[Editor: UPDATE: See how Thompson’s views have changed: He now says that “military grade automatic and semi-automatic assault weapons “do not belong in the hands of citizens.” – RS]
Here’s an interesting exchange from the Facebook page of Benicia Indivisible For Justice. Lois’ 6th paragraph on gun control gave way to a lengthy debate on Rep. Thompson’s refusal to consider a ban on assault weapons. Contact Mike here.
Feb 16, 2018, 7:33pm · Vallejo, CA
We met with Congressman Mike Thompson this afternoon, and the timing was great to get his impression of the indictment of several Russians today for interfering with our 2016 election. Rep. Thompson was on the House Intelligence Committee for eight years.
He said, “What’s most important is that this validates what the intelligence committee has been saying all along.” He thinks these indictments are a good step in the right direction. He also thinks that these indictments today might “tip the scale” towards imposing the sanctions on Russia that Congress voted for.
He agreed that people are very concerned and “rightly so” about the integrity of our next election. He said that California election officials are working on the problem of election security. He also said that we can help by being “aggressive and participatory.” He wants us to talk back to the trolls online instead of letting them create the narrative. (Post facts and links to reputable articles to refute what the trolls are saying.)
He said our intelligence community is working full time on election integrity. He said, “They’ve got their responsibility and they are working to carry it out.” He pointed out that the intelligence community has been contradictory of the President. They are standing up to him in public as well as in private. When asked about the possibility of Mike Pompeo trying to stop the work of the CIA, Rep. Thompson said, “There are a lot of different professionals in the intelligence community who are going to do their jobs.”
We asked a question about impeachment, and Rep. Thompson reminded us that “Even during the Nixon years Republicans were supportive of him, but only to a point.” He thinks that with the indictments today we may be at the point where more of the GOP will turn against Trump.
When asked about gun safety, he said it will take “people marching in the streets” to get new gun legislation passed. He said that he has been the Chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force in the U.S. House of Representatives ever since the Sandy Hook massacre. But the GOP will not allow votes on any gun safety legislation nor any hearings.
He mentioned his 3-part plan:
1. Establish a select committee to look at gun violence issues
2. Remove roadblocks from the CDC for doing research on gun violence
3. Expand background checks
He has authored a bipartisan bill for expanded background checks and said he got another Republican co-author today. He said the way we can definitely get it passed is to “win the election in November.”
Here are Rep. Mike Thompson’s views on gun violence prevention, from his webpage: https://mikethompson.house.gov/issu…/gun-violence-prevention
When asked about immigration, as the Senate did not have the votes this week for the bill with DACA protection, he was not hopeful about that process. He said, “The House is worse. Last time the Senate passed a bipartisan immigration bill the House refused to take it up.”
Rep. Thompson has been supportive of immigrants and focused on this issue for several years. Here is his statement about it: https://mikethompson.house.gov/issues/immigration-reform
It seems the biggest hope is to turn Congress blue in November.
He was asked about the current Democratic party’s positions and Mike mentioned the “Better Deal” platform. https://abetterdeal.democraticleader.gov/learn-more/ This is the type of information that we heard from Congressman Joe Kennedy after the State of the Union Address.
Rep. Thompson said, “We don’t win because there’s a catchy phrase coming out of Washington, but because we have good candidates.” Although in these times our newsfeeds are dominated by the bad news coming out of the White House, once those candidates are heard during the election cycle they can get the message out.
One of our members asked to get some of the Better Deal stickers or signs to put up and he said he would mail them to her.
When Rep. Thompson was asked about drilling off the California coast, he let us know that he is going to hold a hearing with fellow congressmembers Jared Huffman and Jackie Speier in San Francisco. They will have expert witnesses on the impact of drilling off our coast and hopefully a lot of folks like us there supporting that hearing. When the date is announced I will post it in the Indivisible groups on Facebook.
He also told us that he was able to successfully oppose the attempt by the Trump administration to overturn the designation of Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument or reduce it in size.
Rep. Thompson seemed obviously weary and frustrated. When we asked him how he keeps going, I suggested that it was his passion for these issues that gives him energy, and he replied that it was also about helping people.