Garamendi Supports Trump Impeachment Inquiry at Packed Davis Townhall

Photo Posted on Twitter by Congressman Garamendi’s office

By Danielle Silva

Congressman John Garamendi appeared in Davis for a town hall talk about policies relevant to the community at large. The following are his opinions, shared during the beginning of the town hall or given after the main speech.

Trump Impeachment and Syria

Considering the number of “Impeach Now” posters throughout the crowd, Garamendi found himself surprised he began mentioning the Trump impeachment inquiry near the end of the town hall. In response to a question on Congress containing Trump’s “authoritarian outreach,” the crowd broke into cries of “Impeach Now,” with one town hall member crying, “Impeach and imprisonment.”

Garamendi stated that there was evidence Trump received funds from foreign governments, which was a direct violation of Articles 1 and 2 of the Emoluments Clause.

He stated they will continue their investigation, stating Trump’s actions “disregarded his oath of office,” even if done “unknowingly” or even “in ignorance.”

Garamendi shared he had been in Ukraine before the phone conference had occurred and had come back from Ukraine again this last Saturday. He believed that there was evidence of the president extorting Ukraine and encouraged the investigation of the phone call and more attention to the Mueller investigation.

The Congressman has also been in the media as of late on the current Syrian situation, disapproving of the president’s decision to remove U.S. troops from Syria. He noted the threat of ethnic cleansing of the Kurds, the U.S. ally who took the brunt of the war but are now vulnerable to a “greenlight invasion” between Turkey and Syria. Garamendi considered this a “serious mess” as this could very likely lead to the resurgence of ISIS.

Commenters asked what Congress aimed to do to support refugees from countries in war, especially wars initiated by the U.S., which the Congressman argued could be addressed through a reconstruction program. He did not, however, address immigration policies for refugees. He did note that Congress could prevent the president from using military funding, as he did for $5.6 billion he used for his border wall.

One commenter asked what to do in light of polls stating 40 percent still support Trump, and Garamendi’s initial words were about retaining “hope” and “optimism.” He also stated that individuals should try to combat Trump support through education, that sharing knowledge would help individuals understand how Trump was attempting to offset the balance of the three branches of government.

“He’s about to learn his lesson,” Garamendi stated.

Healthcare Policies

H.R. 1384, the Medicare for All Act of 2019, is one bill Garamendi was reluctant to show support for. Flyers had been distributed in front of the town hall venue, stating in his 2017 op-ed in the Sacramento Bee that Garamendi supported H.R. 676, Expanded and Improved Medicare for All. However, since 2019, the H.R. 1384 bill has 119 members of Congress signing onto the bill, Garamendi not included.

The Congressman stated he did still want a universal single-payer healthcare system and has ridden on that viewpoint since 1993, having created healthcare reform that President Clinton ran on. However, he noted the sensitivity of attempting to overhaul the entire Affordable Care Act System by completely removing private insurance agencies from the equation, which H.R. 1384 states it will do. He noted the role in which private insurance companies “shape medical care” and the methods by which they gather funds for healthcare.

Garamendi argued that he did not want to destroy the current Affordable Care Act but wanted to work on providing options to how they received their Medicare. He wished for children born from Jan. 1, 2020, and onward to automatically be given a Medicaid card.

Garamendi also noted his support of H.R. 3, which aims to lower the cost of drugs.

The Congressman heavily emphasized his involvement in supporting Alzheimer’s research, noting that Republican tax cuts have halted current research for a drug that appeared to be showing results with Alzheimer’s. He stated he has supported every Alzheimer’s bill that he has come across, and two that an audience member pointed out were currently in his inbox.

“We can do better and must do better,” Garamendi stated.

Further Foreign Affairs

Davis Hong Kong, a group currently focused on bringing awareness of the ongoing 2019 Hong Kong protests, called the attention of Garamendi by raising their hand in a group and their uniform black masks. They provided the Congressman with 373 letters urging him to support the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019.

Garamendi also addressed another comment on the lack of security with antibiotics, considering the U.S. was in a trade war with China, and the possible establishment of FDA regulations in foreign drug manufacturing countries. He shared that nearly 100 percent of our antibiotics come from abroad, which makes this a national security issue.

Criminal Justice Reform

The Congressman also received a question in regard to “rogue agencies” that aimed to separate and imprison families, such as the recent actions of ICE. Garamendi stated that eight pieces of legislation are currently developing that introduce important reforms of the system. He also noted how Trump pulling assistance to foreign countries was not an appropriate response to immigration, choosing to ignore the reasons why immigrants cross into the United States.

Garamendi also addressed prison reform, arguing against the use of privately-owned prisons and encouraging law reforms. He asked why immigrants were being placed in said prisons.

Gun Violence

A member of Moms Demand Action brought up the issue of gun violence in America, asking for Garamendi’s support in enacting gun violence bills. Garamendi noted his support of banning assault weapons in California but also shared what he claimed many considered “the single most important issue – fear of being shot.”

