The New Face of California Politics
The first Black Senator from California delivering promises
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In 2016, California elected its first Senator in nearly 25 years and it was the first African American Senator in the state’s history. Kamala Harris overwhelmingly won the Senate seat with over 61 percent of the vote or 7,542,753 individual votes.
For her 2016 campaign, Harris raised roughly $13.5 million, which is over three times as much as her opponent Loretta Sanchez raised. She raised over $9 million from the defense industry, over $2 million from lawyers and lobbyists, and nearly $2 million from the communications and electronics industries.
Looking at how Harris was representing California so far during the Trump Presidency, her attendance has been impeccable. She hasn’t missed one roll-call vote out of 76 since taking office. More importantly, her voting record would speak for itself.
On the nominations of Trump appointees, she has been fairly representative of her district. She opposed the nomination of John Kelley for Secretary of Homeland Security, opposed Mike Pompeo for the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, opposed Rex Tillerson for the Secretary of State, and opposed Ryan Zinke for Secretary of the Interior.
During Mike Pompeo’s Senate hearing, Harris asked him, “‘when CIA analysts look for deeper causes on rising instability in the world, one of the causes those CIA analysts continue to see is the impact of climate change.’ Do you have any reason to doubt the assessment of these CIA analysts?” It was a strange question to ask the nominee for CIA director, given that job will entail surveillance and national defense.
“I do know agency’s role there [instable areas], its role is to collect foreign intelligence, to understand threats to the world, and that can certainly include threats from poor governance, regional instability, and threats from all sources and deliver that information to policymakers,” Pompeo responded.
She additionally opposed the nominations of Betsy (Elizabeth) DeVos for Secretary of Education, Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, Thomas Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Steve Mnuchin for Secretary of the Treasury and Scott Pruit for Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Harris made a 15 minute speech during the hearing of Jeff Sessions, nominee for Attorney General. “I am acutely aware of the lasting and profound impact that our courts can have on the everyday lives of Americans. It is with a deep sense of respect and admiration for the role of our justice system that I rise to oppose the nomination of Senator Sessions to be the next Attorney General of the United States.”
However, Harris did vote in favor of a few of Trump’s nominations. For the nomination of Nikki Haley as Ambassador to the United Nations, for Elaine Chao as Secretary of Transportation, for James Mattis as Secretary of Defense and David Shulkin as Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs.
“I am happy with Kamala Harris so far. She is representing a Democratic district and should vote against nominees who do not identify with Democratic policies,” said Political Science major Josue Mendez.
Kamala also introduced a bill in February which has a four percent chance of being enacted according to govtrack.us. The bill is “to clarify the rights of all persons who are held or detained at a port of entry or at any detention facility oversees by U.S. Customs and Border Protection or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”
If you would like to express your interests to Senator Harris or comment on her voting record thus far, her Washington D.C. office number is (202)224-3553. You can reach her through her website as well at