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Carbajal, Bacon visit Vandenberg, discuss bipartisan solutions to national security, gun violence

Congressman Salud Carbajal (D-CA 24th District) met with Congressman Don Bacon (R-NE 2nd District) at Vandenberg Air Force Base on Thursday to discuss bipartisan solutions to gun violence, national security, space forces, and more.

The Gun Violence Restraining Order Act is one of their key priorities.

“It’s a bill that allows law enforcement to work with individual families who come across a family member who is a danger to themselves, or somebody else,” explained Carbajal. “Guns are taken away temporarily from someone.”

But not before due process in court, the 24th Congressional District congressman added. The visit also provided insight on space relations.

“Today we saw the intelligence – can’t go into detail – of how Russia and China are weaponizing space,” explained Bacon.

The U.S is dependent on space for navigation and intelligence communications, and Bacon said he wants to ensure we can defend ourselves in space.

Both congressmen have also worked together on bills ensuring firefighters protections, like the Federal Firefighters Fairness Act of 2017.

“To make sure that our federal firefighters have the same protections as state or local firefighters and I was a co-sponsor in that bill as well,” said Bacon.

Military widows or widowers rights have also been at the forefront.

“We passed a bill – the president signed it – that made sure our widows and widowers could always get on base, could always have expanded access to the commissary,” the Nebraska representative continued.

Carbajal and Bacon also shared concerns over president Donald Trump’s recent decision to pause military exercises with South Korea and its impact on the country’s national security.

“I’m actually quite concerned that president Trump is going in that direction,” Carbajal said. “The Secretary of Defense has expressed concerns about not being able to continue those exercises.”

“I applaud the fact that we’re talking to Kim Jong-un, I think it’s right because a war with North Korea would be…over a million people would die,” Bacon explained. “But I would say, until the North Koreans actually show tangible progress on their nuclear program, then we should maintain our exercises [with South Korea].”

The Vandenberg Air Force Base visit on Thursday is an ongoing effort between both representatives to find common ground. Congressman Salud Carbajal visited Congressman Bacon’s District in Nebraska last May.

“We share an agriculture industry and other industries that are very similar,” said Bacon.

On Wednesday, they also toured Cal Poly’s California Cybersecurity Institute (CCI) to discuss the progress of the program as well as share language signed into law this month in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

On Thursday, the representatives are also touring UC Santa Barbara’s California Nanosystems Institute and the Institute for Collaborative Technology, which is funded through the U.S. Army. They will then travel to Montecito for a brief tour and site visit to areas impacted most by the January 9 mud and debris flow.

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