Congressman Salud Carbajal blasted the Trump Administration during a town hall meeting Thursday night in Santa Barbara, but also called for bipartisanship as the only way to move policy forward.
About 150 people attended the session at the Santa Barbara County Office of Education.
Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, spoke on topics including immigration reform, the pay gap between men and women, gun laws, potential impeachment of President Trump, and climate change.
Second District Santa Barbara County Supervisor Gregg Hart and Goleta City Councilman James Kyriaco were among the elected officials in the audience for the event.
Carbajal discussed his progress during the Congress’ first 100 days in session.
“In the past 100 days, we passed the first gun-safety measure in a generation,” Carbajal said, referring to HR-8, which requires background checks for all gun purchases, including gun trade shows.
Carbajal touted his goal of bringing about immigration reform.
“One of the top issues I hear about from our agriculture producers on the Central Coast is the need to reform our broken immigration system to allow farmworkers to come out of the shadows and to help us put food on the table,” Carbajal said at the town hall-style forum.
Carbajal’s father was a farmworker in Oxnard.
Carbajal stopped short of calling for the president to be impeached, although he noted that the Robert Mueller report was very unfavorable to Trump.
“What the president neglected to tell everyone is that the report does not exonerate him from obstruction of justice,” Carbajal said. “There are 11 instances in that report that detail many of the senior people around him in his administration that he directed to obstruct justice.”
Carbajal said he would like have all the facts against Trump before embarking on any impeachment proceedings. He said the American people need to be on the side of impeachment, otherwise the conflict will divide the nation.
“Congress in a bipartisan fashion, if we put our country first, the follow-up steps will be very clear,” Carbajal said. “And it should be done in a bipartisan way. Because if this continues to be bantered around, and perceived, and kicked around as a partisan issue, that’s all that is going to be perceived; a big partisan fight in Washington.”
He said “we need to get a copy of the report, unredacted.”
“If impeachment is the right course to take, we take it in a bipartisan way, as was the case that was going to ensue with President Nixon,” Carbajal said.
Carbajal also criticized Trump’s immigration policies.
“This Administration has been going after permanent legal residents,” Carbajal said. “We should all be concerned. We should be speaking up.”
Carbajal said Trump doesn’t seem to adhere to the U.S. Constitution.
“We’ve never seen the audacious political shenanigans play out that we have seen with this administration.”
Carbajal also touted the The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, which puts a price on carbon-emitting fuels, at the source, and delivers all revenues to households as monthly dividends. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent by 2050.
“Climate change is an immediate threat that the entire world is facing,” Carbajal said.