Dec 3, 2008

Becerra, I hardly knew ye (Updated from yesterday)

President-elect Obama has reportedly tapped Rep. Xavier Becerra, who happens to be my congressman, for the position of U.S. Trade Representative.

From CQ Politics:
Becerra is weighing whether to give up his House seniority and newly won spot as vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus to take the Cabinet-level post, a source close to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus said. But another Democratic source said the job has been offered and accepted.
If the offer was made, I'd guess he'll take the job.

Question: If Becerra leaves, will L.A. City Councilman Eric Garcetti, a fervent Obama supporter, run for the open seat? Garcetti is up for re-election on March 3 and that could complicate things.

Becerra took the time to write a nice press release congratulating Bill Richardson on his nomination to be Commerce secretary. Interestingly, one of the responsibilities of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is to coordinate policy with the Department of Commerce.

From the press release:
Bill Richardson is an exceptional choice to lead the Department of Commerce as we confront one of the most economically challenging times in our history. Governor Richardson brings a wealth of experience and a keen understanding of today’s global economy to the position. Bill will be a skilled and fierce advocate for the interests of American businesses and workers at home and around the world.
UPDATE II: Becerra will meet with Obama in Chicago and is expected to express some concerns, Politico reports:
California Rep. Xavier Becerra, who’s under consideration to become the U.S. trade representative, is meeting today in Chicago with President-elect Barack Obama. Close colleagues say Becerra, a rising Democratic star in the House, is concerned the job isn’t officially a Cabinet level post and wants assurances about access to Obama.

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