Indigenous People’s Day, Environmental Issues

Several commenters asked Garamendi regarding Indigenous People’s Day, one asking about its establishment as the holiday instead of the usual title of “Columbus Day.” The Congressman argued that more awareness and education should be brought of the “history of the people of America,” especially issues of ethnic cleansing.

Garamendi also shared his approval for the “Green New Deal,” asking why we couldn’t use green energy yet. He noted that during the 1978 energy crisis, legislation was laid out that started the wind industry in California. He believed that green energy needs the same support that the oil industry has to succeed.

He also stated, as a member of the Readiness Subcommittee, that addressing energy usage of the military could be a vital way in addressing climate change. Garamendi noted that reducing energy consumption from one of the biggest consumers of energy, the military, would be a beneficial change.

Education Funding

One commenter, a student aiming to become a teacher, noted to Garamendi his concern for his financial stability in the future. Garamendi stated that society as a whole does not value or prioritize education as much as it was actually worth, leading to the lower cost of funding. His solution focused on bringing awareness that education was a “critical national issue” and a “national security issue,” stating, “Without education, there is no equality.”

Garamendi shared that $1 trillion should be taken from the nuclear weapons budget to support education.

Cancel Student Debt was one group that did not have the opportunity to speak during the town hall. As individuals began filing out of the venue, group members began chanting, “Cancel Student Debt.

One UC Davis Graduate student, Morganne Blais-McPherson, expressed her upset at the town hall’s scheduling which prevented students and workers from attending.

“Some of us were there to witness Rep. Garamendi’s agility in skirting important questions about his lack of support for life-saving proposals to close the camps and ensure a true Medicare for All,” Blais-McPherson stated.

“When he comes to UC Davis, we won’t let him dance around the issues or ignore our raised hands. He must respond to our demands for student debt cancellation because the number of his constituents with student debt far exceeds those few who make a living off of gambling on Wall Street.”

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27 thoughts on “Garamendi Supports Trump Impeachment Inquiry at Packed Davis Townhall”

  1. Alan Miller

    He’s a weasel but Democratics continue to support him.

    Gar’s a fan of flooding the tiny town of Sites just as we flooded Monticello with Berryessa.  With a dam they claim will produce power — yet has almost no water sources of it’s own — i.e. it’s a lie:  it will take far more power to pump the mass quantity of water into the reservoir than it will ever produce.

    1. Ron Oertel

      Seems to me that some of the landowners in that area are looking forward to being paid-off, via the sale of their land.

      Government has no business subsidizing dams, at this point.

    2. Don Shor

      Sites is a crucial water storage project for the state of California. I strongly support it. Just for the record, “In both 2017 and 2019, exceptional rain and snow in the winter and spring brought about tremendous water flow in the Sacramento River and its tributaries. The California Department of Water Resources estimated that Sites Reservoir would have completely filled each of these years. Runoff from early 2017 and 2019 could have stored 1.8 million acre-feet of water, or over 580 billion gallons – enough water to supply more than 4.3 million families for an entire year.”
      Garamendi is right on this project. Too bad it isn’t already on line.

      1. Don Shor

        Users of the water (i.e., those pushing for it) should pay 100% of the cost.

        The voters approved $7.5 billion in bonds to pay for water projects in 2014. There are multiple water projects presently being funded by that bond measure, with additional funding from other sources: Pacheco, and raising the height of Los Vaqueros, as well as Sites and Temperance Flat, along with four major groundwater storage projects. The users include farmers as well as residents of nearly every part of lowland California.

        1. Ron Oertel

          Those measures (themselves) are generally written in a broad and rather misleading manner, and sometimes include insignificant environmental “benefits” to appeal to voters. The term “pork barrel” comes to mind.

          I suspect that if you ask most voters (in a straightforward manner) “who” should pay for new water sources, they would tell you that “users” should – rather than taxpayers at large.

          Why would someone in Indiana, for example, want to contribute their federal taxes toward a dam in California?

          Why would non-users of that water (anywhere, including within California) want to pay for that cost? Especially since there are negative environmental impacts associated with it?

          Do you know how much of the Sites project is being paid for by taxpayers at large? (How much state tax money, how much federal tax money, etc.)?

  2. Ron Oertel

    “He must respond to our demands for student debt cancellation because the number of his constituents with student debt far exceeds those few who make a living off of gambling on Wall Street.”

    Not seeing the direct logic here, but wondering if “no” is one of the (acceptable?) options regarding Garamendi’s response regarding this “demand”.

    “Must” it be “yes”? (Or, perhaps something in-between?)

    1. Morganne Blais-McPherson

      Hi Ron! Thank you for your interest in student debt cancellation.

