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tv   Campaign 2018 New York 22nd U.S. House Debate  CSPAN  November 2, 2018 1:30am-2:31am EDT

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for ronald reagan particularly with his ideas of defeating communism, to cooperate. the worldt weekend, war i centennial. american history tv airs every weekend on c-span3. >> claudia tenney is seeking a second term against anthony brindisi. the two met earlier tonight for their last debate before the election. the race is considered a tossup. this is one hour. ♪ >> thanks to our partners who helped stage this debate. the league of women voters, the alumna chapter of the delta theta sorority, the suny-broome civic engagement center, and the binghamton university center for
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civic engagement. also, a shout out to students who have gathered for watch parties at suny-broome. you can tweet in some questions at #ny22. here are the rules. we ask our studio audience to remain quiet and to save applause until the end of the program. the questions come from the general public and as a moderator i can ask a follow-up question if i want. we will switch back and forth between the two candidates, each with one minute to answer the question. if i ask a follow-up, both will get a chance to respond. timekeepers from the league of women voters will sound the bell when a candidate goes too long. we flipped a coin and claudia tenney won the toss. she will go first. rep. tenney: i want to say thank you to the sponsors and students. this race is very important, as
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you know, and we have a clear contrast. you have me, a lifelong resident of the region, and also a business owner, somebody with a 100 rating from the business association and i am a 29 year member. i see what we need to do to improve communities through the lens of a small business owner. 98% of the people who live and work in this district work for a small business or own it, that is why i have stood up as a champion against some of the most powerful and corrupt, and some of the wealthiest people in our communities, interstate and international government. -- in our state and international government. i have led the charge. i am lowering taxes. i am pleased that as a member of congress we have been able to put their historic tax reform, giving tax cuts to 95% of the people in this district, the other 5%, the wealthiest among us, may pay a little more. regulations have rolled back. we have seen wages at a 3.1% high, larger than it has been in
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over a decade. unemployment is at its lowest rate. and we continue to bring, as a grassroots campaign and the biggest underdog in the house right now, i brought a tremendous amount of resources to this community through my strong relationships in washington, my bipartisan work, every bill i sponsor is bipartisan. and i want to caution you, you will hear from my opponent and he will talk about all the special interest money coming in. i do not know about you guys, but i have seen a lot of commercials, my opponent spending nearly $13 million on ads, all funded by a very expensive super pac's. nancy pelosi's funded super pac's with backdoor money coming from billionaires and millionaires from california to new york city, funding this campaign. it is not a grassroots organization, it is trying to create an image and trying to fool the voters into thinking that anthony brindisi has a left wing record, that somehow it is
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palatable for this center-right district. i look forward to can doing the debate. continuing the debate. mr. brindisi: thank you to all the partners who have made this happen. i have been about 12 open town hall meeting throughout the district. and the stories i've heard have been remarkable from voters. i met a father here who told me about his us on who has a rare in new deficiency and how he worries he may lose health insurance because of a pre-existing condition. i met a single mother struggling to work two jobs, has not seen a pay increase, and has student loan debt that she is buried under. i was with a dairy farmer and as we toured his farm he looked at me and said, i do not know if my farm, which has been in my family for generations, will be here next year because of the tariffs and milk prices. and i met a grandmother, who
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told me that she is surviving on her social security and medicare. these people are brought together not by their political parties, they are brought together by their desire to have their representatives in washington working for them. that is something i have done during my time on the school board and the state assembly, bringing democrats and republicans together to work on big problems and unfortunately that is not happening in washington. republicans together to work on it is not solving these problems, because washington is more concerned about their big special interest donors who are bankrolling their campaigns. take my opponent for example, she takes piles of corporate cash and votes against the interest of people in this district. she has taken thousands of dollars from big insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies, and voted to repeal the aca and kick people off their health insurance and take away protections for pre-existing conditions. she has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from banks and corporations into voted for -- and then voted for a tax bill
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that primarily benefits the wealthy. she has taken thousands from spectrum cable and other internet service providers, then she sat back and watched as our cable bills have gone up. i do not take any corporate pack money in my campaign, i take money from mostly small dollar donations, so when i go to washington the only people i have to worry about are the voters of this district. charles: thank you, appreciate both of you being here this evening. we have been collecting questions from the general public for a couple of weeks via our website and we are collecting questions tonight from our audience as well, dozens of questions as you might expect, so i will ask the candidates to stay to the time -- stay as close to the time limits as you can. i appreciate it. what gun safety measures would you advocate for to protect students, church groups, and concertgoers from gun violence? for example, would you ban bump stocks?
