January 28th, 2013
As the 113th Congress was sworn in earlier this month, redistricting, coupled with the new “top two” primary system, brought about the most significant changes to California’s 53 member House delegation in 20 years. 14 new representatives took office. Overall, the delegation got bluer, as Democrats added 4 seats to bring their total to 38. The group is also much greener, in that the 14 departing members averaged over 20 years in Congressional experience, including such veterans as Pete Stark (40 years), Jerry Lewis (34 years), David Dreier (32 years) and Howard Berman (30 years). Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) remains chair of the Democratic caucus, while Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Corona) has taken over for Dreier as leader of the California Republican group. The changes also mean that several CSU campuses have new local representatives. Two new CSU alumni joined the delegation: Rep. Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley) has an MPA from CSU San Bernardino, while Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) earned his BS at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Leadership and committee assignments reflect the delegation’s loss of seniority and heavy minority-party status in the House. Still, Californians figure in a number of prominent positions. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) continues as Majority Whip, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Tujunga) remains chair of the Armed Services committee, and Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) is the new chair of Foreign Affairs. Rep. Nancy Pelosi was re-elected as Minority Leader, while Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez) stays on as the Ranking Minority member of the House Education committee.