Candidates in the race for one of Idaho’s Senate seats in the United States Congress covered a wide range of issues in a debate on Monday night, with a focus on inflation, debt national and abortion.
U.S. Senator Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, is seeking his fourth term in the U.S. Senate, a seat he has held since 1999. His opponents, Democrat David Roth and independent candidate Scott Cleveland taped a debate Monday afternoon at the Idaho Public Television which aired Tuesday night due to scheduling issues. Cleveland owns an investment and brokerage firm in Eagle, and Roth is the executive director of the Bonneville Youth Development Council in Idaho Falls.
Crapo has defended many aspects of his record in Congress against both opponents, including criticism of his vote for Cleveland’s bipartisan infrastructure bill and his votes against CHIPS and Roth’s Pact Act. Cleveland said any bill that would increase the federal deficit would have to be voted down in Congress.
Crapo said he fought effectively and aggressively for Idaho principles and said he voted against all spending bills in Congress. What America needs, Crapo said, is to return to Republican-controlled government to continue the successes the country enjoyed before President Joe Biden was elected, when inflation was much lower. and crime statistics were lower.
“The solution here is to give the Republican Party and a Republican Senate control of the agenda so that we don’t continue to see Biden, (Senator Chuck) Schumer and (House Speaker Nancy) Pelosi driving these spending sprees, driving these open borders and causing all the hardships we’re talking about today,” Crapo said.
Roth said while it was important to examine the causes of inflation and the national debt, he criticized Crapo’s support for the tax cuts enacted by former President Donald Trump, who added 1, $5 trillion to the deficit over the next decade and said more should be done to invest in local communities.
Feds shouldn’t interfere in health care market, says Crapo
Candidates answered questions about health care and prescription drug costs, including Crapo’s vote against the Cut Inflation Act, which is expected to lower costs for seniors on Medicare through negotiated drug prices and at slightly lower premiums.
Crapo said he voted against the bill because it would not reduce inflation and said he consistently opposes efforts to increase federal government involvement in the care economy. health of the country. Crapo said he had his own invoice it would reduce costs without government involvement by improving opportunities for alternative drugs that would increase market competition.
Roth said that as the world’s largest purchaser of prescription drugs, the United States should exercise more power over drug pricing, and as someone with type 2 diabetes, he supports efforts to reduce the cost of insulin.
“Health care should be affordable,” Roth said. “We need the support of the Affordable Care Act…and options to lower those costs for Americans across the country.”
Cleveland said greater competition would be effective in lowering drug prices and improving quality, and said the same should be done when it comes to school choice.
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On gay rights, abortion, candidates disagree on state rights
The candidates also discussed same-sex marriage, and Crapo said he would not vote in favor of the bill that would codify same-sex marriage nationwide, saying the U.S. Supreme Court was right to define it as a matter of state rights and should remain so.
Roth said that as a member of the LGBTQ community, he would vote in favor of the bill so that all people have the same marriage rights, no matter what state they are in.
Cleveland said he’s ‘okay with gay people’ and doesn’t think gay people should face any type of discrimination in housing or employment, but he doesn’t think they should receive special treatment like celebrating gay pride month or having a rainbow flag to represent gay people. Pride.
“If we want to reduce discrimination in America, we have to treat everyone the same, including the gay community,” Cleveland said.
On abortion, the candidates were also opposed, with Crapo and Cleveland saying it’s a matter of state rights that each state should decide for itself.
“Anything that is not in the Constitution of the United States is for the state to decide,” Cleveland said.
Roth said abortion laws should be enforced consistently across the country.
“I believe that those basic rights, those rights that make us who we are as Americans are not left to the states. They have to be the same wherever we are,” Roth said. “It’s completely ridiculous that two people sitting at the moderators’ table have less rights here than they would if they were driving west for an hour. We are the United States of America, we are one country, so who you are as a person should not vary from place to place.
On affordable housing, two candidates see need to expand tax credits in Idaho
The candidates also brought up affordable housing in Idaho, and all three agreed that it was an important issue. Cleveland said the poor will always be among society, whatever we do, and social safety nets are in place with nonprofits, but he fails to see the role of the federal government in building affordable housing.
Crapo said he advocated for the expansion and strengthening the low-income housing tax credit to further encourage the construction of affordable housing.
“We need to get more capital committed in the United States to building affordable housing, and that’s exactly what this tax credit has had a wonderful track record of,” Crapo said. “I think that’s one of the most critical things we can do at this point.”
Roth said as a board member of Habitat for Humanity in Idaho Falls, he knows the problem and tax incentives need to match companies that will pay their workers a living wage to avoid making the problem worse. . He wants to see more partnerships between private companies and local governments, and tax credits for first-time buyers.
Other Idaho congressional candidates refuse to debate
The debate is the only one that will take place for the Idaho congressional seats, because Reps. Mike Simpson and Russ Fulcher, both R-Idaho, refused to participate in debates with their opponents. Simpson also declined to participate in the Republican primary debate in May.
Idaho Capital Sun reporter Clark Corbin was a member of the reporters’ panel during Monday’s debate, asking questions of the candidates.
Two other debates are also scheduled:
- At 8 p.m. MT/7 p.m. PT on October 24, the Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction debate featuring Republican Debbie Critchfield and Democrat Terry Gilbert will air live on the Idaho Public Television and streamed on YouTube.
- At 8 p.m. MT / 7 p.m. PT on October 28, the Idaho lieutenant governor’s debate featuring Republican Scott Bedke and Democrat Terri Pickens Manweiler will air live on public television. from Idaho and streamed on YouTube.
General elections will take place on November 8 and the deadline for requesting a postal vote is October 28.
To watch a recording of the debate, go to Idaho Public Television’s Youtube channel or the archived recordings. The producers of Idaho Debates will also rebroadcast the debates with Spanish subtitles for the first time, and Spanish versions will also be available online.
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