Xavier Becerra

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Xavier Becerra
Xavierbecerra.jpeg
Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded byJohn B. Larson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 34th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded byLucille Roybal-Allard
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 31st district
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2013
Preceded byHilda Solis
Succeeded byGary Miller
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 34th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2003
Preceded byMatthew G. Martinez
Succeeded byHenry Waxman
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 59th district
In office
1990–1992
Preceded byCharles Calderon
Succeeded byDick Mountjoy
Personal details
Born(1958-01-26) January 26, 1958 (age 55)
Sacramento, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Carolina Reyes
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Alma materStanford Law School (J.D.)
Stanford University (B.A.)
OccupationAttorney
Politician
ReligionRoman Catholic
 
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Xavier Becerra
Xavierbecerra.jpeg
Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded byJohn B. Larson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 34th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded byLucille Roybal-Allard
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 31st district
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2013
Preceded byHilda Solis
Succeeded byGary Miller
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 34th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2003
Preceded byMatthew G. Martinez
Succeeded byHenry Waxman
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 59th district
In office
1990–1992
Preceded byCharles Calderon
Succeeded byDick Mountjoy
Personal details
Born(1958-01-26) January 26, 1958 (age 55)
Sacramento, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Carolina Reyes
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Alma materStanford Law School (J.D.)
Stanford University (B.A.)
OccupationAttorney
Politician
ReligionRoman Catholic

Xavier Becerra (/hɑːviˈɛər bɨˈsɛrə/ hah-vee-AIR; born January 26, 1958) is an American politician and a member of the United States House of Representatives for California's 34th congressional district, representing Downtown Los Angeles in Congress since 1993. Becerra, a member of the Democratic Party, is currently Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

Born in Sacramento, California, Becerra is a graduate of Stanford University, receiving his J.D. from Stanford Law School. He worked as a Lawyer at the Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts, before returning to California in 1986 to work as an Administrative Assistant for State Senator Art Torres. He served as Deputy Attorney General in the California Department of Justice from 1987 to 1990 before he was elected to the California State Assembly, where he served one term from 1990 to 1992.

Becerra was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992, previously representing California's 34th congressional district from 1993 to 2003 and California's 31st congressional district from 2003 to 2013. During his tenure in the House, he has served as Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus from 1997 to 1999, Vice Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus from 2009 to 2013, and was a member of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

Contents

Early life, education and law career[edit]

Born in Sacramento, California, Becerra is the son of working-class immigrants who immigrated from Jalisco, Mexico.[1] As a young child Becerra grew up in a one room house with his three sisters.[2] He graduated in 1976 from C.K. McClatchy High School located in central city Sacramento.[3] He attended University of Salamanca in Salamanca, Spain from 1978 to 1979, before earning his B.A. in Economics from Stanford University in 1980, becoming the first person in his family to graduate from college.[4][5] He received his Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School in 1984 and was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1985.[6] He was initially a lawyer, working on cases involving individuals with mental impairment for the Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts.[7]

Early political career[edit]

Becerra worked as an Administrative Assistant for California State Senator Art Torres in 1986.[8] He served the Deputy Attorney-General in the California Department of Justice under Attorney General John Van de Kamp from 1987 to 1990.[9]

After incumbent State Representative Charles Calderon decided to seek a seat in the California Senate, Becerra launched a grassroots campaign for the California State Assembly, defeating Calderon's Senate aide Marta Maestas in the Democratic primary.[10] He later went on to beat Republican Lee Lieberg and Libertarian, receiving 60% of the vote.[11] Becerra served one-term in the State Assembly representing California's 59th district from 1990 to 1992.[12]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

1992

In 1992, after redistricting, incumbent Democratic U.S. Congressman Matthew Martínez of California's 30th congressional district decided to run in the newly redrawn 31st district. Becerra, a freshman assemblyman, decided to run for Congress in the Los Angeles-based district. He won the Democratic primary with a plurality of 32% of the vote.[13] In the general election, he defeated Republican nominee Morry Waksberg 58%–24%.[14]

1994–2010

In 1994, he won re-election to a second term with 66%,[15] the lowest re-election winning percentage of his career. After, he never won re-election with less than 72%. After redistricting, he ran for the 31st district.

