Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Congresswoman Judy Chu wants tougher hazing language

Mercer 561

Kitty Felde/KPCC

Congresswoman Judy Chu hopes to include stronger language against military hazing in the defense appropriation bill.

Washington hasn't steered clear of the fiscal cliff, but the House of Representatives this week did approve a $633-billion defense bill. The bill contains language designed to address hazing in the military. But one Southland lawmaker says it doesn’t go far enough.

Democratic Congresswoman Judy Chu of El Monte knows the effect of military hazing: her nephew committed suicide in Afghanistan after hazing from his Marine mates.

Chu pushed for strong language in the defense authorization bill, but it got diluted as the compromise bill came back from the Senate. Chu says she’s disappointed that the military is required to make a one-time only report to Congress, with no permanent database of hazing incidents, and no independent study from the Government Accountability Office. She calls the GAO study "essential, because I think that there has to be a voice outside of the military that can look at hazing as a crime and determine its consequences and determine why there’s nothing being done about it."

Chu wants data broken out along race and gender to determine whether women and minorities are prime targets for military hazing.

The Senate also approved the Defense bill late Friday afternoon. 



Congresswoman sends cease and desist letter to state Assembly candidate

Matthew Lin

Matthew Lin Campaign

Rep. Judy Chu sent a cease and desist letter Thursday to state Assembly candidate Matthew Lin. She believes he misled voters into thinking she endorsed him in the race.

A candidate for the state Assembly received a cease and desist letter Thursday from a Democratic congresswoman who accused the Republican of misleading voters into thinking he had received her endorsement.

Rep. Judy Chu’s letter identified three pieces of mail that she says incorrectly gave voters the impression that she endorsed Matthew Lin. In fact, Chu has endorsed fellow Democrat Edwin Chau in the race for the Assembly’s 49th District in the San Gabriel Valley.

“I demand that you immediately cease and desist from using my name, image and likeness, whatsoever, or even mentioning me or my elected Congressional Office in your campaign materials and demand that you issue an apology for the unauthorized use of my name and picture to be mailed out to every voter who has received this information from your campaign,” Chu wrote in her letter.


House vote on GOP immigration bill would allow more foreign-born grads to stay in US

Congresswoman Judy Chu

Alex Wong/Getty Images

U.S. Rep. Judy Chu of El Monte is fighting a proposed bill that would create a visa program for high-value college graduates at the expense of an existing visa program.

There are precious few hours before Congress leaves town until after the election. They still have a funding resolution to pass to keep the government going, and they'll name a few post offices. But there's also an immigration bill likely to get a vote Thursday — one sponsored by Republicans.

The bill by Republican Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas would make it easier for graduate students from foreign countries to remain in the United States after getting a degree. There's a catch: their major must be from one of the so-called "STEM" areas — science, technology, engineering, or math.  

Smith is chair of the House Judiciary Committee. His bill is designed to prevent the brain drain of foreign-born, U.S.-educated scientists and engineers who return to their home country because of the difficulty in obtaining work visas. Up to 55,000 visas would be designated for such candidates.