By The Signal Editorial Board
Mike Garcia has never forgotten where he came from — in more than one sense.
Garcia, seeking a third full term in the House of Representatives, represents the 27th Congressional District, which includes the Santa Clarita Valley — which happens to be where he grew up.
The Republican congressman, whose father immigrated — legally — from Mexico to the U.S., was born in the San Fernando Valley but grew up here after his family moved to Saugus in 1982, when he was 6 years old.
Upon graduating from Saugus High School in 1994, Garcia began pursuing his dream of flying fighter jets in service to his country. After four years at the U.S. Naval Academy, he embarked on a nearly 20-year career as a fighter pilot.
After rejoining civilian life, he chose to return home, to the Santa Clarita Valley, where he grew up. He and his wife are raising their sons here.
Garcia worked in the private sector for 10 years, becoming a successful executive with Raytheon. He left the aerospace industry and re-entered public service in 2020, running for the congressional seat vacated by the resignation of former Rep. Katie Hill.
First elected in 2020, and re-elected in 2022, Garcia is now seeking his third full two-year term in Congress — and like every other opportunity in his past, he has earned it.
As a member of Congress, Garcia has been an outspoken proponent of the rule of law, and adherence to constitutional principles.
And, he’s been a diligent advocate for those who continue to serve our country in the military. Two key pieces of legislation he authored to help enlisted personnel have been signed into law.
Garcia’s Military Spouse and Licensing Relief Act now protects the families of service members who need to relocate due to changes in deployment.
The act, signed into law last year, allows for spouses of military personnel who move due to deployment to keep professional licenses, such as for nurses or teachers, to use those licenses in their new state.
“Before my bill, you would have to get recertified and that can be, in many cases, a year-long process, several thousands of dollars,” Garcia said during a recent town hall. “And when you’re only in your new place for two years, a lot of folks chose not to do that.”
Also, Garcia is responsible for legislation that accomplished something that you might have assumed was already in place: ensuring that service members are paid at least the minimum wage.
The fiscal 2024 National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law in December, includes an amendment by Garcia that secured the highest pay raise in American history for junior enlisted troops. The amendment raises entry level pay from approximately $22,000 to over $31,000 per year.
“What this bill does is it gets the 30% (raise for) our active duty troops, our junior enlisted, who right now qualify for food stamps, which is unbelievable and heartbreaking,” Garcia said during the town hall. “It gets them off of food stamps, gets them above the poverty line, it gets them to the equivalent of a minimum-wage starting salary.”
On these and other issues, we find our views in alignment with Garcia. He favors a secure border, and will remind you that he’s not anti-immigrant — after all, his own father immigrated. Rather, he opposes the current state of affairs, with a porous, de facto open border that diminishes national security, enables drug trafficking and is overwhelming U.S. cities with new residents who need public services.
He favors common-sense approaches to issues like the economy and taxation — and is fighting to repeal the so-called “SALT” limit on state and local tax deductions that especially punishes taxpayers in high-tax states like California.
He’s an outspoken advocate of law enforcement — his stepfather was a Los Angeles police officer — and shares our conviction that criminal-friendly district attorneys, like L.A. County’s George Gascón, are destroying American cities and should be driven out of office.
He’s demonstrated a willingness to work across the aisle where common ground can be found, as well. One recent instance of this was his participation in a bipartisan group of representatives from the California congressional delegation seeking to defend funding for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena — which is not only a major local employer but also a key player in the advancement of the nation’s space exploration and associated technologies.
Mike Garcia has always lived a life of service, and continues to do so. He has never forgotten his ancestry, his hometown, his brothers and sisters in arms — and his country.
Recognizing all of that, he has our endorsement — in the March 5 primary and in the November general election — for re-election to represent the 27th Congressional District.