Q&A: U.S. House District 1 Michelle Garcia Holmes
- Name: Michelle Garcia Holmes
- Political Party: Republican
- Occupation: Retired chief of staff for the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office
- City of residence: Bernalillo
- Relevant experience: Served eight years as chief of staff, served 20 years with the Albuquerque Police Department, serving as a police officer and detective, former member of the Child Fatality Review Board, Domestic Violence Review Team and former member of the Human Trafficking Task Force, former liaison to New Mexico’s congressional delegation, former member of Joint Terrorism Task Force.
- Education: Bachelor of Science in occupational education
- Campaign website: www.garciaholmes4congress.com
What is your opinion of the coronavirus response packages passed by Congress and signed by President Trump? Is there anything you would have done differently?
I support the stimulus relief funds. Each phase was distributed to those in need. The priority: to fund hospitals, R&D for vaccines, small business loans, financial and nutritional assistance, to name a few. The monies have been effective in addressing our nation’s needs while simultaneously protecting the public.
What actions to restore the economy, if any, do you feel Congress should take once the outbreak has been contained?
Let’s evaluate government and eliminate nonessential departments; decrease our nation’s debt and increase individual spending power. Create good paying jobs by diversifying our economy. Stimulate our nation’s business environment by giving businesses a competitive advantage. Delay employer payroll taxes; offer tax breaks on exports; ease regulation; promote small business loans.
What is your position regarding climate change? What actions should Congress take, if any, regarding the environment?
The U.S. leads the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 1 billion tons in 20 years. Utilizing scientific methods, we can create new technologies and new streams of energy for our needs. As a global problem we must encourage other nations to be more aggressive with their reduction as well.
What is your opinion on energy initiatives that have been introduced both on the federal and state level such as the Green New Deal and the New Mexico Energy Transition Act?
New Mexico has been blessed with abundant wind and solar energy. I support advancing this energy development. I also support traditional energy sources like natural gas, petroleum and nuclear. New Mexico can be the energy leader of the nation while protecting our environment. These energy sectors provide good paying jobs.
Fracking bans have been introduced in Congress by Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and presidential candidate Joe Biden indicated in a debate he would support a ban. Where do you stand on the issue?
New Mexico depends on the oil and gas industry; it funds our schools and government. I will ensure the New Mexico energy industry regulations are evaluated through scientific evidence and not political campaign posturing. Banning hydraulic fracturing in New Mexico would eliminate billions in surplus revenue and kill good paying jobs.
What is your position on the leasing of federal land for oil, gas and mineral development? Do you agree with the removal of energy development in a 10- mile radius around Chaco archaeological sites? Are there other areas of the state that should be considered for similar treatment?
I support the America First Energy Plan, it reduces the reliance on foreign oil sources, gas and minerals. I support the removal of energy development in a 10-mile radius around Chaco Canyon archaeological sites. New Mexico has many cherished and sacred sites that must be protected for future generations.
What are the most important actions Congress should take regarding people now living illegally in the U.S.? What about for those who want to come in?
Government is responsible for securing the nation’s borders, determining who can lawfully enter and stay. Congress must stop harmful immigration policies and start pursuing fair and effective solutions for our immigration system. We must resolve Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and provide common sense legislation that can grow America and update our immigration policies.
Do you believe the borders are secure enough? If not, what do you propose should be done to increase security?
I support Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the wall and utilization of technology to protect New Mexico. Being a border state, we must recognize the impact that illegal migration, drug trafficking and human trafficking has on our resources. Sensible legislation will modernize our immigration policies and help address many problems as well as needs.
Do you favor a federal ban on the sale of military style semi-automatic rifles? If so, what would you do about the millions of such weapons now legally owned by American citizens? What other, if any, gun law reforms would you support?
I support and will defend the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. I support firearm ownership by law-abiding citizens. Having been in law enforcement for 30 years, I believe in aggressive prosecution of violators of gun laws and offenses perpetrated with a firearm.
Federal spending plays an important role in New Mexico’s economy. What should be done to increase other economic drivers here?
Broadband, access to the internet is needed now more than ever. Working to diversify our economy through business-friendly practices and less regulation. Accessing federal law enforcement funds will help us drive down crime and encourage more retirees and businesses to relocate to New Mexico. Eliminate double taxation on social security.
Congress passed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement as a replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement. Are there any other trade initiatives you’d like to see Congress pass if you’re elected?
Newly enacted free trade agreements are working for all Americans. I would like to ensure that the commitments on the new agreements with Mexico and Canada, as well as China, and Japan are followed appropriately. We should also establish new trade agreements with the United Kingdom and European Union.
Do you favor or oppose a national single payer health system?
I oppose. We need consumer choice in the healthcare industry, free-market health care, preventive medicine, you choose your doctor with patient centered alternatives that allow for greater customer portability. Premiums, co-pays, and deductibles are too high. Competition creates the opportunity to compare prices, which will dramatically reduce health care costs.
Do you favor or oppose limits on late-term abortion, and do you believe tax dollars should or should not be used to fund abortions?
I am pro-life. New Mexico is known as the late term abortion capitol of the nation and I oppose late term abortion. We can protect babies and help women make better decisions about their health by collaborating with organizations like Care-Net and Pregnancy-Care-Centers. Taxpayer funded abortions should not be allowed.
What should be done at the federal level to address the crisis of opioid addiction? Any other drugs?
We enhance access to effective treatment, recovery services, and use of overdose-reversing drugs. Circumvent manufacturing of fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine in China and Mexico. Strengthen our understanding of the epidemic through data. Fund our U.S. Attorney’s Office, Homeland Security, DEA, and FBI, to work collaboratively with local law enforcement agencies.
Why do you want to be a member of Congress?
My goal, leave New Mexico a better place for our grandchildren. I am not a politician. Experience matters, I worked eight legislative sessions, started the first state-wide Government Corruption Division, toughened up our child abuse laws and worked with our community to pass the first human-trafficking bill for New Mexico.
Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?
Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?
Have you ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony in New Mexico or any other state? If so, explain.