2012

After redistricting, he announced in July 2011 that he would run in the newly redrawn California's 34th congressional district which he lives in and contains most of his current district.[16]

Tenure[edit]

Becerra is a prominent member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, of which he served as chairman during the 105th Congress.[17] He was featured on The Colbert Report's Better Know a District on August 17, 2006.[18]

On September 29, 2008 Becerra voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 because he "wanted to see direct protections for responsible homeowners" in the bill.[19]

Becerra considered running for Democratic Caucus Vice Chair for the 110th Congress; however, he deferred to John Larson when DCCC chairman Rahm Emanuel decided to run for Caucus Chair, the position Larson had been running for. Instead, Becerra was appointed assistant to the Speaker of the House for the 110th Congress.

Before the opening of the 111th Congress, Emanuel accepted a position as White House Chief of Staff in the Obama Administration. Larson succeeded Emanuel as caucus chair, and Becerra won his bid to succeed Larson as Vice-Chair. He defeated Marcy Kaptur of Ohio by a vote of 175–67.[20]

In 2011, Becerra successfully ran for a second-term as Vice-Chair to serve during the 112th Congress.

During the 111th Congress and 112th Congress, Becerra served on several high profile committees. On March 24, 2010 Becerra was appointed to serve on the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (often called Bowles-Simpson/Simpson-Bowles). On August 11, 2011 Becerra was selected to serve on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (also known as the Super Committee). And on December 23, 2011 Becerra was appointed to serve on a bicameral conference committee to find bipartisan solutions on the middle class tax cuts, unemployment insurance, and the Medicare physician payment rate.

Taxes[edit]

Becerra has consistently expressed opposition to Social Security and Medicare cuts and tax provisions seen to benefit outsourcers.[21] Arguing against Job Protection Act and Recession Prevention Act of 2012 (which would extend certain tax provisions enacted in 2001 and 2003 under G.W. Bush) on which Becerra voted against (though it passed through the House), Becerra stated on the floor, "when we give away trillions in tax cuts that we cannot afford to those who need them the least, it's the middle class who has to make up the difference. To pay for these tax cuts, our Republican colleagues have voted to end Medicare and would force seniors to pay $6,400 more for their own care. On top of that, Republicans propose changing Social Security, slashing its budget by over $800 million. It's an ideological agenda that chooses millionaires over the middle class." [22] Mr.Becerra has consistently voted against budget plans like "(H.R. 5652) that protects tax breaks for millionaires by cutting Medicare for seniors, health care for kids, food and nutrition assistance for struggling families, and vital federal services for working Americans".[23] and supported legislation like the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012.

Immigration[edit]

As a Representative of the southern 30th district in California, a state that borders with Mexico, making immigration into a pertinent issue, Mr. Becerra is a strong advocate for immigration rights. On many occasions he has claimed his position on what policies should be in place concerning immigration. Regarding the DREAM Act (http://dreamact.info), Mr. Becerra has commented, “If it were up to the president and to Democrats, the Dream Act would be the law of the land today. If it were up the president and to Democrats, we’d have comprehensive immigration reform today” (October 17, 2012) [24] Additionally, concerning the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and President Obama’s announcement of a change in immigration policy that would prevent the deportation of young people who met certain requirements, Becerra states, "This is a new day for the Dreamers all across America. Through President Obama's leadership, our youth now have the opportunity to put their talents and education to work for the country they know and call home…Let us help our youth walk with ease through this process of achieving their dreams but also take up the work in Congress to fix our broken immigration system at last."[25] (August 15, 2012)

Women's Issues[edit]

