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Rep. Adam Schiff. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Adam Schiff is quietly lobbying Gov. Gavin Newsom and his allies to appoint him California’s next attorney general, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: If Newsom selects Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee and a confidant of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Democrats would lose a powerful party voice in the U.S. House and temporarily give up a seat in their slim 221-211 majority.

  • Nonetheless, Pelosi has given her approval to Schiff’s bid, a clear sign she thinks she can manage without him. according to people familiar with the matter. Spokespersons for Schiff and Pelosi declined comment.
  • The attorney general's job also would better position Schiff, a high-profile Democrat who led the Russia investigation into then-President Trump, to run for Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat, should the 87-year-old decide not to run for reelection in 2024.
  • The AG's job is being vacated by Xavier Becerra, who President Biden has nominated to serve as secretary of Health and Human Services.

The big picture: While Schiff represents California’s Los Angeles-based 28th District, a safe seat for Democrats, it would take roughly six months for a special election to select his successor.

  • Under Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution, House vacancies are not filled by appointment — as in the Senate — only by election.

Driving the news: Once Becerra is confirmed, Newsom has the authority to name his replacement as attorney general.

  • It would mark the third high-profile appointment for Newsom, who tapped Secretary of State Alex Padilla to replace Kamala Harris in the Senate, making him the state’s first Hispanic U.S. senator.
  • Newsom then filled Padilla's job with Shirley Weber, making her the state's first Black secretary of state.

The intrigue: Newsom, whose approval rating on the pandemic has plummeted to 31% and who faces a recall effort, has not publicly indicated who he is inclined to pick for the attorney general job, but lobbying campaigns across the state are heating up.

  • Other potential candidates are Rob Bonta, a member of the state Assembly, and Rick Chavez Zbur, director of Equality California, a LGBTQ advocacy group, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • “It’s pretty clear that there are advocates for their favorites," said Bill Carrick, a California political strategist. "But it’s not clear that that will have any influence on the one person who will make the decision: Gov. Gavin Newsom.”

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that Gov. Gavin Newsom's approval rating specifically on the pandemic has plummeted to 31%, and that he is facing a recall effort.

Go deeper

32 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan group reaches agreement on $1.2 trillion "hard" infrastructure bill

Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images.

After weeks of long nights and endless Zoom calls, a bipartisan group of senators finally reached a deal on "the major issues" in their $1.2 trillion "hard" infrastructure package, GOP senators involved in the talks announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: It could be days before the group finishes writing the bill, but the Senate can begin debating the legislation in earnest now that they have resolved the outstanding issues. The bill needs 60 votes to advance in the Senate.

52 mins ago - Health

Pfizer raises estimate of COVID-19 vaccine sales by 29%

Pfizer anticipates manufacturing 4 billion doses of its vaccine next year. Photo: Chet Strange/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Pfizer expects revenue from the COVID-19 vaccine, co-developed by BioNTech, will reach $33.5 billion this year — a 29% jump from the previously estimated $26 billion.

Why it matters: This vaccine, which has dramatically slowed the coronavirus pandemic, is on pace to be the world's top-selling drug of all time, by far. And now Pfizer is pushing for people to get a third "booster" shot of its vaccine to combat the growing Delta variant.

GOP Rep. Andrew Clyde defends comparison of Jan. 6 riot to "tourists"

Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) departs a press conference on June 14. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) defended comments made during a House committee hearing in which he compared the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot to a "normal visit."

The big picture: In a heated back-and-forth during a Rules Committee meeting on Tuesday, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who sits on the select committee investigating the attack, pressed Clyde on whether he had watched the officers' testimony earlier in the day.