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rep. tenney: yes. that is not really the problem. we have tried to strengthen background checks. bipartisan legislation that passed was signed into law, called the fix nix, and that has strengthened the background checks so school violence will not happen. i also cosponsored the stop school violence act. that act actually provides resources to school districts where they can actually get new resources to protect their thresholds, to get school resource officers, help the teachers and students and parents identify those the students at risk. and there are school districts in my region that have already applied for these grants through that bill and they have already received the money and many more doing that. -- many more are doing that. we are trying to keep schools a safe. the fact is, students are a target, unfortunately. gun free zones do not help anybody but shooters and we want to make sure we protect our students and anybody vulnerable.
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mr. brindisi: we have an issue with gun violence in this country. we have seen that in the past couple weeks with the shootings in pittsburgh and kentucky, and we need to make sure we are doing everything we can to be respectful of people's second amendment rights, but also recognize we have an issue of gun violence in this country and we need commonsense reforms to cut down on gun violence. we are not strangers to gun violence here. what i would like to see is expanded background checks, an area where nine out of 10 americans agree, however those in washington cannot seem to come together to solve this problem. our biggest problem with gun violence in new york state, because we have universal background checks, happens with guns purchased legally in states to the south that have lax laws, and then they are smuggled up here, and then we have gun violence. we should have expanded background checks and we should close close loopholes. -- close those loopholes. ban bump stocks. that is where we should work together.
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and then look at other areas. mental health. i was on a school board and i know the problems we have within our district and i want to make sure that we are putting resources in place for safety and providing more counselors, so we can catch these issues before it gets too late. we have to look at how we can help our schools with some of the funding they need to make sure that schools are safe. but we have to recognize that nothing is happening in washington to solve these problems. the gun lobby has a lot of influence down there and they are not allowing bills to go forward. we should start with background checks. charles: first shot at this next question, will you reinstate the weapons ban of 1994? it expired in 2004. mr. brindisi: no. i think we have to look at where we can get the most compromise. in the area where nine out of 10 americans agree is expanded background checks. that is where we should focus. the senate has worked toward it and the house has not taken any action on those, on that
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legislation, that is where we should start. rep. tenney: yes, let's be honest, my opponent is so close on this issue. we just described some of the most breathtaking legislation on fixing background checks and it was passed in a bipartisan way. the president signed it into law. let me tell you something about his support of our second amendment rights. he claims he voted against the city tax and he claimed he was a big second amendment supporter, but now he is rolling back saying that this should be expanded upon and go nationwide. he is blaming law-abiding gun owners. no, i do not support the assault weapons ban, but this is the kind of thing you will see a duplicitous record. we are working together and we did bipartisan legislation to protect gun owners. i am very proud to have an "a" rating from the nra, and he has an "f." law-abiding gun owners want people to be safe and that guns do not get in the hands of people who would harm anybody else.
