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Schiff lobbying Newsom to be appointed California AG: reports

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffGroups see new openings for digging up dirt on Trump Overnight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he Hillicon Valley: Biden administration sanctions Russia for SolarWinds hack, election interference MORE (D-Calif.) has been quietly rallying support from California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomGovernors call on Biden to back shift to zero-emission cars by 2035 NPR journalist discusses home affordability in California California Democrats weigh their recall options MORE (D) and other allies to be the state’s next attorney general, according to multiple reports. 

Axios first reported Schiff’s plans Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. The outlet added that House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: Biden: US to hit 200M vaccine target on Wednesday | House Dems to unveil drug pricing measure ahead of Biden package | FDA finds multiple failures at J&J plant House Dems to unveil drug pricing measure ahead of Biden package House Democrats eye passing DC statehood bill for second time MORE (D-Calif.) supports Schiff’s lobbying efforts. 

Politico later reported that Schiff, who currently serves as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has lobbied Newsom to appoint him for the role currently held by Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraBecerra calls on Hispanic Americans to sign up for ACA Overnight Health Care: All adults in US now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine | White House launches media blitz to promote vaccines Top House Republicans ask Harris for meeting on border MORE, who was nominated by President Biden to serve as Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary. 

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Politico added that Pelosi herself has lobbied for Schiff’s appointment on his behalf, according to three people familiar with the matter, though a Pelosi spokesman declined to comment. 

Representatives for Schiff and Newsom did not immediately respond to The Hill’s requests for comment. 

Axios noted that if Newsom does select Schiff, House Democrats would lose a strong party voice in the California congressman, who gained particular attention after leading the Russia investigation into then-President TrumpDonald TrumpUS gives examples of possible sanctions relief to Iran GOP lawmaker demands review over FBI saying baseball shooting was 'suicide by cop' House passes bill aimed at stopping future Trump travel ban MORE

A departure by Schiff would also leave a slim 221-211 Democratic majority in the lower chamber. 

Becerra will vacate the attorney general post if confirmed for HHS secretary by the Senate. If Schiff takes on the role, it would take roughly six months for a special election to occur to select Schiff’s replacement in the House. 

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Newsom’s upcoming decision on a new attorney general for the state comes after he selected Secretary of State Alex PadillaAlex PadillaHispanic Caucus energized by first Biden meeting Against mounting odds, Biden seeks GOP support for infrastructure plan The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden meets with bipartisan lawmakers for infrastructure negotiations MORE to replace Vice President Harris in her previous role as a California senator. 

Harris swore in her successor hours after taking her oath of office as vice president last month, along with new Georgia Sens. Jon OssoffJon OssoffThis week: Democrats move on DC statehood Warnock raises nearly M since January victory Wall Street spent .9B on campaigns, lobbying in 2020 election: study MORE (D) and Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockSenate locks in hate crimes deal, setting up Thursday passage Kemp faces uphill battle overcoming Trump's rage Senate aims to pass anti-Asian hate crimes bill this week MORE (D). 

Newsom’s choice also comes as he faces an impending recall effort and criticism in the state that has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with a Berkeley IGS Poll released Tuesday finding his approval rating dipping to 46 percent, with 31 percent strongly disapproving of his job performance.