CRANFORD, NJ - While on the campaign trail in 2018 for New Jersey's 7th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, Tom Malinowski promised that if elected, he would host events where he could hear from his constituents.
On Saturday, Malinowski did just that when he held a town hall event in the Roy W. Smith Theater on the campus of Union County College in Cranford. Residents from all over the district took turns asking the congressman questions and how he felt about pressing issues not just the district faces, but whole state and country.
GREEN NEW DEAL
He referred to climate change as the most existential issue facing humanity, and that he supports the executive order Governor Murphy signed that set a target for the state to achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2050. Though his goal is to combat global warming, he has many concerns with the Green New Deal that has been proposed, mainly that it sets a goal of 100 percent clean energy in 10 years, which he finds unrealistic.
PRESIDENT TRUMP'S WALL
He stated that American's are free to debate one another on how to do border security, and in his view, the wall is a bad idea, but absolutely respects anybody who disagrees with him. He went on to say that he feels President Trump's State of Emergency for funding for the wall is unconstitutional and will be struck down in the courts.
The support for the elimination of the Electoral College has been increasing among democrats, but Malinowski said he hasn't come to a conclusion yet on how he feels. He said there are strong arguments for it because most American's would agree that the President should be the person who gets the most votes and because it has happened twice recently where that is not the case, he finds it "very troubling."
Malinowski doesn't believe that eliminating the Electoral College would disempower sparsely-populated rural states because he doesn't remember the last time presidential candidates campaigned in states like North Dakota, Montana, and Alaska because it's almost certain they are going to go one way. By eliminating the electoral college, Malinowski believes every vote would count and you would want to campaign in every state, not just ones that favor your party.
Despite the increased interest, Malinowski said it is not at the top of his list of issues he wants to work on.
THE MUELLER REPORT
Friday evening, the news reported that the Mueller Report had finally come to an end and that it was unlikely that Mueller would be recommending any charges against President Trump or his campaign.
When a member of the audience asked if Malinowski had seen or heard anything about the Mueller report, he responded by saying nobody has seen the report and that anything you hear is pure speculation. He stressed that until the report is seen, don't believe what you read.
He closed with saying that regardless of what the report says, it's a reaffirmation that our institutions are working in the country, and that it should be respected.
IMPEACHING THE PRESIDENT
He stated, "We are in a delicate moment because the Mueller report has been delivered but nobody has seen it yet." He did not give a yes or no answer, but he added that he does believe that President Trump has committed impeachable offenses.
MEDICARE FOR ALL
He said he believes that health care is a human right and that we currently have a health care cost crisis and a health care access crisis. He also said that our country provides health care in the least efficient and most expensive way.
Malinowski said he is for "Medicare Choice," which would be a medicare buy-in legislation that allows you to keep your private insurance, or you could buy into a public option.
Bernie Wagenblast of Cranford Radio conducted an interview with Congressman Malinowski following the town hall event, which you can listen to below.