Gomez lingers before move to House
Democrat delays taking oath so he can vote with Assembly on cap and trade.
WASHINGTON — Rep.elect Jimmy Gomez will probably not be sworn in as downtown Los Angeles’ newest member of Congress until at least July 10, more than a month after he was elected to fill the empty seat in the 34th Congressional District.
Gomez, a current state assemblyman, told The Times after the election that he would try to delay his Assembly resignation to help Democrats reach a two-thirds vote on extending the state’s cap-andtrade program, which requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gas.
Democrats hold 55 of 80 Assembly seats, more than needed for a two-thirds vote, but Gomez could be an important vote if legislative leaders can’t get some moderate Democrats on board. The high vote threshold is intended to insulate the program from future legal challenges.
After a cap-and-trade deal wasn’t included as part of the state budget vote this month, Gomez told The Times that his congressional swearing-in date would be up to House leadership. He repeated that Monday.
“I gave a commitment to be available for cap and trade until June 15 ... and I notified [Minority] Leader [Nancy] Pelosi’s office that anytime after the 15th I would be ready to be swornin, except the week of June 26th because [of] a family scheduling conflict,” Gomez said by text message Monday.
Because of the House’s weeklong July 4 holiday, Gomez’s swearing-in probably won’t occur before July 10.
Discussions on the capand-trade program escalated between Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders in Sacramento late last week, but they have yet to unite on a single bill.
Brown would like to strike a deal next month. State lawmakers leave Sacramento on July 21 for a monthlong break.
Residents of the 34th District have been without a congressman since January, when Xavier Becerra resigned to become California’s attorney general.
JIMMY GOMEZ’S congressional swearing-in probably won’t take place before July 10.