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i defend them and i think it is unfair to those who are exercising their second amendment rights, that they will be constantly attacked by people like anthony brindisi. charles: i will give you a moment to respond. a follow-up question, will you support funding to study the problem of gun violence in this country? rep. tenney: we have spent a fortune studying the violence. the nra, it was founded in new york city, and the reason it was founded was to provide education and safety for people handling firearms. so we want to spend more tax dollars to study something we already know a lot about -- i do not think that is a good use of taxpayer money, but what we should do is invest in schools and places that we need to be safe. we have a society that is not as safe as it used to be. when i grew up we had shooting club. now we have to worry about those things, unfortunately, and we need to protect our students and anybody in vulnerable places. look at airports and everywhere we travel. we have to be careful, people
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want to do harm, whether it is using acid, and that is the newest thing in europe, or whether it is guns, box cutters, we have a dangerous world. mr. brindisi: my opponent made the claim during the last debate that i wanted to take this act nationwide, but has not provided evidence of that. i never said that. i support the second amendment and i support individuals and their rights to bear arms my did not vote for the safe act. i support expanded background checks and banning bump stocks. the fix nics bill does not fix the loopholes and she is not interested in doing anything on this issue at this time. but we need to make sure we are keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, people who are mentally ill, people who commit domestic abuse and are convicted of domestic violence -- that is where we should start. there is bipartisan support for these measures, but unfortunately my opponent will never vote for them. charles: we will move on, wealth and equity.
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you get first shot, mr. brindisi. -- what provisions or protections would you like to see in a bill? mr. brindisi: i would never have supported a tax cut where 83% of the benefits go to the wealthiest individuals in this country, major corporations, fortune 500 companies. that is helping to grow the wealth cap in this country. gap in this country. while people are struggling working two or three jobs, they have not seen wages go up. that is my complaint about this tax bill, we have wage stagnation in this country, people earning less than they were 16 years ago, $4000 less, you to have not seen wages go up. -- they have not seen wages go up. one study was in "newsweek" and looked at all of the fortune 500 companies and they looked at the workers for the companies, only 4% of them saw an increase in their wages after the tax cut. meanwhile, we see big companies, fortune 500 companies, spending almost $1 trillion on stock
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buybacks. that is not helping folks. we need to have tax cuts that will help working families, the middle class, tax cuts that go to small businesses and family farms, not the big donors on wall street and not the corporate special interest groups. that is what is helping to widen the income gap in our country. rep. tenney: what you are seeing is a person who is reading off memorized talking points from nancy pelosi. you can tune into any debate across the nation and hear the same thing said. let me tell you about the tax cuts. i traveled around the 50 -- around at least 50 businesses and i have yet to meet an individual who is not getting a tax cut, except wealthy people, they are not benefiting from the tax cuts because we took the lifeline away from wealthy people. we limited the state and local tax deduction, so the wealthiest do not have their loopholes that they had for a long time.
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95% of the people will end up with a tax cut and 5% of the wealthiest will get it. but this is what a slick lawyer says. 83% are not getting a tax cut, that is only at the end of 10 years if the democrats take power and they will back the tax -- they roll back the tax cuts, which is their intention. they want to raise taxes again. we are finally seeing the quality, we are finally seeing our region, which has suffered for many years from the loss of jobs, and record migration because of liberal policies that my opponent voted for, raising your taxes and our property taxes and sales taxes are among the highest in the nation. he talks about corporate tax cuts -- let me tell you something about oneida county. he voted for this corrupt casino deal which took away $1.8
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billion for a tax giveway to ray's company -- a casino that is taking property tax away from hard-working citizens in our community who pay taxes, and now what do we have? we have the highest combined property and sales tax in the nation in our community because we have been eroding away at our tax base. so when it comes to talking points, you can listen to him complain about the tax cuts, but trust me, if you elect him and the democrats take over they will do anything they can to raise taxes, and they already have. you are sitting in one of the highest taxed states in the nation in new york. that is not wealthy quality. charles: you get the next question first. mr. brindisi: can i respond? there are some point she made. charles: you will have to squeeze it in somewhere else. mr. brindisi: i can do 30 seconds really quickly. charles: i do not think so. we will have some much information flowing here tonight that we need to keep on track. so getting back to the next question, would you support a living wage model based upon geographic location?
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rep. tenney: i think the biggest fallacy, and my opponent voted for this, is to force minimum wage to such a high level that our surrounding states, surrounding states have a lower wage. we are right across the border from pennsylvania, the weight is $7.70. -- the wage is $7.70. governor cuomo came up with a crazy scheme of a $12 wage, $13 wage, and new yorkers were divided by class. it depends on what part of the state you are in and you will have a different wage status. and the first time, my opponent voted for this, for the first time in many years, at least in my lifetime, whenever the state is supposed to raise minimum wage we've always given exemption to agriculture, our farmers who are struggling to compete where the government determines the price of milk, they have high property taxes, high expenses, because of the owners regulations in new york state, all the things he has voted for. that is his record in the state assembly.