Becerra is pro-choice and supports the legal of access abortion.[26] On May 31, 2012, Becerra voted against H.R. 3541, the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) that would impose civil and criminal penalties on anyone who knowingly attempts to perform a sex-selective abortion. The bill also requires healthcare providers to report known or suspected violations to law enforcement, including suspicions about a woman's motives for seeking an abortion. He stated in Washington D.C on May 31, 2012 against the legislation, “By pushing a divisive agenda that attacks women's access to health care services, House Republicans are making their priorities clear. Instead of threatening the relationship between women and their doctors, Congress should be fighting to eliminate sex discrimination by increasing access to reproductive health care services, promoting pay equity and ensuring quality education."[27] Becerra also received a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America in 2012.[28][29] Planned Parenthood also prominently endorses Becerra. Becerra voted in favor of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.[30] He stated on April 18, 2012 in Washington D.C that, “For many hardworking American women, equal work still does not mean equal pay. Today, we remember that the issue of equal pay is also a family issue. When families across the country increasingly count on women's wages to make ends meet, 77 cents for every dollar just doesn't cut it. I'm proud that Congress passed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009, the first piece of legislation signed into law by President Obama, which helps women challenge unfair pay in court. But we still have work to do. We must ensure that women in America are afforded fairness and opportunity that strengthen our families and the nation."[31]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Party leadership[edit]

Becerra considered running for Democratic Caucus Vice Chair for the 110th Congress; however, he deferred to John Larson when DCCC chairman Rahm Emanuel decided to run for Caucus Chair, the position Larson had been running for. Instead, Becerra was appointed assistant to the Speaker of the House for the 110th Congress.

Before the opening of the 111th Congress, Emanuel accepted a position as White House Chief of Staff in the Obama Administration. Larson succeeded Emanuel as caucus chair, and Becerra won his bid to succeed Larson as Vice-Chair. He defeated Marcy Kaptur of Ohio by a vote of 175–67.[32]

In 2011, Becerra successfully ran for a second-term as Vice-Chair to serve during the 112th Congress. During the 111th Congress and 112th Congress, Becerra served on several high profile committees. On March 24, 2010 Becerra was appointed to serve on the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (often called Bowles-Simpson/Simpson-Bowles). On August 11, 2011 Becerra was selected to serve on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (also known as the Super Committee). And on December 23, 2011 Becerra was appointed to serve on a bicameral conference committee to find bipartisan solutions on the middle class tax cuts, unemployment insurance, and the Medicare physician payment rate.

Other political ambitions[edit]

2001 run for L.A. Mayor[edit]

Becerra ran for mayor of Los Angeles in 2001. He finished with 6 percent of the primary vote, finishing behind businessman Steve Soboroff, Councilman Joel Wachs, former California State Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa, and the eventual winner, then-City Attorney James Hahn.

Obama administration[edit]

On January 27, 2008, Becerra formally endorsed U.S. Senator Barack Obama for President.[33]

Becerra was considered for the position of US Trade Representative in the administration of President-elect Obama. While it was initially reported that he had already accepted,[34] on December 15, 2008, he announced that he would not accept the position.[35]

Personal life[edit]

