Xavier Becerra, representative for California’s 34th congressional district since 1993, addressed a capacity crowd at the Dean’s Distinguished Lecturer Series on Sept. 3.

He provided a behind-the-scenes look at the Affordable Care Act, discussed national security concerns and responded to difficult questions from a well-informed audience. He likened the Affordable Care Act to a “clinical trial that needs more work.”

Other topics included abuse of tax dollars in health care and the effect of sequestration on research funding. In the Congressional tradition of declaring resolutions for special occasions, Dean Puliafito presented Becerra with a formal certificate of appreciation for his role as a Dean’s Distinguished Lecturer.

Another highlight of the evening was when Becerra played the voicemail message he received from President Obama on the evening of March 10, 2010, when the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Affordable Care Act.