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and now small farmers, they are also business owners, so when you look at where minimum wage should be is the tax cuts are actually working now. this is an employee's market and my opponent keeps saying, wages are down, but if he stops reading newsweek and he takes a look at what the department of labor said, it says wages are at their highest rate in a decade, so people are finally seeing their wages go up. employees have higher wages. we have a market for employees, with more jobs available via -- available than people to fill them. so they are going up organically, the way they should be, without the government imposition. this helps small businesses, brings the wages up, and it is what we need. we need higher wages. not to force government. throughed higher wages an organic measure not through
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forced government. charles: you have two minutes. mr. brindisi: if my opponent did town halls and listened to voters she would learn wages are not going up for many people, but she does not do that. i did do that. i have talked to thousands of people who have not seen their wages go up. i support minimum wage and i support increasing it. she does not support a minimum wage or livable wage for people in this community and i think that is wrong. she talks about new york state. she was an assemblywoman. in 2016 she voted against a $4 billion tax cut that helps 6 million new yorkers. she voted against lowering the corporate tax rate in new york state. she voted against a $414 million property tax freeze. she voted two dozen times to raise the sales tax in this day as a member ofe the new york state assembly. she likes to point to her record in washington but it is not a good record, and if she spoke with people in the district she would learn health premiums are going up. going up because of her vote in that tax bill to repeal the individual mandate. in this district alone, premiums for health insurance are going up anywhere from $650 to $2500.
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and that is not it. let's look at some of the other companies she has taken money from. spectrum cable is raising your bills 40% after they just got a $9 billion tax cut. take a look at other companies that did well under the tax bill. pfizer, the pharmaceutical industry got $50 billion in tax relief, so what do they do, they turn around and cut their programs for alzheimer's and parkinson's, laying off 300 people. we need tax relief geared toward people in this community that will take the extra money and spend it in their local communities, and help all of us. hoping big donors on wall street, helping corporate special interest groups funding her campaign, that is not helping people here. people here need tax relief, we do not need more of the same in washington. and the farm bureau, i have been very proud to be in their circle of friends. i'm one of their top supporters and part of the agricultural policies every single year i have been in office. charles: i will ask my first follow-up. i heard you say you support
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a minimum wage, what about a living wage? mr. brindisi: absolutely, people should be able to live, work and make a good living. unfortunately, what is happening with the money coming back through the big corporations is they are not using it to actually increase wages of their workers. that is why people are working two or three jobs to get by, trying to struggle to keep up with expenses going up. like i mentioned, health insurance, prescription drug costs, everywhere i go people are talking about the high cost of prescription drugs. what are they doing in washington? absolutely nothing, because the pharmaceutical industry does not want them to do anything. you are doing well under the tax cut but drug costs keep going up. we have to stop the monopolies around the country that are contributing to high drug costs and we need to let medicare -- need to allow medicare to negotiate with these drug companies. these are policies that the president championed, but i would like to see them while he -- see them connected while i in
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am office. rep. tenney: wages should be created by economic growth, which is what we are seeing. this is like groundhog day all over again, the same lies. everybody should understand this, i am a small business owner and i run on cutting taxes. i have never voted to raise any tax either my six years in the state assembly or my years in congress, it is against my core principles. if you think your taxes have gone down, i just got my property freeze check, the week before election day you get that check and my taxes went up $300 and i got a check for $54. the tax cuts he is talking about, i do not know anybody who got a tax cut. he is all against corporations and he says i voted against corporate tax cuts. these are part of a budget bill. a budget bill with gimmicks from governor cuomo. he ran secret fundraisers, because god forbid he would come into this district and it does a
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$25,000 plate dinner here, like he has done in york city with governor cuomo. charles: we have to move on. we are try just they within the time limits. it really does help. you all watching and listening, this is the 22nd congressional district debate. i'm charles compton. if you have a question for these candidates, you can send it to us on our facebook page or tweet it at #ny22. i believe it is your turn. i kind of lost track. we are moving over to childcare right now. a good childcare facility is hard to find and very expensive. meanwhile, care providers are underpaid and their centers struggle to pay bills. what do you propose to fix this crisis? rep. tenney: this is an issue near and dear to my heart. i know what it is like to be a single mother. at the same time i was raising
