Mark your calendar to attend a Hello and Goodbye Summer Social on Sunday June 26, from 2 to 4. We will welcome our new U.S. Rep. John Garamendi and say goodbye to Benicia’s longtime U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson. It will be held right here in Benicia, at the Veterans Memorial Hall, 1150 First Street, across from the Gazebo. (See info about tickets below.)
Both Thompson and Garamendi will remain in Congress – the change is due to a redrawing of California Congressional Districts.
The party is also a fundraiser for our fellow Democratic Club the United Democrats of Southern Solano County. This is a great opportunity to connect with these important legislators and our fellow Democrats. Ticket information below, purchase your ticket(s) here.
U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson has long emphasized he’s a Second Amendment believer. He just doesn’t believe some weapons should be legal or purchased without extensive background checks.
So it wasn’t a surprise that the Democratic congressman from St. Helena was thrilled hearing President Biden’s announcement of a series of executive actions to curb what he called an “epidemic” of gun violence across the country at Thursday’s Rose Garden Ceremony.
“Today is a new day and I’m proud to have a president willing to do the tough work needed to help prevent gun violence and save lives,” Thompson said in a statement. “We need action on all fronts, from the President and the Congress, to help keep our communities safe. Gun violence takes thousands of lives each year and costs our country nearly $300 billion each year. It’s an epidemic and we must act to combat it.”
Calling gun violence “a public health crisis,” Biden announced six executive actions, adding that “nothing impinges on the Second Amendment.”
Biden is tightening regulations of buyers of “ghost guns” — homemade firearms that usually are assembled from parts and milled with a metal-cutting machine and often lack serial numbers used to trace them. It’s legal to build a gun in a home or a workshop and there is no federal requirement for a background check.
Another action — more heavily regulating arm braces used to make firing a pistol more accurate — directly relates to the March shooting in Boulder, Colo., where such a device used to kill 10 people.
“Today’s Executive Actions are an important piece of what is needed to get ahead of the curve,” Thompson said in the morning statement. “These actions will better regulate ghost guns which increasingly are being used in gun violence incidents and concealable rifles like the gun used in the Boulder mass shooting. These are actions I have led the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force in asking the president to take.”
The executive actions “are critical steps forward in our work to prevent gun violence. But they cannot be our last steps as more action is still needed. I remain firm in my work to ensure the Senate holds a vote on H.R. 8, my bipartisan bill to expand background checks and save lives. Our work must continue,” Thompson said.
Later Thursday afternoon in a brief phone interview, Thompson reiterated his support of Biden’s actions.
“I’ve been lobbying for this,” Thompson said before catching a flight back to the Bay Area. “I’ve been pushing this ever since the president was elected.”
The Rose Garden event “was very exciting,” Thompson said, attending the ceremony with “a handful of members of Congress, two senators, and I think four House members. There were a number of people who had gun violence prevention groups and a number of those who have lost their children, wives, husbands, loved ones to gun violence.”
Thompson was invited after the ceremony to the Oval Office, where he chatted briefly with Biden.
“I mentioned that the last time I had been to the White House was to have a meeting on gun violence with his (Biden’s) predecessor (Donald Trump), who made all kinds of promises of what he was going to do and how he was going to fix it. By the time I got to my office, the NRA called him and he already reversed his position.”
Thompson hinted that it was a relief working a president good on his word.
“This president not only knows this policy and knows what he is talking about, he’s heartfelt and committed,” Thompson said. “Every victim here (at the ceremony), this president sat down with.”
Biden “has worked with us to find solutions to gun violence,” Thompson said.
A pro-gun organization, The Second Amendment Foundation, sent a press release out Thursday morning, warning the Biden administration “that if it steps over its legal authority with any executive action or order regarding the constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms, legal action is a certainty.”
The threatening lawsuit didn’t surprise Thompson.
“That’s what they do,” he said. “There were cops there today who experience violence every day. They’re not for suing. The victims aren’t for suing. Members of Congress who have come forward with solutions weren’t for suing. I don’t think the American people are.”
Thompson said his background check bill headed to the Senate is supported by 90 percent of the public.
If and when it passes the Senate and is signed by the president, “I’m going to jump for joy,” Thompson said. “There should be background checks and not soon enough.”
With 24 hours to take a breath, U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson hasn’t wavered. He wants Donald Trump ousted, no matter that the one-term president’s time expires at noon, Jan. 20.
After Wednesday’s siege by an unruly mob at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., the congressman Tweeted that he’s “calling on the Vice President to initiate proceedings under the 25th Amendment to gather the Cabinet and remove the President from office. On this dark day for our nation, we need to stand up and end this immediately. Nothing less than the future of our democracy is at stake.”
In a 20-minute phone interview Thursday afternoon, Thompson reiterated that he “absolutely” wants Trump’s reign finished immediately.
“We need to do whatever we can to remove him from this position of power,” Thompson said. “In addition to that, he needs to be impeached for a second time. The articles of impeachment have been drafted and I’ve signed onto that effort. I believe it should be done as quickly as possible.”
There’s no waiting out Trump’s term, Thompson emphasized.
“You saw how much damage he did yesterday — one day. I’m frightened to think about what else he could do,” Thompson said.
Trump “is completely off the rails. He’s become an enemy of the state,” said Thompson, believing the president incited the rioters to seize the Capitol building “to try and prevent a peaceful transition of power” to President-elect Joe Biden.
