Rep. Gabe Vasquez to vote yes to condemn MLG’s public health order

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico Congressman Gabe Vasquez (D-02) says he is planning to vote in favor of a resolution formally condemning Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham over her public health order temporarily banning guns in public places in Bernalillo County. 

“As a legal and responsible gun owner myself, I think we don’t need to take away the rights of law-abiding citizens that that own guns in New Mexico,” Vasquez said Tuesday. 

The U.S. House Rules Committee approved the new resolution after a lengthy debate Monday. Republican Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-WA) originally proposed the largely symbolic resolution. If approved, it would only formally state the U.S. House disapproves of the governor’s action. 

While Vasquez’s plan to vote yes suggests he doesn’t support the governor’s methods, he believes the governor is taking an important stand against gun violence. 

“I do appreciate the governor being able to actually bring this conversation to the forefront, because we can’t sustain this,” he said. “There are families that are suffering in places like Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. they need to have a fair shot at living a safe life in their neighborhoods and in their communities.” 

Vasquez says any solutions aimed at addressing gun violence need to be constitutional, legal, enforceable, and have a real impact on New Mexico families. He suggests the governor’s public health order did not meet those requirements. 

New Mexico’s other two Democratic representatives – Teresa Leger Fernandez and Melanie Stansbury – both say they plan on voting against the resolution. 

“I will vote NO on the GOP’s efforts to undermine New Mexico’s executive and distract from House Republican’s complete inability to govern and pass a budget as they careen the U.S. government towards a shutdown,” Stansbury said in a statement. “Extremists in the GOP are pulling political stunts rather than addressing the needs of the American people, including the epidemic of gun violence.” 

The proposed resolution is connected to a government spending bill aimed at preventing a government shutdown at the end of the month. The House was expected to vote on the bill Tuesday before it was canceled.

Leger Fernandez participated in the committee debate Monday. She was clear she believes the resolution is distracting lawmakers from addressing the looming shutdown. 

“We have federal responsibilities to the American people, including those who are working for the federal government, relying on what the federal government needs to get done, and in states like mine that require and depend on federal action,” she said. 

While Vasquez still intends to vote yes on condemning Lujan Grisham, he agrees the proposal is wasting time from other important matters. 

“The fact that we’re even voting on this in Congress right now is a little bit…ridiculous,” he said. “When we have to keep the government open, we just can’t focus on this stuff.”