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my son i was running a business, and i was also caring for my parents. my father was in a wheelchair and going blind and my mother had multiple health problems. i took care of them and i took care of my son. i am proud to say my son is a graduate of the u.s. naval academy and he is serving this country as a captain in the u.s. marine corps. i understand the plight of a lot of working people, that is why i -- which is why i brought the advisor of president trump here to talk about childcare. we doubled the childcare credit that parents can get in the tax cuts and jobs act, we also added an exemption, so people who are like me and many others, who are taking care of their parents while they raise children, that credit was given to them as well. so a lot of good things we can do in that area. i voted to strengthen a lot of these things when i was at the state level, because this is a state issue. we voted to make sure childcare centers are protected and it
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comes through a number of things we have done on the national level. people love to say that everything that happens on the national level has not been good. my opponent says not bipartisan. let me talk about a bipartisan effort that i led with david bradley about community service grants and block the grants for community development. they were zeroed out in the president's budget. i advocated to bring them back and i lead the nation with cumbersome and tom cole and others and we were able to bring resources back to help community action agencies, to help seniors with meals on wheels, to help fund childcare centers. and to get a public health order which i received earlier this year from this region. there are many important issues we are working on to make sure that our children, especially our neediest parents, are getting what they deserve. charles: i am hearing some audience noise. i will remind the audience to remain quiet. we are here to listen to the candidates tonight. i appreciate your help on that front. good childcare is hard to find and very expensive. meanwhile, care providers are underpaid and centers struggle
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to pay the bills. what do you propose to do? mr. brindisi: i was part of a league of an anti-poverty initiative where we were able to secure some funding for a poverty initiative and we did focus groups talking to communityall over the about what were the biggest needs and number one was childcare. i can tell you as a state assemblyman two of the main concerns i have heard when it comes to lifting barriers to get people out of poverty is the lack of access to child care and the lack of access to public transportation. we need to make these kinds of investments at the federal level, providing for more childcare, providing for transportation. i get phone calls all the time in my office from single mothers who tell me that i was offered a job and if i take the job i will not qualify for my subsidy anymore so i cannot take the job. or somebody who calls into says, -- calls my office and says, i got a job in the business park, but unfortunately the bus does not line up with the shift i have to work.
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so we need to make investments in childcare and public transportation, and we need help from the federal level to do that. one big barrier that will prevent this from happening is now we have to take on a whole new load of debt because of the tax bill that was passed, that primarily benefits major corporations and the wealthiest individuals. they added almost $2 trillion to the debt that will hinder our ability to spend on infrastructure, public transportation, childcare, just to fund a tax cut for the wealthy individuals. and to pay for it, what are they talking about already, they want to go after social security and medicare. that is next on the chopping block if claudia tenney gets reelected. we need to make sure those programs are in place and protected. we need to invest in childcare and public transportation. charles: next question. how do you plan to help college students and their parents?
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question they vote for you -- why should they vote for you? mr. brindisi: i have been doing a number of meetings across the colleges in the 22nd district and we have great colleges and universities across our area. we have sunni broome here, wonderful colleges here that prepare young people find jobs and the top concerns i hear about our student loan debt. -- about is our student loan debt. that is one of the biggest problems we are facing in this country. it takes on average 21 years for somebody to repay student loan debt. it is the second highest consumer debt in our nation. what can congress do about it? congress can allow for refinancing of federal loans, but they are not doing that. compass can offer more pell grants. congress can set the interest rates lower. unfortunately, what is happening now with our education secretary, betsy devos, who i think is the worst education secretary, she is actually rolling back a lot of the regulations that were put in place under the obama administration that capped the fees that lenders can charge on top of interest payments.
