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Democrat

Rep. Xavier Becerra (D)

Leadership: Democratic Caucus Chairman
Xavier Becerra Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-225-6235

Address: 1226 LHOB, DC 20515

State Office Contact Information

Phone: (213) 481-1425

Address: 350 South Bixel Street, Los Angeles CA 90017-1418

Xavier Becerra Staff
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Oh, Esther
Tax Counsel; Legislative Director
Oh, Esther
Tax Counsel; Legislative Director
Sifford, Dustin
Legislative Assistant
Oh, Esther
Tax Counsel; Legislative Director
Oh, Esther
Tax Counsel; Legislative Director
Oh, Esther
Tax Counsel; Legislative Director
Saldivar, Liz
District Director
Ha, Yoomee
Caseworker
Attapit, Sirat
Senior Policy Counsel
Sifford, Dustin
Legislative Assistant
Ha, Yoomee
Caseworker
Ha, Yoomee
Caseworker
Mendez, Emilio
Legislative Correspondent
Sifford, Dustin
Legislative Assistant
Oh, Esther
Tax Counsel; Legislative Director
Nsiah, Kwabena
Legislative Assistant
Nsiah, Kwabena
Legislative Assistant
Attapit, Sirat
Senior Policy Counsel
Oh, Esther
Tax Counsel; Legislative Director
Sifford, Dustin
Legislative Assistant
Attapit, Sirat
Senior Policy Counsel
Oh, Esther
Tax Counsel; Legislative Director
Saldivar, Liz
District Director
Sifford, Dustin
Legislative Assistant
Oh, Esther
Tax Counsel; Legislative Director
Saldivar, Liz
District Director
Sifford, Dustin
Legislative Assistant
Ha, Yoomee
Caseworker
Sifford, Dustin
Legislative Assistant
Ha, Yoomee
Caseworker
Nsiah, Kwabena
Legislative Assistant
Oh, Esther
Tax Counsel; Legislative Director
Attapit, Sirat
Senior Policy Counsel
Oh, Esther
Tax Counsel; Legislative Director
Attapit, Sirat
Senior Policy Counsel
Attapit, Sirat
Senior Policy Counsel
Oh, Esther
Tax Counsel; Legislative Director
Saldivar, Liz
District Director
Oh, Esther
Tax Counsel; Legislative Director
Saldivar, Liz
District Director
Nsiah, Kwabena
Legislative Assistant
Ha, Yoomee
Caseworker
Ha, Yoomee
Caseworker
Ha, Yoomee
Caseworker
Sifford, Dustin
Legislative Assistant
Nsiah, Kwabena
Legislative Assistant
Nsiah, Kwabena
Legislative Assistant
Oh, Esther
Tax Counsel; Legislative Director
Saldivar, Liz
District Director
Saldivar, Liz
District Director
Oh, Esther
Tax Counsel; Legislative Director
Mendez, Emilio
Legislative Correspondent
Sifford, Dustin
Legislative Assistant
Mendez, Emilio
Legislative Correspondent
Oh, Esther
Tax Counsel; Legislative Director
Ha, Yoomee
Caseworker
Attapit, Sirat
Senior Policy Counsel
Oh, Esther
Tax Counsel; Legislative Director
Mendez, Emilio
Legislative Correspondent
Sifford, Dustin
Legislative Assistant
Attapit, Sirat
Senior Policy Counsel
Nsiah, Kwabena
Legislative Assistant
Attapit, Sirat
Senior Policy Counsel
Sifford, Dustin
Legislative Assistant
Nsiah, Kwabena
Legislative Assistant
Ha, Yoomee
Caseworker
Attapit, Sirat
Senior Policy Counsel
Barjon, Didier
Scheduling Assistant
Garcia, Eva
Senior Caseworker
Ha, Yoomee
Caseworker
Hererra, Daniel
Communications Director
Mendez, Emilio
Legislative Correspondent
Nielsen, Michael
Office Manager; Casework Supervisor
Nsiah, Kwabena
Legislative Assistant
Oh, Esther
Tax Counsel; Legislative Director
Pacheco, Alvan
Communications Director
Palafox, Cynthia
Scheduling; Office Manager
Robles, Andres
Staff Assistant
Saldivar, Liz
District Director
Sifford, Dustin
Legislative Assistant
Garcia, Eva
Senior Caseworker
Ha, Yoomee
Caseworker
Hererra, Daniel
Communications Director
Pacheco, Alvan
Communications Director
Attapit, Sirat
Senior Policy Counsel
Oh, Esther
Tax Counsel; Legislative Director
Saldivar, Liz
District Director
Nsiah, Kwabena
Legislative Assistant
Sifford, Dustin
Legislative Assistant
Mendez, Emilio
Legislative Correspondent
Oh, Esther
Tax Counsel; Legislative Director
Nielsen, Michael
Office Manager; Casework Supervisor
Palafox, Cynthia
Scheduling; Office Manager
Barjon, Didier
Scheduling Assistant
Palafox, Cynthia
Scheduling; Office Manager
Robles, Andres
Staff Assistant
Nielsen, Michael
Office Manager; Casework Supervisor
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Xavier Becerra Committees
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Xavier Becerra Biography
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  • Elected: 1992, 12th term.
  • District: California 34
  • Born: Jan. 26, 1958, Sacramento
  • Home: Eagle Rock
  • Education:

    Stanford U., B.A. 1980, J.D. 1984

  • Professional Career:

    Staff atty., Legal Assistance Corp. of Central MA; Dist. dir., CA Sen. Art Torres, 1986; CA dep. atty. gen., 1987–90.

