Politics, government and public life for Southern California

No House GOP consensus on comprehensive immigration

As House GOP members met in the Capitol basement Wednesday to discuss immigration, activists marched outside with a message: the future of the Republican party could ride on their votes.

House Republicans met for more than two hours at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday to discuss immigration. There was no consensus on anything but border security, but one things seems clear: a path to citizenship looks to be a tough sell.

House leaders told their colleagues that Republicans will be in a "much weaker position" if they fail to act on immigration. Afterwards, House Whip Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield was upbeat.

"We had very good discussions, very productive, a lot of participation," McCarthy said.

The man who counts votes says there will be a majority of GOP members who can agree on something. When asked whether that includes a path to citizenship or legal status, McCarthy quickly slipped away behind his office door without answering.

Central Valley Congressman Devin Nunes said he believes two-thirds of his House GOP colleagues support legal status for the undocumented. But he doesn't understand what he termed "infatuation" with a path to citizenship among Democrats and immigration advocates.


How should California make up for power loss from San Onofre?


L.A. Democratic State Senator Alex Padilla (seen in file photo), who chairs the Senate Utilities Committee, said Wednesday at a hearing on San Onofre: “I don’t think keeping the lights on and reducing emissions are contradictory.”

A State Senate committee pondered Wednesday how to make up for the power loss from the permanent closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).  

Replacing the energy the plant produced isn’t as simple as flipping a switch. Not when California is gunning to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the use of renewable fuels. 

The San Onofre plant provided 2,200 megawatts of electricity to South Orange County and San Diego. The creation of that power — from a regulatory perspective —emitted no greenhouse gases.

Speaking before the state Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee, executives from the two utility companies that relied on San Onofre said they have been able to purchase other types of energy — including natural gas — from other companies to make up the difference.  


Maven's Morning Coffee: Eric Garcetti rethinks diversity, a former Malibu mayor runs for Board of Supes, Fire Commission doesn't like Dodger deal

7/5/2013: New LA Mayor Eric Garcetti meeting and greeting at Van Nuys City Hall

John Rabe

Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is half Mexican and half Jewish, wants City Hall to rethink how it looks at diversity.

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.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Wednesday, July 10, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:


Mayor Eric Garcetti wants to change the way City Hall thinks about diversity, reports KPCC. "I just know that we’re going to be looking at more than just, ‘Oh, make sure there’s one of every color on every commission and the box is checked'," Garcetti says.

Former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa talks to the Los Angeles Times about his plans for the future -- think tank, speaking tour, possible run for governor. "I'm not going to put my head in the sand and disappear," he says.


House GOP members fear betrayal on immigration in conference committee

Kitty Felde/ KPCC

Former chief of staff to Nancy Pelosi John Lawrence talks about the power of a Speaker to shape legislation in conference committee

House Republicans meet Wednesday to talk about what sort of immigration bill they could support. Nearly half a dozen tough measures have passed various House Committees.

The Senate's already approved its version of immigration reform. What happens next depends a great deal on House Speaker John Boehner.

House committees are considering legislation that would create guest worker programs for agriculture and visas for high tech industries, require nationwide use of an electronic worker verification system, and allow local police to enforce federal immigration laws. None of these bills include a pathway to citizenship.

Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa - one of the harshest critics of what he calls "amnesty" for undocumented immigrants - said he's "concerned" about what could happen if the House leadership appoints a conference committee. That's when a group of legislators from the House and Senate come together to hash out differences between their bills.


House Democrats stake out position on immigration ahead of GOP meeting

Kitty Felde/KPCC

Los Angeles Democrat Xavier Becerra speaks with the media after a closed door meeting of House Democrats on immigration.

Republican and Democratic members of Congress are holding closed door meetings on immigration. House Republicans meet Wednesday and House Democrats met Tuesday.

Los Angeles Congressman Xavier Becerra is the head of the House Democratic Caucus.

He said some Democrats are unhappy with the increased border security measures in the Senate immigration bill. But Becerra said House Democrats are united on one point:  they won't vote for any immigration package that doesn't include a path to citizenship.

"It makes no sense to try to say we're going to fix a broken immigration system and leave out the component that addresses the situation where some 11 million people continue to exist in the shadows," said Becerra.

House Speaker John Boehner said Monday that legalization needs to wait until there is "strong border security in place."