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that needs to stop as well. the reason none of these things are happening is because big lenders in the financial services industry, they are making a lot of money off of student loan debt. people like my opponent who have been on the services committee have been silent on the issue, they are not interested in this part of the financial sector because it is who is funding their campaigns. that we must do more to encourage folks struggling with a student debt, we have to put programs in place like what i worked on at the state level to incentivize more career and technical education programs, so young people coming out of high school can get into an apprenticeship program or perhaps a two-year school, because that is where the good paying jobs are now. jobs that require a little more jobs that require a little more than a high school diploma, but less than a four year degree. that we people are getting into the workforce and they are not straddled with student debt. charles: what can you do to support a college education and why should college students and
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their parents vote for you? rep. tenney: i feel like i have listened to this broken record over and over. i cannot believe it. look, we have -- i graduated from college 35 years ago and we have spent 30 years to make college more affordable. it is more expensive than ever. when i graduated, it was $12,000 a year at a private college, now it costs about $73,000 a year. we have not made college more affordable. what he's trying to do and claiming to do, i have already done. we have lowered interest rates and increased pell grants. we've advanced 21st century learning. when it comes to career and technical education, even before he was elected to the assembly in a special election in 2011, i put in a local
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diploma and cte program that he put on and make sure i wasn't given credit for because that's how things are done in the state assembly and i actually supported tuition assistance programs and increasing 21st century learning centers. what did my opponent do? he voted for illegal immigrants to get tuition assistance programs to take away from parents and citizens of this state so illegal immigrants get advantages over them. there's a lot of other indications and a lot of other things he has done to help illegal immigrants over our citizens here. we have done a lot to help education and try to make it more affordable. i think people should vote for me because it is common sense. the president has put in a record amount of money and career technical education. one of the idea started in one of my many roundtable discussions. i have had dozens of town halls,
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hundreds of local events, hundreds of meetings with people, thousands of constituents met, so his claims of his echo chamber town halls with his democratic assembly campaign committee or whatever -- charles: we need to stop, but you get the next question. it's a tweet from kim gonzalez to she wants know what your solution to the ongoing opioid crisis that's plaguing much of the congressional district. rep. tenney: it's a really serious problem in this region. unfortunately in this part of the country, in the 22nd district, 127 people die each year of opioid overdoses. we worked really hard am a we've done numerous roundtable discussions around the region. i did that when i was a member of the stated simply. we been working with caregivers, parents, addicts, from all angles, trying to come up with ways to reform this and come up with preventative measures, and education.
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the president has put in a record amount of funding to try to solve this issue. it has been a key component of my two years not only in the state assembly but also as a member of congress. it is a serious issue, but there are other and continuing issues on the horizon. were dealing with the methamphetamine crisis that's coming on the tail of this. i think the president has been a leader on this and he really recognizes that we need to do something about this. i've had two neighbors of mine whose children have died of overdoses from opioids. it knows no class, no boundaries, it can happen to anyone. it's preventing people from getting back to work. we need to secure the border. i have cosponsored bills on not allowing illegal fentanyl to get across the border. talked about securing the border and making sure were not allowing these illegal drugs and drug traffickers to come into our country and harm people in our communities.
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it's a problem we been working hard to solve. it's a sensitive issue and it been devastating to a lot of people. mr. brindisi: it is a major problem. it would have been made a lot worse if the repeal of the affordable care act had gone through, which my opponent supported. that would have removed medicare expansion. independent experts will tell you that would have worsen the problem. we need to invest in prevention and treatment. one of the things i hear most from folks is that there's not enough access to treatment programs. we should be finding these treatment programs, especially in underserved areas where it is harder to come by these treatment programs. and to get into our schools and talk about the dangers of drugs. we need to get tough on the drug companies. they turned a blind eye to this epidemic for years. manufacturers of these painkillers did nothing at all
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except continue to push them through their sales force, to doctors, lying about the addictive qualities of these pills. and the distributors as well as there was a 60 minutes on that looked at one particular distributor and how they were sending millions of painkillers into this little community in west virginia. 500 people in this town, knowing that something was going on. they were being sold and then abused. we've got to get tough those distributors as well. she wants to talk about prevention and treatment. i wouldn't like to have seen her vote for a bill that a congressman supported in the capital district that would have provided $1 million to fight this epidemic. instead, she votes for a tax cut where a billion dollars of that tax cut goes to the koch brothers, two of her biggest donors. i just asked what is more important right now.