  • Political Career:

    CA Assembly, 1990–92.

  • Ethnicity: Hispanic/Latino
  • Religion:

    Catholic

  • Family: Married (Carolina Reyes); 3 children

Xavier Becerra, a Democrat first elected in 1992, became chairman of the House Democratic Caucus in late 2012 after serving as caucus vice chairman, making him the most prominent Latino in the House. He also is a senior member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee. Read More

Xavier Becerra, a Democrat first elected in 1992, became chairman of the House Democratic Caucus in late 2012 after serving as caucus vice chairman, making him the most prominent Latino in the House. He also is a senior member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee.

Becerra (beh-SEH-ra) grew up in Sacramento. His mother was a Mexican immigrant, and his father, who was born in the United States, supported the family with construction and other jobs. He still wears his father’s wedding ring as a reminder of his upbringing. Becerra worked his way through college and law school at Stanford University, becoming the first in his family to get a college degree. He married a Harvard Medical School graduate who became vice president of California’s largest health care foundation. Becerra started his career at a legal services clinic in Massachusetts, doing work for mentally disabled clients. When he returned to California, Becerra was an aide to state Sen. Art Torres and then to Attorney General John Van de Kamp. In 1990, he was elected to the California Assembly.

In 1992, when U.S. Rep. Edward Roybal, California’s first Latino congressman and a Democrat, announced his retirement, Becerra jumped into the race. His main competitor, Leticia Quezada, was a member of the Los Angeles school board. Becerra had the endorsements of Roybal and County Supervisor Gloria Molina. He won the primary with 32% of the vote to 22% for Quezada, and went on to defeat Republican Morry Waksberg in the general election with 58% of the vote. Becerra has been overwhelmingly reelected ever since.

In the House, Becerra has been a consistent liberal. As a member of the House Democratic leadership, he’s won praise for his hard-working, cerebral, and self-deprecating style. “I’m certainly not the best at politics,” he likes to say. Some Congressional Hispanic Caucus members dubbed him “Harvard,” although he did not attend that school. When Democrats won majority control of the House, fellow Californian and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave him the newly created position of assistant to the speaker, a post that gave him a role in setting the party’s legislative agenda. In a 2008 leadership shuffle, Becerra ran for vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus, and with Pelosi’s help, defeated Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, 175-67. “When you’re in leadership, you’re in a different position than a rank-and-file member trying to push something, because you’re having to convince your colleagues to go,” Becerra told CQ Roll Call in 2014. “I’ve learned to be pragmatic, but I don’t sacrifice my principles, my values.”

Pelosi in November 2014 named New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, an acolyte of Becerra's when he first came to the House, to head the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Pelosi also put Becerra on the presidential Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction panel in 2010 and the bipartisan congressional “super committee” that sought in vain to reach a deal on the issue a year later. But he has not always seen eye-to-eye with his mentor; she was reportedly angry in 2009 when he intimated to Progressive Caucus members that the leadership abandoned a government-run “public option” for the health care overhaul bill too quickly. “I understand I have tire tracks on my back from Xavier throwing me under the bus,” Pelosi reportedly said.

President Barack Obama also recognized Becerra as a standout and offered him the post of U.S. trade representative in 2008. But he declined after deciding that trade policy would not be a major White House priority in Obama’s early years. Becerra had been Obama’s campaign liaison to the Hispanic community and urged him to get behind a comprehensive immigration bill. He acknowledged in 2010 that Latinos regarded Obama with “a lot of suspicion” because of his failure to make the issue a priority in his first term. Campaigning for Obama in October 2012, however, Becerra laid the blame on House Republicans. “If it were up to the president and to Democrats, we’d have comprehensive immigration reform today,” he told reporters on a conference call. He traveled the country to talk to Hispanic audiences on Obama’s behalf, regularly pointing out Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s tough stance against illegal immigrants and his support from immigration hard-liners like Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King.

In the 113th Congress (2013-14), Becerra was part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers that discussed a potential way to address immigration reform. He remained publicly upbeat about the prospects of a bill, but when Obama opted to issue a post-election executive order to provide temporary relief to some illegal immigrants, Becerra became a staunch administration defender. When Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso complained on Fox News about the move, Becerra retorted: "I think the president has been very patient. He's been waiting a year and a half for the House Republicans to act on the bill that the Senate passed on a bipartisan basis."

