Gomez lingers be­fore move to House

Demo­crat de­lays tak­ing oath so he can vote with As­sem­bly on cap and trade.

Los Angeles Times - - CALIFORNIA - SARAH D. WIRE sarah.wire@la­times.com

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.

Al Seib Los An­ge­les Times

JIMMY GOMEZ’S con­gres­sional swear­ing-in prob­a­bly won’t take place be­fore July 10.

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