Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, discussed his legislative priorities Monday during a telephone town hall meeting for the Santa Clarita Valley.
Garcia spent a bulk of the one-hour town hall updating the community on his efforts to “ensure our nation’s security” through his position on the House Appropriations Committee.
“That starts from the highest levels, from space to national security to border security and election security, down to neighborhood security, investing in our law enforcement, ensuring our power isn’t getting turned off (and) investing in water-infrastructure measures,” Garcia elaborated.
Garcia said he has co-sponsored a bill that would prevent states from automatically sending absentee ballots to voters, require voters present an ID to register to vote and stop the counting of ballots received after the close of Election Day.
Garcia also addressed his vote against the certification of Pennsylvania’s and Arizona’s electoral votes in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
“This wasn’t an attempt to change the outcome of the election,” Garcia added, citing constitutional issues with the elector selection procedure in those and other states.
On the issue of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment, Garcia said, “There was no clear nexus to support the impeachment of the president for what happened in the Capitol on Jan. 6.”
“We need to absolutely secure our nation’s border, and we need to do so before we take any other measures relative to amnesty,” Garcia said, calling the situation at the southern U.S. border a humanitarian crisis.
“I’m committed to making sure that we are actually investing in law enforcement, rather than defunding police. I co-sponsored what’s called the Justice Act, which increases transparency and it holds bad actors more accountable,” Garcia said.
He added the bill is also meant to “invest in the training of our law enforcement officers so that they see more scenarios and we can actually work on de-escalation tactics, rather than defunding and removing training opportunities for our law enforcement.”
Garcia referred to the 25th Congressional District’s defense industry as being “fundamental to our local economy.” He said he continues to advocate for a $750 billion budget for the U.S. Department of Defense to support “modernizing projects.”
Water and power
Garcia noted the need for “critical investments in our water supply provisions.” He said he’s introduced a bill to “improve California’s access to water over the course of the next eight years” through added capacity to dams.
On power, Garcia added, “The power shutdowns through [Southern California] Edison have become a larger risk of the fires themselves” and referred to power shutoffs as “one of the largest national security and local security issues in our community.”
Garcia has introduced a bill to remove the $10,000 limit on the state and local tax deduction for federal returns, which was signed into law by Trump as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
“I think that will help mitigate the exodus of folks leaving California for states like Idaho, Florida, Texas,” Garcia said. “Overall, we need to lower our taxes. That would be helpful, especially at the state level. But the SALT cap removal actually does go a long way.”
Garcia also noted that he was one of 44 Republicans who supported a $2,000 stimulus check.
“The best way to combat the traffic is actually to create jobs here in our own backyards so that we don’t have to go down below, we don’t have to make this long commute,” Garcia said in response to a question about traffic on Interstate 5 and State Route 14, recommending also adding freeway lanes and expanding capacity of Metrolink commuter trains.
Garcia highlighted job creation and mental health and substance abuse support in respond to an audience question about his effort to combat the growing problem.
Garcia expressed opposition to America’s rejoining the Iran nuclear agreement, and support for the people of Israel and brokering a long-term peace agreement among Armenia, Turkey and Azerbaijan.
Garcia held a telephone town hall for Simi Valley on Tuesday and is scheduled to hold one for the Antelope Valley Wednesday. To attend each telephone town hall, participants can call in to 833–305-1686. Constituents can also call Garcia’s office at 661-568-4855 or contact him online by visiting mikegarcia.house.gov/contact.