Q&A: 1st Congressional District Candidate Michelle Garcia Holmes
- NAME: Michelle Garcia Holmes
- POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
- OCCUPATION: Former chief of staff for the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, retired child abuse detective
- CITY OF RESIDENCE: Bernalillo
- RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Served 8 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 justice in policing legislation introduced in Congress recently after protests following George Floyd’s death?
JIP Act was drafted by liberal congress members that did not work across the aisle. It lacks proper protections for citizens and officers, police reform needed to ensure officers have the training, accreditation, policies and tools needed to do their job to combat crime in our cities safely and effectively.
What is your opinion of the use of federal law enforcement officers in operation such as Operation Legend in which additional officers were sent to Albuquerque?
These additional resources will provide critical-aid Albuquerque needs to fight violent crime. Albuquerque is ranked one of the 10 most dangerous cities in the nation. The special agents in collaboration with local law enforcement can resolve and meet head on the drug trafficking and violent crime challenges we are facing.
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 initial stimulus relief funds. Each phase was distributed to those in need. The priority: to fund, hospitals, vaccine research and development, small business loans, financial and nutritional assistance, to name a few. The monies have been effective in addressing our nation’s needs with PPE 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 individuals’ 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?
We have abundant wind and solar which we can advance. But a balance keeps costs down, I support energy sources like natural gas, petroleum and nuclear. New Mexico can be the energy leader of the nation while protecting our environment because these energy sectors provide education revenue and good-paying jobs.
Fracking bans have been introduced in Congress by Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren… 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 fracking 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?
Sensible legislation will modernize our immigration policies and help address many immigration problems and needs. Congress must stop harmful immigration policies and start pursuing fair and effective solutions for our immigration system. We must resolve DACA (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 to increase security?
No, securing the nation’s borders is extremely important, human and drug trafficking must be stopped. 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 of illegal migration, drug and human trafficking have on our resources and citizens.
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 the United States Constitution and will always defend our 2nd Amendment. I will always 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?
Working to diversify our economy through business-friendly practices and less regulation. Broadband, access to the internet is needed now more than ever. 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 (USMCA), 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?
Oppose, it is expensive for consumers. Choice in the health care industry, free-market health care, preventative medicine, you choose your doctor with patient-centered alternatives that allow for customer portability reduces cost. Premiums, prescriptions, copays, and deductibles are too high. Portability creates the opportunity for competition, which will dramatically reduce 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?
New Mexico is reputed as the late-term-abortion capitol of the nation; I am pro-life and oppose late-term abortion. Taxpayer dollars should not be used to fund abortions. We must protect children and help women make better decisions about their health with consultation and collaboration with organizations like Care Net and pregnancy care centers.
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, Drug Enforcement Administration, and FBI, to work collaboratively with local law enforcement agencies.
Why do you want to be a member of Congress?
I have HOPE for New Mexico. Today we are in crisis and must unify on common-sense legislation that works for the people. Experience matters; I worked eight legislative sessions, started a Government Corruption Division, toughened up our child-abuse laws and worked with our community to pass our first Human-Trafficking Bill.
1. Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?
2. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?
3. 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?