Xavier Becerra

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Xavier Becerra
Xavier Becerra, Official Portrait.JPG
Chairperson of the House Democratic Caucus
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by John Larson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 34th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Lucille Roybal-Allard
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 31st district
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Hilda Solis
Succeeded by Gary Miller
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 30th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Matthew Martínez
Succeeded by Henry Waxman
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 59th district
In office
1990–1992
Preceded by Charles Calderon
Succeeded by Dick Mountjoy
Personal details
Born (1958-01-26) January 26, 1958 (age 56)
Sacramento, California, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Carolina Reyes
Alma mater University of Salamanca
Stanford University
Religion Roman Catholicism

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.

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, 25th District Congressman Edward Roybal announced his retirement after 30 years in Congress. Becerra entered the race for the seat, which had been renumbered as the 30th District after redistricting.

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%. His district was renumbered as the 31st District after the 2000 census.

2012

After redistricting, most of Becerra's old district became the 34th District. Becerra announced he would run there; it includes his home.[16] He defeated Republican Stephen Smith 85.6% to 14.4%.[17]

Tenure[edit]

Becerra is a prominent member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, of which he served as chairman during the 105th Congress.[18] He was featured on The Colbert Report's Better Know a District on August 17, 2006.[19]

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.[20]

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.[21]

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.[22] Becerra argued 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 despite it passing through the House.[23] Mr.Becerra has consistently voted against budget plans like that would protects tax cuts for higher income brackets by cutting Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP, and vital federal services.[24] He supported legislation like the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012.

Immigration[edit]

As a Representative from California, immigration is a pertinent issue for Rep. Becerra because of its proximity to the border and the large amount of illegal aliens in California. Rep. Becerra is a strong advocate for immigration reform and is a strong supporter of the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform.[25] Additionally, Rep. Becerra supports the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program put in place by President Obama.[26]

Women's Issues[edit]

Becerra is pro-choice and supports the right of access to abortion.[27] 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.[28] Becerra received a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America in 2012.[29][30] Becerra voted in favor of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 which would make the 180-daystatute of limitationsfor filing an equal-pay lawsuit regarding pay discrimination reset with each new paycheck affected by that discriminatory action.[31][32]

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.[33]

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.[34]

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,[35] on December 15, 2008, he announced that he would not accept the position.[36]

Personal life[edit]

Becerra is married to physician Carolina Reyes[37] and has three children. He owns a home in Chevy Chase, Maryland where he, his wife and three children reside.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CNN.com". CNN. 
  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. ^ United States House of Representatives elections in California, 2012
  18. ^ "Congressman Xavier Becerra To Deliver Hispanic Heritage Month Keynote". loc.gov. August 29, 2007. 
  19. ^ "Better Know a District - California's 31st - Javier Becerra". colbertnation.com. August 17, 2006. 
  20. ^ Becerra, Xavier (October 1, 2008). "On the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act". The Becerra Blog. US House of Representatives. Retrieved December 6, 2008. 
  21. ^ Allen, Jared. "Dems back off leadership challenges". TheHill.com. Retrieved November 10, 2008. 
  22. ^ http://votesmart.org/public-statement/738585/xavier-becerra-dnc-speech#.UKrzPaX3C8o
  23. ^ http://votesmart.org/public-statement/729866/job-protection-and-recession-prevention-act-of-2012#.UKrzZ6X3C8o
  24. ^ http://votesmart.org/public-statement/692035/representative-becerra-votes-against-budget-plan-that-picks-millionaires-over-middle-class#.UKrzoaX3C8o
  25. ^ http://votesmart.org/public-statement/754608/dream-act
  26. ^ http://votesmart.org/public-statement/735091/rep-becerra-a-new-day-for-dreamers#.UKrzG6X3C8o
  27. ^ "Xavier Becerra on Abortion Democratic Representative (CA-31)". ontheissues.org. 
  28. ^ http://votesmart.org/public-statement/698938/capac-members-denounce-attack-on-reproductive-rights#.UKrwMaX3C8o
  29. ^ "2013 CONGRESSIONAL SCORECARD". plannedparenthoodaction.org. 
  30. ^ "2012 Congressional Record on Choice". prochoiceamerica.org. 
  31. ^ "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 37 Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009". clerk.house.gov. January 27, 2009. 
  32. ^ http://votesmart.org/public-statement/685613/representative-becerra-on-equal-pay-day
  33. ^ Allen, Jared. "Dems back off leadership challenges". TheHill.com. Retrieved November 10, 2008. 
  34. ^ "Congressman Xavier Becerra Endorses Barack Obama". 
  35. ^ Rep. Becerra Offered Trade Representative Post
  36. ^ AP (2008). Becerra won't take trade job. Retrieved December 17, 2008.
  37. ^ 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 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
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Larson
Vice Chairperson of the House Democratic Caucus
2009–2013
Succeeded by
Joseph Crowley
Chairperson of the House Democratic Caucus
2013–present
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Spencer Bachus
United States Representatives by seniority
47th
Succeeded by
Sanford Bishop