      Over 44 million Americans currently have student debt, which is the second biggest source of debt in the United States. Student debt has many consequences on people’s lives. Student debt can prevent people from getting a mortgage on a house, starting a family, saving for retirement, leaving a stable yet unfulfilling job to find a position in their field of study, leaving a job to live with their loved ones in another city – the list goes on. Just the thought, and fear, of accumulating debt prevents many from pursuing higher education, affecting their chances at social mobility. And this fear is quite justified.  Student loan delinquency or default rates are 11.4%, with black college graduates defaulting at rates five times higher than those of their white classmates. Defaulting on a loan can have serious consequences. It can prevent an individual from getting an apartment or a job and take away a section of someone’s paycheck, tax refunds, or Social Security payments. Some states even cancel professional licenses for individuals who hold student loan debt.

      While there are a few proposals that try to tackle the incredible amount of student debt in this country, the Student Debt Cancellation Act is the only one that proposes to cancel all this debt by putting a  0.5% tax on stock transactions, a 0.1% tax on bond trades and a .005% tax on derivatives transactions. I hope this helps clarify things!

        1. Ron Oertel

          Not ever, in terms of a complete elimination of student debt. I’m reasonably confident in that prediction, and not one which is based on my personal views.

          I suspect there may be some middle ground achieved, regarding this.

        2. Ron Oertel

          By the way, when everyone (and their “grandmother”) has a degree, those degrees will be even more worthless than they already are, in some fields of study.

          Leaving those in blue-collar industries as the primary ones employed (and/or, running businesses).

          But, at least college graduates will then have time to participate on blogs.  (A general comment – honestly not intended as an attack on anyone.)

        3. Ron Oertel

          I’m not anti-business.

          Very few people would put themselves through the rigors of college, if it wasn’t for their hope that it will lead to better career opportunities.  I suspect many are subsequently disappointed (perhaps even profoundly so), when compared to their initial expectations.

          The recent focus on STEM (starting in grade school) seems to be a step in the right direction. However, not everyone finds those subjects easy to grasp.

          But just because a field of study is offered, doesn’t make it a viable career choice. Ultimately, the school itself will protect its own positions, regardless.

        4. Ron Oertel

          Colleges (as a whole) would also likely support student loan cancellation, since it protects and promotes their “business”. Even if they don’t come right out and state that.

          Same thing regarding the towns that rely upon those colleges, in some form or another.

        5. Ron Oertel

          I’m glad that Nugget is moving into new headquarters, and the new Residence Inn (along with the other new hotel).

          I’m glad that the existing business section (e.g., downtown, 2nd street, auto dealers, hotels) are in place.

          I supported the solar-cover parking lot, so that ACE can remain viable.  Sutter’s expansion is also a benefit.

          I’m concerned that paid parking will impact businesses downtown, and that residential development has been allowed to displace existing commercial/industrial sites.

          That’s more than “one”.

          Have there been any development proposals that you opposed, or were concerned about?

        6. Craig Ross

          Those aren’t pro-business stances.  That’s being happy that businesses move into Davis despite the anti-business atmosphere you have contributed to.

        7. Ron Oertel

          If not a “stance”, is at least a more passive “sitting down”?

          I’m not involved in trying to attract businesses to Davis.  However, I’m also not involved with opposing small, solar-covered parking lots for existing businesses, for example.

          Nor am I involved with attempts to convert existing commercial sites for residential uses, on behalf of what you *might* describe as “business interests”, but which are actually reducing the amount of space for such activities. In fact, I’ve opposed those.

          In general, I’ve found that business interests are pretty effective at representing themselves. Sometimes to the detriment of the overall amount of business activity (e.g., space), for the city as a whole.



  3. Ron Oertel

    “One commenter, a student aiming to become a teacher, noted to Garamendi his concern for his financial stability in the future.”

    And yet, still aiming to become a teacher.  Go figure.

    Perhaps with student debt, as well?

    Garamendi shared that $1 trillion should be taken from the nuclear weapons budget to support education.

    And shortly thereafter, flew-off on his unicorn.

    It’s not going to change, folks. Never has, never will.

    Now, if parents were charged the cost of educating their kids (or at least a related portion thereof), things might be different. (But, also never going to change.)

      1. Ron Oertel

        Not intended to “discourage”, but to simply examine reality (and not expect the world to suddenly change, to suit a personal career choice).  Especially when the conditions are already known, and have existed for some time.  (Pretty much since the beginning of the teaching profession.)

        One of the problems I see with upper-level education is a disconnect between what is taught as a career, and what the expected income is. One reason that I don’t think college should be free, as well. If you have to pay for it, you (and the college itself) will more likely focus on careers that actually pay sufficiently. And, won’t waste time, money, and energy on those that don’t. (Not necessarily referring to teaching, with that comment.)

  4. Bill Marshall

    Am thinking there is stronger grounds for invoking the 25th Amendment than impeachment… or, at least, as strong… still, requires majority of cabinet, 2/3 of both houses of congress… still, stronger grounds… his own words, tweets betray him @ that level.

    Just a thought…

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