Politics, government and public life for Southern California

California GOP Congressman disagrees with his party strategy on shutdown

The likely incoming Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee


Republican Congressman Devin Nunes of the Central Valley has been voting with his party, but he disagrees with the government shutdown strategy.

Republicans in Congress are moving forward with temporary proposals to fund the government, all of which have been blunted by the Senate.

Not all Republicans are pleased with the strategy. One California GOP member is disgusted with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and the Tea Party House members he blames for the current impasse.

Make no mistake, Tulare Republican Congressman Devin Nunes voted for every one of the GOP's continuing resolutions that contained provisions to diminish Obamacare — amendments that have been stripped out by the Democrat-majority Senate over and over again. Nunes says the GOP had the moral high ground in delaying the individual mandate, "But we didn't fight on that." Instead, Nunes says the party is sending mixed messages.

He blames fellow GOP House members and Texas Senator Cruz for pushing the party off a cliff. "They're lemmings, they're followers," said Nunes, following a Republican caucus meeting Tuesday afternoon. "They're just waiting for the next guy in front of the mic, the next guy that's on TV, and they're going to run out and follow them."

Nunes isn't pleased with his party's strategy, but having come this far — shutting down the government — he says it has to be played out. But he's not optimistic about the outcome. He says if you're going to take "extreme measures," you'd better have a plan to win. "And I don't know that there's a plan to win."


California Democrat voted with GOP to stop shutdown

First-term Democratic Congressman Raul Ruiz risked his party's ire Monday night by voting with the GOP to keep the government open.

Politics makes strange bedfellows. 

When the House of Representatives voted Monday night on a continuing resolution to fund the government and avoid a shutdown, GOP leaders once again attached an amendment that would have delayed the implementation of the individual mandate in Obamacare for a year. The measure passed, 228-201 mostly along party lines, with 12 Republicans voting against it and nine Democrats voting "aye."

One of those "yes" votes belonged to Democratic Congressman Raul Ruiz of Palm Springs.

The freshman representative, who also is a medical doctor, said in a statement that Congress should have — "and could have" — voted on a routine budget without "political gamesmanship." Instead, he said, House Republican leaders chose to "hold the budget hostage to a political agenda." While Ruiz said the process is deeply flawed, he decided to "reach across the aisle to put people first."


LA City Council moves to redefine neighborhood council participation

City Council Los Angeles

Mae Ryan/KPCC

L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar is leading efforts to redefine participation on the city's 95 neighborhood councils.

The City of Los Angeles took another step Tuesday toward redefining who can participate in the city's 95 neighborhood councils. 

With a unanimous vote, the Los Angeles City Council asked the city attorney to draft an ordinance that would allow anyone with a "substantial and ongoing" stake in a community to participate in a neighborhood council. This would open membership behind a neighborhood's residents, but also limit participation by Angelenos who try to improperly influence councils. 

"It's a thousand times better than the original definition," said Councilman Jose Huizar, who got involved after medical marijuana clinic owners tried to get their customers to influence the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council election. 

RELATEDNeighborhood Councils: Where government and community meet


Maven's Morning Coffee: Fight over public health, special election set for December, Sheriff Baca's side gig

City Attorney Mike Feuer has filed legal papers to block a ballot initiative that would create a city-operated public health agency.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, votes and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

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Today is Tuesday, Oct. 1, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:


The city of Los Angeles wants a judge to declare a ballot proposal to create a city-run public health department invalid, reports KPCC. The initiative would "immediately disrupt critical public health services," according to a complaint filed by the City Attorney's Office. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation backs the ballot proposal.

A judge has ruled that Palmdale's November election cannot take place because the city's at-large election does not comply with the California Voting Rights Act, according to the LA Weekly. "For far too long already, the African American and Latino citizens of Palmdale have been disenfranchised. No longer should they be forced to wait for their rights while the city thumbs its nose at the law," says attorney R. Rex Parris.


The government shutdown: What's open, what's not?


Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. Capitol is seen at sunset in Washington, D.C., Sept. 25, 2013.

It happened. Congress couldn't agree on a temporary funding measure by midnight Monday, and the government officially began shutting down Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. — though not every agency will lock its doors. Those considered essential — or "exempted" — will still be on the job. 

But which ones?

Federal employees were to be officially notified Friday afternoon if they should go to work on Tuesday in the event of a shutdown. 

Which agencies and services will be affected?

RELATED: What does government shutdown mean for you?


IRS — The bad news: if you’re filing a quarterly return and have questions, or if you’re waiting for a refund, you’ll have to wait until the government is open for business again. The good news: if you’re being audited, you’ll get a reprieve until the government is back in business again (according to the 2011 contingency plan).