Garamendi Talks National Security at Town Hall

Garamendi Talks National Security at Town Hall


By Kayla Webster
Glenn County Transcript, Calif.

Nuclear warheads dominated the conversation with Congressman John Garamendi at the Williams town hall meeting on Wednesday.

The congressman confirmed America is engaged in “a new nuclear arms race,” and the government is looking to spend roughly $5 trillion to “revamp” its nuclear system. Updates could include brand new missiles placed in Montana and Wyoming, Garamendi said.

Garamendi came to Williams High School to address the concerns of his constituents, but his opening remarks focused primarily on his role in the congressional Armed Services Committee. The committee deals exclusively with national security — something Garamendi is very concerned about in light of current global affairs. “In terms of national security we are in a very dangerous period,” Garamendi said. “There’s a very unpredictable dictator in North Korea, and a president who is, at best, unpredictable. Lack of predictability in national security is a very serious problem.”

Although the committee feels a sense of trepidation over the actions of other countries, namely North Korea and Russia, Garamendi said he and members of the Armed Services Committee are equally uneasy over the president’s involvement.

“America has the strongest, biggest military in the world,” Garamendi said. “However, the military is only as good as the policies that govern it.”

Garamendi assured the audience North Korea does not possess the technology to bomb the mainland — at least not yet. However, he is equally concerned President Donald Trump will strike first. Although Congress ultimately has the power to declare war, Trump could potentially use the War Powers Act to launch a missile on the Korean peninsula, Garamendi said.

“Wherever the president can say there is an ISIS, he can wage war,” Garamendi said. “We should never give the president unlimited power to wage war.”

Trump recently used the power to strike Syria, which is why Garamendi is concerned the president will bomb North Korea. Garamendi said he is equally worried about South Korea.

During a recent visit to Seoul, he was told North Korean missiles were placed on the mountains overlooking the city.

“Right now, Seoul is a very sick place,” Garamendi said. “It feels like a trip wire; the city has long range missiles pointed at it at all times.”

The majority of the town hall audience appeared to share Garamendi’s concerns; the congressman concluded the meeting by urging people to get involved in politics — whether it’s by calling local legislators, or lacing up their tennis shoes for a march. ___


This article is written by Kayla Webster from Glenn County Transcript, Calif. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to