Area congressman to have revolving office locations
When one door closes, another four open.
Congressman John Garamendi’s Yuba City office closed recently, but he spent Tuesday morning talking with a group of about 60 people at the Yuba City Senior Center, which will serve as one of four Yuba-Sutter office locations starting in March.
“The thought process is that the North State is large and instead of having an office in one area, we wanted to make it mobile,” said Eric Olsen, with Garamendi’s office. “This new rotating format will allow his team of caseworkers to bring themselves directly to members of the community to ensure they are as accessible as possible.”
Garamendi fielded questions from some of the people in attendance about immigration, border security, health care, homelessness, Veterans Affairs, Social Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the opioid crisis and the electoral college, among others.
“The president is demanding that a wall gets built and this is a major issue,” Garamendi said. “Does Congress or the president have the power? This is a fundamental question about how our democracy works.”
He said the underlying issue is about immigration reform and acknowledged there’s no successful program to track all visas.
“Republicans fight with Democrats a lot,” said one man in the audience. “Is there any hope for the country?”
As the crowd laughed, Garamendi smiled and said that’s by design.
“Part of our system is to create tensions over differing views and there’s a long history of that,” Garamendi said. “That tension between different ideas is supposed to be worked out in Congress.”
He said all presidents since George W. Bush have used the Authorization to Use Military Force, which was passed by Congress on Sept. 14, 2001, and authorized the use of Armed Forces against those responsible for Sept. 11.
“WWII was the last time Congress declared war and since then, other methods have been used,” he said. “Congress has ceded power to those presidents and they’ve all done it – Bush, Obama and Trump.”
He said Syria, Yemen, Africa and the Philippines have been some of the places where the Authorization to Use Military Force has been applied.
A woman who works with the homeless community asked about funding for Housing and Urban Development and Section 8 housing.
He said there’s an apportions bill that addresses HUD issues which will substantially increase Section 8 funding.
“We’re going to have a marvelous debate over the next two years about how to provide health care and my goal is to strengthen the Affordable Care Act,” Garamendi said, responding to a question. “We have a real opportunity to undo what’s been done by the Trump administration.”