Becerra was the first Hispanic to win a seat on Ways and Means, and in 2015 assumed the ranking-member slot on the panel dealing with Social Security. He has advocated tax changes to curtail the overseas exodus of jobs in the entertainment industry, including a tax credit for labor costs of independent film producers. He supported normalizing trade relations with China and won House approval of a resolution supporting reunification efforts between North and South Korea. His support for free trade deals with Chile and Singapore led to local protests by union activists, and he demanded improvements in the labor standards in the Central American Free Trade Agreement in return for his support. “Trade has to be sold as something that’s good for us,” he told The Washington Post in 2007.

During the health care debate in 2009, he and Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., convened a bipartisan group of lawmakers that sought in vain to find common ground on the issue. After Obama won reelection, he lashed out at Republicans for being unwilling to accept tax increases on the wealthy during negotiations on a tax and spending bill aimed at avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff. “The Republican plan is almost as if the Republicans didn’t watch the last two years of campaigning in the election,” he told CNN.

In May 2008, Becerra won enactment of a bill establishing a commission to develop a national museum of the American Latino, which would be located on the National Mall and would be part of the Smithsonian Institution. The commission convened in 2009, and issued a set of recommendations that became the basis for a bill that Becerra and other prominent Hispanics introduced two years later.

The one career setback for Becerra in recent years was his failed run for mayor of Los Angeles in 2001. He did not raise enough money to establish name recognition outside his district, and he was overshadowed by former Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa. In the primary, Becerra finished fifth, with just 6% of the vote. He easily won reelection to Congress in 2012 in the newly redrawn 34th District, with 85.6% of the vote. In January 2015, he said he was seriously considering a bid for retiring Democrat Barbara Boxer's Senate seat.

Show Less
Xavier Becerra Election Results
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2012 General (Top-Two General)
Xavier Becerra (D)
Votes: 120,367
Percent: 85.62%
Stephen Smith
Votes: 20,223
Percent: 14.38%
2012 Primary (Top-Two Primary)
Xavier Becerra (D)
Votes: 27,939
Percent: 77.31%
Stephen Smith
Votes: 5,793
Percent: 16.03%
Howard Johnson (PF)
Votes: 2,407
Percent: 6.66%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (84%), 2008 (100%), 2006 (100%), 2004 (80%), 2002 (81%), 2000 (83%), 1998 (81%), 1996 (72%), 1994 (66%), 1992 (58%)
Xavier Becerra Votes and Bills
Back to top NJ Vote Ratings

National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic 91 (L) : - (C) 86 (L) : 13 (C) 90 (L) : 9 (C)
Social 84 (L) : 15 (C) 85 (L) : - (C) 80 (L) : - (C)
Foreign 88 (L) : 11 (C) 93 (L) : - (C) 78 (L) : 22 (C)
Composite 89.5 (L) : 10.5 (C) 91.8 (L) : 8.2 (C) 86.2 (L) : 13.8 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

20112012
FRC100
LCV9794
CFG1618
ITIC-67
NTU1716
20112012
COC25-
ACLU-100
ACU40
ADA90100
AFSCME100-
Key House Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • Pass GOP budget
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Extend payroll tax cut
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Stop student loan hike
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Repeal health care
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass cut, cap, balance
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Defund Planned Parenthood
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Repeal lightbulb ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Add endangered listings
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Speed troop withdrawal
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Regulate financial firms
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Pass tax cuts for some
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Stop detainee transfers
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Repeal don't ask, tell
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Limit campaign funds
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Overturn Ledbetter
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass $820 billion stimulus
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Let guns in national parks
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass cap-and-trade
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bar federal abortion funds
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass health care bill
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bail out financial markets
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Repeal D.C. gun law
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Overhaul FISA
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Increase minimum wage
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Expand SCHIP
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Raise CAFE standards
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Share immigration data
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Foreign aid abortion ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Ban gay bias in workplace
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Withdraw troops 8/08
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • No operations in Iran
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Free trade with Peru
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
Read More
Xavier Becerra Leadership Staff
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Attapit, Sirat
Senior Counsel, Policy
Avery, Sam
Press Secretary
Carrillo, Manuel
Coordinator, Operations and Events
Davalos, Leti
Membership Outreach Assistant
Delaney, Eric
Senior Advisor, Membership Outreach
Handverger, Matthew
New Media Press Secretary
Herrera, Daniel
Director, Communications
Hori, Cheryl
Staff Assistant
Perez-Sanchez, Noel
Membership Outreach Assistant
Rendon, Erika
Press Assistant
Sharma, Moh
Advisor, Policy
Shlomo, Jacob
Staff Assistant
Delaney, Eric
Senior Advisor, Membership Outreach
Sharma, Moh
Advisor, Policy
Carrillo, Manuel
Coordinator, Operations and Events
Attapit, Sirat
Senior Counsel, Policy
Herrera, Daniel
Director, Communications
Rendon, Erika
Press Assistant
Avery, Sam
Press Secretary
Hori, Cheryl
Staff Assistant
Shlomo, Jacob
Staff Assistant
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The Almanac is a members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics. Comprehensive online profiles include biographical and political summaries of elected officials, campaign expenditures, voting records, interest-group ratings, and congressional staff look-ups. In-depth overviews of each state and house district are included as well, along with demographic data, analysis of voting trends, and political histories.
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