Garcia: Bipartisanship is a ‘challenge’

Congressman Mike Garcia (R-25) discusses some of his priorities while in office. March 22, 2021. Bobby Block / The Signal.

Rep. Michael Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, met with the editorial board of The Signal recently. The in-person meeting held at The Signal’s newsroom was the congressman’s first meeting with The Signal. 

Garcia talked about his experience trying to legislate in Congress on his priorities ranging from taxes to water infrastructure. He told The Signal that working with most Democrats has been a “challenge.”   

“The problem that we see right now is it doesn’t matter if you do it,” Garcia said. “There’s no (Democrats) voting outside the confines of (House Speaker Nancy) Pelosi’s orders.” 

“Pelosi is ruling with an iron fist,” Garcia said. “She will take a bill that has 200 amendments on it and if 100 amendments are Republican amendments and 100 are Democrat by the time it gets to the floor for a vote, there are no Republican amendments in there.” 

Garcia said he has found common ground with some Democratic members of the lower house. 

“There’s a lot of people, there’s actually rational (Democrats) in California – (Rep. Tony) Cárdenas and some folks in the Southern California area are actually rational good actors,” he said, also mentioning Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Westlake Village, and Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas. 

In the interest of advancing his proposal to repeal the Trump-era state and local tax (SALT) deduction cap of $10,000, Garcia said he “would be happy to turn that over to a (Democrat)” as part of a bipartisan effort. 

Garcia also suggested the possibility of advancing his legislation aimed at improving Californians’ access to water in a similar way. 

“This is one of these things that’s actually good for everyone. It should be a bipartisan thing. And if it doesn’t come with my name on it, hopefully it does come to a floor vote with someone’s name on it,” Garcia said. “I’d be happy to make that trade.” 

“I’d love for the left to be tolerant of the right if they bring good legislative agendas, but that’s just not the nature of the beast right now,” Garcia added. 

Garcia’s support for a bill that would add the Rim of the Valley Corridor, southeast of the Santa Clarita Valley, to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area was one of “a few examples where I’ve broken ranks with the (Republican Party).”  

“It’s actually good for the district,” Garcia said of his support for the Rim of the Valley. “And it’s important to Santa Clarita, especially this. Rim of the Valley kills the CEMEX program. It kills any opportunity for high-speed rail to come through our district, at least through the (State Route) 14 corridor.” 

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