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charles: we need to talk about recreational pot. should the federal government allow new york to legalize? mr. brindisi: i think it should be up to the state. rep. tenney: i worry that the addiction problems and whether that is something we should be doing. it is a state's issue and it will be coming up on the ballot, possibly in new york. let me talk about the drug companies. his law firm is suing drug companies through the county, they have a contract, and most personal injury lawyers and ambulance chasers like my opponent get 33% of the cut. his firm is getting 40% of the cut for going after the drug companies. let me be honest, this is something i didn't want to bring up, but his partner and mentor has had five felony drug
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trafficking charges against him that he pled to a misdemeanor so he wouldn't lose his license and so he wouldn't have to face jail time. this is the same person who has some kind of contract with their county government to shakedown drug companies and make a profit off people in a very sensitive issue. i've stood up on this issue against the media and said anyone doing this should be doing it for free instead of taking resources from our community and taxpayers, and or ur county government can handle it. they have tons of lawyers who can handle these cases. mr. brindisi: it's a case where our law firm has been hired by several counties to sue drug manufacturers so they can get money back to these counties to provide treatment programs that are desperately needed throughout upstate new york right now. shame on you, congresswoman. stop resorting to name-calling and personal attacks. stick to the issue. let's talk about your record of taking money from big drug companies and turning a blind eye to this issue for many years.
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i'm going after the drug companies, making sure they are accountable and providing programs that are desperately needed, as opposed to taking money from them which you have been doing, taking money from pfizer, a company that just had to settle a lawsuit for their role in the opioid crisis. i would love to go against these big corporate interest, especially those pharmaceutical industries that have been taking advantage of people. i will go against them any day. you have not shown the ability to do so. rep. tenney: this is public record that his partner and mentor, a member of the firm, was charged with five felony drug trafficking charges. he pled guilty to a misdemeanor to avoid jail time and to avoid having to lose his law license. this is a guy who has a contract with the government to talk about all these donors that i supposedly have. this is a guy funded by billionaires from california to
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new york city, spending a record amount to buy the seat of a guy with a left wing, radical voting record, who is more liberal than richard gottfried, who holds a 25 conservative rating. he is supporting socialists and trying to fool the voters by putting this person into this district. that's what this is all about. $13 million. you can't tell me that all these ads you are seeing over and over, it's absurd. george soros, nancy pelosi. charles: we have to move on to health care. when we get to the closing statements, if you have any further response you can squeeze it in there as well. this is ny 22, a league of women voters debate. both candidates in new york's 22nd congressional race are with
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us. i also welcome the folks tuning in to tv and radio and those viewers watching tonight on c-span. let's go ahead and talk about health. i'm trying to remember whose turn it is to go first. there is a large population of women who still do not have adequate access to reproductive care. what are your thoughts on the disparities and how would you minimize that? mr. brindisi: the first thing we need to do in washington is. the attacks on the portable. we need to make sure we are making health care accessible and affordable to millions in this country who are going without health care right now. the affordable care act has been under a two-year assault to try to take away essential health benefits like maternity care, like drug treatment programs, to strip away protections that were put in place under the affordable care act for people with pre-existing conditions. 40,000 people in this
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congressional district would have lost their health insurance had that bill become law. 289,000 people in this congressional district who suffer from pre-existing conditions would have been under threat of losing their health insurance if her vote went through, a bill that the president called mean because it stripped away protections for pre-existing conditions. let's look for ways to fix the affordable care act. let's start by advertising these enrollment periods. you can sign-up up today to get on the exchanges. let's look for ways to prevent the federal government from allowing these junk plans to get on the insurance market that do not cover pre-existing conditions. let's look for ways to continue to make health care more affordable and stop the attacks, that the subsidies go to the lower income individuals that were guaranteed under the