“He set up a coup attempt yesterday (Wednesday), trying to encourage the vice president to steal this election,” Thompson said, calling the siege aftermath “a sad, sad day in this country.”
Trump “encouraged people to break the law, take up laws against their own country and march to the Capitol and stop the peaceful transition. He asked them to march with him, but when they started marching, he went back to the White House,” said Thompson. “That speaks volumes to what kind of person he is.”
Explaining the lack of law enforcement to help thwart the Capitol siege “is the $64 million question,” said Thompson, adding that he sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “asking to do a top-to-bottom review to find out what went wrong and that we ensure it never goes wrong again.”
Thompson said he also sent Pelosi a text Wednesday night requesting the head of the Capitol State Police be terminated.
“Folks that run security should be fired by morning,” Thompson said. “Whomever was in charge not only put our institution of representative government at risk, but put at risk of the lives of every person in that Capitol building, every staff person, every member of the House, every janitor. And they put the life of every cop at risk by putting them out there ill-prepared to do the job they were asked to do.”
Thompson said he was safely in his office when the mob entered the Capitol, though he was evacuated once when “some kind of explosive device” was located and a second time when shots were fired.
“When hooligans broke through security, I was over in the library,” Thompson, managing to quip, “I don’t think they could find a library with a GPS.”
Seriously, added Thompson, “they need to arrest every one” of the infiltrators “and try them for treason.”
“They call themselves ‘patriots’ but they are really traitors,” Thompson said.
Four people died during the siege, including one woman by gunfire.
“I think the president bears full responsibility for what happened,” Thompson said. “He did this. He did this whole thing. He convinced people to participate in a coup. That’s why he needs to be impeached.”
Thompson said Trump will “definitely be impeached by the House, I’m sure of that. I hope the Senate drums up some courage since they didn’t last time.”
Thompson sees a window of opportunity.
“The dam is starting to break. Some Republicans are calling for his removal. I move to convict him,” Thompson said.
Though 9/11 and school shootings “were terrible, this is in a different league,” Thompson said. “It’s armed insurgence with a treasonous effort to topple our government. It’s an attack on the institution, an attack on democracy, an attack on our republic.”
Almost lost in the scuffle — Democrats flipped the Senate earlier this week, thanks to Georgia, with Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff emerging with run-off wins.
“That’s a shining light in all of this,” Thompson said, reflecting on 500-plus bipartisan bills languishing on Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s desk.
With McConnell on the verge of becoming Senate minority leader and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris the tie-breaker in a potential 50-Democrat, 50-Republican vote, “it’s now a different story,” said Thompson, awaiting the Inauguration Jan. 20.
“Everybody I know — Democrats, Republicans, Independents — don’t want a revolution. They want a return to normalcy,” Thompson said. “It’ll be a much better world.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-05) has released the results of a coronavirus relief survey that polled constituents about their experience during the coronavirus pandemic.
The survey was conducted from May 1 through May 8 and results include answers from 4,605 respondents. The survey was emailed out to constituents via Thompson’s mail records list as well as circulated via press reports and Thompson’s social media accounts. Respondents were chosen by self-selection.
Among other things, results suggest a majority of Thompson’s constituency is in support of “cautiously” reopening the economy to prioritize public health, while a significant minority is in support of opening up more quickly to benefit businesses.
“Despite social distancing guidelines that keep us apart, I want to ensure I am doing everything I can to connect with people in our community and ensure their needs are met during this crisis,” said Thompson in a statement. “That’s why I launched my Coronavirus Relief Survey and why I am glad to have input from more than 4,000 people in our district. The results are clear—people want more support from the Federal government. Nearly everyone polled supports expanding the programs started in the CARES Act, such as the Paycheck Protection Program and the expanded unemployment insurance program. The vast majority also favor a cautious approach to opening up our community to ensure the health and safety of our neighbors and friends. Know that these results will inform my continued work to bring Federal relief back to our district.”
Full results of Thompson’s Coronavirus Relief Survey are as follows:
Have you been hurt financially by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Yes, somewhat: 43.8%
No, not at all: 30.2%
Yes, very much: 26%
Have you received a stimulus payment?
No, but I’m expecting a payment: 30.5%
No, I’m not eligible: 21%
No, the IRS website is unable to find my information: 6.3%
If yes, have you experienced any issues receiving the amount for which you are eligible? If you answered no to the previous question, skip this question.
Which CARES Act programs (if any) have helped you or your family?
Stimulus payment: 35.1%
Expanded unemployment insurance: 10.7%
Small business assistance (PPP, EIDL, etc.): 7.1%
Student loan relief: 4.7%
Not sure: 3.9%
Mortgage forbearance: 3.2%
Which CARES Act programs (if any) do you think should be extended or increased?
Small business assistance (PPP, EIDL, etc.): 22%
Expanded unemployment insurance: 21%
Stimulus payment: 16.8%
Student loan relief: 15.6%
Mortgage forbearance: 15.6%
Not sure: 3.3%
Are you waiting to hear back on any CARES Act relief you have applied for?
Yes, waiting for information or a check from the IRS: 15.1%
Yes, waiting for information on unemployment benefits: 10.4%
Yes, waiting to hear back on a small business loan: 8.6%
How would you like to see the “re-opening” of our communities play out?
More cautiously to prioritize protecting public health: 69.3%
More quickly to prioritize getting people back to work: 23.9%
Not sure: 3.8%
Do you think Congress should provide more funds to help schools, hospitals, paramedics, police departments, and other services in future coronavirus legislation?