John Garamendi represents California’s 8th Congressional District, which includes portions of Solano and Contra Costa Counties. He was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009.
Before coming to Congress, Garamendi had a long career in public service, first in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia, before going on to serve in the California Assembly and Senate, twice as California’s elected Insurance Commissioner, as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior under President Bill Clinton, and, later, as California’s Lieutenant Governor.
He currently sits on the on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the House Armed Services Committee. As Chairman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, which oversees more than one-third of the Department of Defense’s annual budget, Garamendi has enacted legislation to direct the military to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, to prepare all bases to withstand the effects of climate change, improve military family housing, and remove toxic substances from drinking water in and around military installations.
Garamendi has been a steadfast champion for the Council’s issues throughout his time in Congress, strongly supporting nuclear arms control and non-proliferation and regularly voting — and often leading the effort — to cut wasteful and unnecessary nuclear weapons spending from the budget. Along with three other Members of Congress who lead on these issues, he formed the bicameral Congressional Nuclear Weapons and Arms Control Working Group in 2021. The working group has been active in urging President Joe Biden to make bold decisions to reduce the size and role of the U.S. nuclear arsenal and prioritize negotiating new arms control measures with Russia, China, and other adversaries.