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.”
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?
Congressman Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena announced this week that he has pushed back the deadline and changed the guidelines for high schoolers to submit artwork as part of his 2020 Fifth Congressional District Art Competition.
These changes reflect the shelter-at-home and social distancing guidance issued by local and state authorities, according to a news release from his office. Students will now have until May 28 to submit their work, which they can do electronically.
“Our incredible local artists continue to create despite the uncertain times we are now facing, which is why I’ve updated the deadline and guidelines for high schoolers to participate in my Congressional Art Competition this year,” Thompson said in a statement. “This will allow students for extra time to submit amid the many changes they are facing with this year’s school calendar and allow them to comply with important public health guidelines…I can’t wait to see our great local art again this year!”