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Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher says guest worker visas wouldn't be necessary if certain low-skilled jobs paid enough to attract Americans.
Congress returns to work this week to talk about sequestration, gun control, and immigration. While lawmakers were in their home districts, one of the nation’s largest labor unions, the AFL-CIO, found agreement with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on one area of immigration reform: guest workers.
But the California delegation has opinions of its own on the topic of foreign workers.
Temporary visas for agricultural workers have traditionally enjoyed bi-partisan support on Capitol Hill – particularly from California lawmakers who represent the nation’s salad bowl.
Urban Democrats such as Henry Waxman of Los Angeles support short-term visas. Waxman says agribusiness has a need to hire people when the crops need to be harvested, "and there are people who want to come even though they intend to go back to their homes in another country."
In Los Angeles, political candidates sometimes try to build their street credibility by talking about witnessing gang violence firsthand . Eric Garcetti tells of coming under fire in 1993 – at an airport in northern Cambodia.
“As the plane was about to land, Khmer Rouge rebels came out of the jungle and shelled the airport,” Garcetti recalls. “Luckily, it didn’t hit the terminal, but it did hit some soldiers and killed one of them close by.”
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Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa addresses a National Press Club luncheon Jan. 14, 2013 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
Los Angeles voters are picking a new mayor, but the race is far different from the landmark election of Antonio Villaraigosa eight years ago.
Villaraigosa's victory made him the first Hispanic mayor since 1872 and highlighted the clout of a growing Latino population.
With the barrier gone, issues of race and ethnicity have been mostly muted in the nonpartisan contest to succeed him.
There is no Hispanic standard-bearer. The city could elect its first woman mayor, its first Jewish one, or the first gay one.
But jobs, schools and other familiar issues have dominated. The March 5 primary is expected to lead to a May runoff.
Republican Congressman Buck McKeon of Santa Clarita chairs the House Armed Services Committee.
Congress returns to work next week, trying to find an alternative to mandatory budget cuts called “sequestration.” That's the penalty Congressional negotiators came up with if Democrats and Republicans can’t find a way to trim the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion over a decade. Half those cuts will come from the defense department.
Buck McKeon (R-Santa Clarita) chairs the House Armed Services Committee. He says cutting the military that much would be “terrible.” He blames President Obama for a lack of leadership. As Commander in Chief, McKeon says "he’s the one that should care the most about the troops and he’s using them as pawns." McKeon says he hasn't heard the President talk about defense until the past week, "and they’re the ones that are impacted the most by this.”
McKeon says Congress could buy time by passing his bill – which would use attrition to cut the federal workforce by 10 percent. He says the savings would only cover the first year of scheduled defense cuts, but that would give Congress several months to find a more permanent solution.
Eric Garcetti campaign
La Opinion endorses City Councilman Eric Garcetti for mayor.
La Opinión, the largest and oldest Spanish-language newspaper in the L.A. region, has endorsed City Councilman Eric Garcetti for Los Angeles mayor.
The editorial called Garcetti the best candidate to develop jobs within the city's manufacturing, tourism, retail and entertainment industries. It also said he was most prepared to lead reforms of the city's budget and pension system.
Garcetti, whose paternal grandfather was from Mexico, speaks fluent Spanish. He has a few endorsements from prominent Latinos, including former State Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno and former Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante. However, many more of the area's top Latino leaders, including County Supervisor Gloria Molina and Assembly Speaker John Pérez, have endorsed City Controller Wendy Greuel.