Congressman wants to address climate change, codify Roe v. Wade
Editor’s note: This is one of the articles on local candidates in advance of Tuesday’s general election.
U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal wants Congress to continue to work to tackle inflation, support economic opportunities, address climate change and codify a woman’s right to an abortion.
Those are among the Santa Barbara Democrat’s goals as he runs against Summerland Republican candidate Brad Allen in Tuesday’s general election.
The federal legislation designed to protect a woman’s right to an abortion — Women’s Health Protection Act — passed along party lines in the House, but fell short of the votes it needed to rise above a Republican filibuster in the Senate.
“That was a real disappointment,” Rep. Carbajal told the News-Press. “Codifying Roe v. Wade and federal access to abortion has been an important issue of mine.”
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and left it up to the states to decide their abortion laws.
“Making sure we address inflation and costs of child care, food, gas and housing and to protect the rights of Americans, women’s rights and LGBTQ rights and the right to vote — those are important to me,” the congressman said.
In terms of climate change, Rep. Carbajal stressed the importance of developing renewable sources of energy “and weaning ourselves off fossil fuels.”
He said Congress needs to create incentives to encourage people to update their appliances and systems to conserve energy.
He also addressed economic opportunities, referring specifically to the possibility of Vandenberg Space Force Base becoming the headquarters of Space Training and Readiness Command. The base, which is near Lompoc, is among the candidates being considered for the STARCOM site.
“I think we are at the very top of the list because of the infrastructure, the training, the program and the personnel we have at Vandenberg Space Force Base,” Rep. Carbajal said.
He said he expects a decision within the next year.
“I’ve been advocating and sending letters,” Rep. Carbajal said about his efforts to promote Vandenberg for the STARCOM site.
Various entities have said establishing STARCOM at Vandenberg would boost the Central Coast economy, creating jobs not only at the base but in related industries.
When asked about government spending and its relation to historically high inflation, Rep. Carbajal blamed inflation on a variety of factors including the disruption in the supply chain and the pandemic, which closed warehouses and manufacturing facilities. He also blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, which he said escalated the global crises of oil.
He said Congress has acted to restore the supply chain by passing the bipartisan Ocean Shipping Reform Act. He also noted Congress adopted the Infrastructure Law, which provided resources at ports. “We now have ports working 24/7. Before, they were not working 24/7.”
He also pointed to Congress’ passage of the CHIPS and Science Act, which boosted manufacturing of semiconductors and research in the field.
The congressman also discussed health issues. He stressed the importance of people getting COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. He added it’s important to invest in research and build on what was learned during the pandemic.
Rep. Carbajal, a veteran who served in the Marines, noted he sponsored mental health legislation to assist veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as legislation to prevent suicides among military personnel and veterans.
Rep. Carbajal also co-sponsored the Home for the Brave, a bill to provide broader housing opportunities for veterans, especially those who are homeless.
And the congressman sponsored the Protect Patriot Parents Act, which allows illegal immigrants to temporarily stay in the U.S. if one of their children is serving in the U.S. military. “It allows them to stay while they pursue the legalization process.”
Rep. Carbajal also noted he was one of the advocates of the Baby Formula Act, which removed tariffs to allow more baby formula to be imported into the U.S.
And the congressman discussed foreign policy during the News-Press interview.
He said the U.S. needs to continue to provide weapons assistance to Ukraine during its resistance to the Russian invasion.
“We need to continue the course and support Ukraine so they can thwart this aggression and invasion by (Vladimir) Putin.”