Becerra is married to physician Carolina Reyes[36] and has three children. He owns a home in Chevy Chase, Maryland where he, his wife and three children reside.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0910/22/ec.01.html
  2. ^ "Member of the Week: Xavier Becerra – Representing California’s 31st District". clotureclub.com. August 31, 2011. 
  3. ^ Congressional Directory 2011-2012 112th Congress. books.google.com. 
  4. ^ "Congressional Directory CALIFORNIA THIRTY-FIRST DISTRICT". gpo.gov. 
  5. ^ Mark Landler (December 4, 2008). "THE NEW TEAM Xavier Becerra". nytimes.com. 
  6. ^ "ATTORNEY SEARCH Xavier Becerra - #118517". calbar.ca.gov. 
  7. ^ "Xavier Becerra Caucus Chairman Representing the 34th District of CA". dems.gov. 
  8. ^ "108th Congress Directory CALIFORNIA THIRTY-FIRST DISTRICT". gpo.gov =accessdate = February 2, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Xavier Becerra (D) House - California, District 34 - Up for re-election in 2012". projects.washingtonpost.com. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  10. ^ Rodolfo Acuna (June 8, 1990). "COLUMN LEFT / RODOLFO ACUNA : The Candidate Who Upset Latino Politics : Xavier Becerra owes his victory to the people, not to the blessings of a papacito.". latimes.com. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Member of the State Assembly". sos.ca.gov. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  12. ^ "BECERRA, Xavier, (1958 - )". bioguide.congress.gov. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  13. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=207769
  14. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=27863
  15. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=28733
  16. ^ http://xavierbecerra.ngphost.com/node/100
  17. ^ "Congressman Xavier Becerra To Deliver Hispanic Heritage Month Keynote". loc.gov. August 29, 2007. 
  18. ^ "Better Know a District - California's 31st - Javier Becerra". colbertnation.com. August 17, 2006. 
  19. ^ Becerra, Xavier (October 1, 2008). "On the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act". The Becerra Blog. US House of Representatives. Retrieved December 6, 2008. 
  20. ^ Allen, Jared. "Dems back off leadership challenges". TheHill.com. Retrieved November 10, 2008. 
  21. ^ http://votesmart.org/public-statement/738585/xavier-becerra-dnc-speech#.UKrzPaX3C8o
  22. ^ http://votesmart.org/public-statement/729866/job-protection-and-recession-prevention-act-of-2012#.UKrzZ6X3C8o
  23. ^ http://votesmart.org/public-statement/692035/representative-becerra-votes-against-budget-plan-that-picks-millionaires-over-middle-class#.UKrzoaX3C8o
  24. ^ http://votesmart.org/public-statement/754608/dream-act
  25. ^ http://votesmart.org/public-statement/735091/rep-becerra-a-new-day-for-dreamers#.UKrzG6X3C8o
  26. ^ "Xavier Becerra on Abortion Democratic Representative (CA-31)". ontheissues.org. 
  27. ^ http://votesmart.org/public-statement/698938/capac-members-denounce-attack-on-reproductive-rights#.UKrwMaX3C8o
  28. ^ "2013 CONGRESSIONAL SCORECARD". plannedparenthoodaction.org. 
  29. ^ "2012 Congressional Record on Choice". prochoiceamerica.org. 
  30. ^ "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 37 Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009". clerk.house.gov. January 27, 2009. 
  31. ^ http://votesmart.org/public-statement/685613/representative-becerra-on-equal-pay-day
  32. ^ Allen, Jared. "Dems back off leadership challenges". TheHill.com. Retrieved November 10, 2008. 
  33. ^ "Congressman Xavier Becerra Endorses Barack Obama". 
  34. ^ Rep. Becerra Offered Trade Representative Post
  35. ^ AP (2008). Becerra won't take trade job. Retrieved December 17, 2008.
  36. ^ Gold, Matea (March 12, 2001). "Congressman Tests His Winning Streak". Los Angeles Times (Accessed through ProQuest). 

External links[edit]

California Assembly
Preceded by
Charles Calderon
Member of the California State Assembly from the 59th district
1990–1992
Succeeded by
Dick Mountjoy
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Matthew G. Martínez
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 30th congressional district

1993–2003
Succeeded by
Henry Waxman
Preceded by
Hilda Solis
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 31st congressional district

2003–2013
Succeeded by
Gary Miller
Preceded by
Lucille Roybal-Allard
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 34th congressional district

2013–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
John B. Larson
Democratic Caucus Vice-Chairman of the United States House of Representatives
2009-2013
Succeeded by
Joseph Crowley
Preceded by
John B. Larson
Democratic Caucus Chairman of the United States House of Representatives
2013–present
Incumbent
United States order of precedence
Preceded by
Spencer Bachus
R-Alabama
United States Representatives by seniority
50th
Succeeded by
Sanford Bishop
D-Georgia