Submitted By Todd on November 30th at 12:55am
charge of the nation?
Not only will House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco preside over a bigger Democratic majority with a friendlier president, but Californians will chair four House committees, more than any other state.
We generally mock California as an oddity, as if its goofy nature doesn't ooze outside its borders.
Among them is Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D- Beverly Hills), the newly elected chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, who will play a key role in moving forward Obama's initiatives to expand health insurance coverage and curb global warming. With California's Barbara Boxer chairing the Senate Environment Committee, the state's lawmakers also will be at the forefront of shaping environmental legislation.Ah. Now that's reassuring, having California taking the lead on Climate Change.
"Almost everywhere you look, someone from California is in a position of great influence," said Frank O'Donnell of Clean Air Watch. And Obama is expected to move quickly to carry out his pledge to reverse the Bush administration's decision barring California from implementing its own global-warming law. With so many Californians in key positions, the state should benefit financially too.Great. Let's send more money there too.
California Democrats plan to renew the drive to expand a children's health insurance program, an expansion that Bush vetoed. If the effort is successful, the program could cover at least 600,000 more children in California alone. Democrats also are likely to push for a "green jobs" program aimed at bringing down the state's high unemployment rate and expanding development of cleaner energy sources. Reps. Howard L. Berman of Valley Village, George Miller of Martinez and Bob Filner of Chula Vista will continue to chair the foreign affairs, education and labor, and veterans affairs committees, respectively. Rep. Barbara Lee of Oakland will be head of the 42-member Congressional Black Caucus. And Rep. Xavier Becerra of Los Angeles was recently elected vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. The sheer size of the House delegation could benefit the state. "California has more Democrats in Congress than any other state has total members," said Pedro Ribeiro, a spokesman for Rep. Zoe Lofgren of San Jose, chairwoman of the 34-member California House Democratic delegation.