a statement a few minutes ago.

“If President Trump chooses to cancel the DACA program and give Congress six months to find a legislative solution, I will be supportive of such a position.

“I have always believed DACA was a presidential overreach. 

“However, I equally understand the plight of the Dream Act kids who -- for all practical purposes -- know no country other than America.

“If President Trump makes this decision we will work to find a legislative solution to their dilemma.  

“I have introduced legislation to solve this problem along with Senator Durbin.  I look forward to working with President Trump and my colleagues in Congress to find a fair solution to this difficult problem.”

Politically, there are three options for Congress: repeal completely, modify, or tell President Trump, "We're sorry, we couldn't reach agreement" and kick it back down Pennsylvania. The latter may be most likely. Then it would be up to the President as to move forward with the repeal, or put his hands in air. More likely he's triangulating to get something--perhaps closer to more liberal Graham plan, but he will have undone an Obama action and call it his own.



TAX THRESHOLD: Did the California Supreme Court change the threshold to a simple majority, rather than two-thirds last week, for increasing parcel taxes and fees for citizen initiatives? It's compicated, writes Michael Smolens in the SDUT. [opinion]

ANTIFA: Legislators are looking at naming "AntiFa" as a street gang following recent Bay Area violent protest, report James Queally, Benjamin Oreskes and Richard Winton in the Tiimes.

BAIL: The LAT's Jazmine Ulloa looks at the efforts to reform the bail system and a nonprofit that is organizing women to make a push for it, arguing that the current system disproportionately burdens women.

#CAKEDAY: Light those candles for Delette Olberg and Anthony York!



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  • Celebration of the 15th Anniversary of the CA LGBT Legislative Caucus: VIP reception benefiting Equality California PAC on Tuesday, September 5 from 5-7pm at the Crest Theatre (1013 K St). Join EQCA, members of the LGBT Caucus and other members of the legislature to celebrate the importance of electing LGBT and pro-equality candidates to office. Sponsorship and ticket information can be found at The reception will be followed by a free community screening of the documentary Political Animals. For more info, contact Tony Hoang at or 323-848-9801.
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Ignore The Critics. Sen. Dianne Feinstein Is Outperforming Many Half Her Age, With Old-fashioned Civility
George Skelton @
Maybe civility, tact and graciousness have become so untrendy in politics that when a U.S. senator plays nice to an American president she just naturally gets booed.

Prop 57: Which Prison Inmates Should Be Released Early?
Ten months after California voters approved a proposition allowing thousands of prison inmates to apply for early release, a debate is still raging over who ought to be freed.

San Francisco Could Become First Local Government To Use Open-source Voting System - San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco has taken a tentative step toward deciding on whether it will become the first local government in the country to run its voting machines on open-source software.

Immigration Reform: Could Opposing Sides Compromise? – The Mercury News
In one of the most dramatic moments to date, Jeffrey Thurnher, a member of the Facebook group from Pasadena, asked fellow members to think of themselves as members of Congress and asked them to present a five- or 10-point plan of their proposed immigration reform bill.

If You Listen Closely, You Can Hear Trump's Tax Plan Shrinking
Doyle McManus @
Trump's tax reform is starting to look a lot like his healthcare reform.

Sacramento County Deputies Try To Help Before Citing Panhandlers | The Sacramento Bee
Brad Branan @
By Brad Branan

Construction Begins On Grand New Entrance To Castle Rock State Park
Castle Rock State Park, Sempervirens Fund, redwoods

Bay Area political events: Iran deal, coal film
Political events in the Bay Area Tuesday Iran deal: Trita Parsi, a Middle East expert who advised the Obama White House during the talks leading to the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal, discusses the pact’s prospects under President Trump. Sponsored by the World Affairs Council. Admission is $20 for non-council members, $7 for students. Event is from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the World Affairs Auditorium, 312 Sutter St., Suite 200 in San Francisco. Information: http://bit.

Blue-tag Abuse: Disabled-placard Cheaters Work The Angles - San Francisco Chronicle
Anyone who has searched for parking in San Francisco and noticed space after space taken by cars with blue disabled placards dangling from their rearview mirrors might wonder whether the city could possibly have so many drivers with disabilities.

Harvey Relief: House Seeks To Match White House Disaster Request - Politico
Posting bill text so quickly could enable GOP leaders to hold a vote on the emergency funding package as soon as lawmakers return Tuesday from their months-long recess.

Bay Area Culinary Schools Thrive Even As Le Cordon Bleu College Departs - San Francisco Chronicle
The last remaining vestige of what was once San Francisco’s top cooking school will pack up its saute pans and close its doors for good at the end of September.

New Evacuations Ordered Due To Railroad Fire | Fresno Bee
Ashleigh Panoo @
By Ashleigh Panoo

Berkeley Protests Catapult 'antifa' To Newfound Fame, Controversy
In the three weeks since these shadowy activists forcefully confronted neo-Nazis and white supremacists at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia -- where one counterprotester was killed, allegedly by a white supremacist -- antifa has suddenly become a household word.

Menendez Trial Set to Begin With Tensions High and Washington Watching

For the first time in 36 years, a sitting United States senator is facing a federal bribery trial, one that could alter both the makeup of the Senate and the future of money and politics.