Honda meets with Obama; Khanna talks small biz

Rep. Mike Honda was among Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus members who met Tuesday with President Barack Obama to discuss immigration reform, diversity in the government and health care reform.

Caucus meets with Obama, Honda at left 7-23-13 (by Pete Souza)“President Obama has always been a leader for the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community, and I greatly appreciate his willingness to hear our concerns on a large number of important issues facing us today,” Honda, D-San Jose, said after the meeting. “He understands the urgency of comprehensive immigration reform, and I am confident that the diversity of the immigrant experience – particularly family reunification – will be respected when a bill is signed into law.”

The White House said Obama thanked the caucus for its support on immigration reform and urged the lawmakers to keep reaching out to their colleagues to get the job done as soon as possible.

The president also told caucus members he’s proud of his efforts to make the executive branch and the federal judiciary more diverse, the White House reported, and caucus members thanked him for more than doubling the number of Asian American/Pacific Islander federal judges currently serving.

They also talked about implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and how nearly two million uninsured AAPI people will have new opportunities for coverage through the health insurance marketplaces created under the law, the White House said. Also, the law’s increased funding for community health centers is helping more AAPI people get culturally and linguistically appropriate and accessible care.

Obama in January endorsed Honda for re-election next year. Meanwhile, Honda’s Democratic challenger, former Obama Administration official Ro Khanna, on Tuesday rolled out a list of more than 30 small-business owners in the 17th Congressional District who have endorsed him.

Ro KhannaKhanna said his priorities for small businesses include providing a tax credit for those in areas with high unemployment and poverty that hire long-term unemployed workers, unemployed veterans and people receiving the federal earned income tax credit; helping businesses navigate federal regulations; increasing access to capital with an eye toward expanding into overseas exports; having experienced business owners mentor new ones; and boosting funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and Small Business Administration.

“My campaign is about bringing the vibrancy and ingenuity of Silicon Valley to Washington. Part of this is recognizing that small businesses play an enormous part in cultivating and sustaining Silicon Valley’s forward thinking culture,” Khanna said in a news release.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • RR Senile Columnist

    RoK’s exciting ideas for small biz growth won’t work. Nobody hires poorly educated, poorly skilled, long- term unemployed losers. His ideas are silly, liberal guilt trips that can help no one. Give vets some dough, tell guys and gals who were laid off months ago to swallow their pride and take a job beneath their pay grade. It’s a bad break, but those jobs aren’t coming back. Maybe they should leave California. As for big shots mentoring young, little guys, even the Mob has had mixed results in that game.

  • GV Haste

    #1. “Nobody hires poorly educated, poorly skilled, long- term unemployed losers”

    Yes, all the more reason to pass the Senate immigration reform bill, so that many millions of new low-skilled immigrants can come to the state to compete for the few jobs in that category.

    Oh those “losers”, well I guess they’ll just die.
    After all we don’t want to be giving them welfare, food stamps, and medical care for 50 years.
    The cost of which makes their “replacement workers” actually cost about double or triple the face hourly wage.

    Hire a non-loser newly arrived documented low-skilled worker and then pay the citizen “loser” welfare until the age of 80…?

    Is that the plan? Good thinking

    Oh, you don’t want to give them welfare and such.
    Well then I guess they’ll just become part of the criminal justice system at $45,000 a year in cost.

    Yes, we have some far reaching policies with all the outcomes completely analyzed by our political leaders.

  • RR Senile Columnist

    GV, check out the dudes doing garden work, line cooks in restaurants, janitorial staff. Lots of jobs being done by immigrants. Why, because such work is beneath the dignity of native-born, opportunity -starved youth. A life of welfare, or crime, is a family tradition. Is that what you want? No one has the “natural right” to refuse work and eat, shoot up and be merry.

  • GV Haste

    For many decades, American workers did those jobs and the jobs paid a bit better.

    I worked at night during college as a janitor, cleaning up PG&E offices for a private contractor.

    We were well paid. The crew was two white and two African American guys.
    We got fair wages and even a health plan for a 20 hour a week job.

    Those same jobs today pay minimum wage and no benefits.
    Why? Because employers and sub-contractors can hire illegal workers, pay them less, give them no benefits, and often pay no workmans comp or other taxes.

    Go to construction sites for individual houses or even some developments. Crews of sub-contractors often have 75% of the work force, being undocumented.
    Native born Americans aren’t even in the hiring loop.
    You won’t see a single African American worker on 99% of those sites.

    Your answer is, “they’re all lazy”

    OK, take that attitude and when you pay that “cheaper” worker, just tack on the extra $15 to $20 per hour for those guys you don’t hire.
    They aren’t going to die tomorrow. You’ll be paying them one way or the other. Welfare, food stamps, medical, or imprisonment and crime.
    You pay for them in household security systems, extra police, higher insurance costs and on and on.

    But you get your dishes washed in the restaurant for only $8.50 a hour.

    Yes you are so smart. Just ignore all the hidden costs of your outlook.

    I repeat, these people are not going to die. They are not moving to Canada. They are going to get what they need to live. Either working or otherwise.

    This problem will only get worse if we arrange to bring in ever more unskilled workers when the unemployment rate for such native workers is still well over 20%.

    They are NOT going to die. They will eat.
    Either by working or from welfare, or from crime.

  • MichaelB


    Ro is showing is left wing side despite the “small business/grow the economy” rhetoric – he wants to “help businesses navigate federal regulations”.

    If “navigation” is required that’s a clue that there’s too many/they are difficult to comply with already. So reduce them to help businesses instead. That isn’t going to happen with his party/Obama in charge.