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affordable care act, tackled the prescription drug issue. that is an area that is driving up premiums right now. i appreciate what the president's campaign talked about allowing medicare to negotiate with drug companies. that would save our country $240 billion. we had to make it easier for generics to get to market so we have more competition out there. let's not continue to attack the affordable care act. a study just done by the kaiser foundation shows that if they had just let the affordable care act work, premiums would have been lower for everybody. rep. tenney: i can't believe anyone who could stand there who wants to be a credible legislator at any level and say they are attacking the affordable care act, therefore it's not working. the affordable care act, otherwise known as obamacare, is imploding and destroying our communities across new york state. we have the highest health care
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in any state other than alaska in this country. what we were trying to do with the act is save our hospitals, save the vast majority of the people in our communities, not just in new york but across the country, are not getting health care. you are taking health care away from everyone. 331 million people in the united states, only 8 million got access to care. we have all kinds of people spending enormous amounts of money for premiums and enormous amounts of money for deductibles. they have a nice little insurance card but they had no access to their doctor. they have no access to any affordable program, and thank god we took away the individual mandate, which was literally a tax that went from an individual to the federal government. it never went to insurance
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companies or anything to help with the cost of health care. we came up with a solution, and the president did not call it mean, we amended the bill that he called mean and we fixed it. we came up with a guarantee for pre-existing conditions. i co-authored the bill that guarantees insurance company shall not discriminate against anyone with pre-existing conditions. not only that, they must cover anyone with pre-existing conditions. but we did is, we didn't put that on the backs of the regular taxpayers and all the people that are getting screwed in this community because of the implosion of the aca. >> the republicans had a chance to fix it, it didn't happen. why not? rep. tenney: we voted on a party line basis. the democrats don't want to do anything to help people with health care. charles: i caution the audience to remain quiet. rep. tenney: he goes around the community claiming he's doing town halls and all that stuff. he is not talking to everyday
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citizens who are getting killed by health care costs. there is stagnation in wages because it is a payroll deduction. people cannot afford to even go to a doctor. huge amounts come out of their paychecks. i have a small business. our rates are going up enormously every year because the affordable care act has not been repealed. we have to repeal obamacare and replace it with a patient driven system. his proposal is medicare for all. if your ups, you will lose your health care and get in line behind illegal immigrants, those people coming up in the caravan to get health care ahead of all of us. mr. brindisi: that's get away from the scare tactics and talk facts. the reason premiums are going up, it's because of the repeal of the individual mandate in the tax bill. one study that looked at this
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district, premiums are going up from $650 to 2500 dollars, because of her attempts to repeal the affordable care act. i'm glad you mentioned hospitals. all the hospitals in this congressional district were against your vote to repeal the affordable care act. you got to talk to them to learn that. aarp was against it because you were going to impose a higher premium on individuals over 50 years old. it was john mccain, republican, who stood up and gave a thumbs down that killed that bill because he knew it was bad for patients, it was bad for individuals with special needs, bad for people with pre-existing conditions, bad for senior citizens. let's get back to way to work on bipartisan solutions to fix the affordable care act. i don't want to see anyone lose their health insurance. charles: i will give you another two minutes. rep. tenney: he is talking about attempts to repeal. the problem is, we have to repeal. when he's talking about all these pre-existing conditions we
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are not covering, of course we are. the hospitals were dependent on obamacare with disproportionate payments. they would have to give those up because of the repeal of the affordable care act. everyone didn't get it. we had to give the hospitals back their subsidies. the hospitals are not getting a fair share of what they should've gotten out of the act. i speak with the hospitals on a regular basis throughout the entire time we are trying to repeal obamacare. we have worked with them closely. they know how damaging and harmful the affordable care act is. his only solution is medicare for all, which will bankrupt new york state. the sponsor of the legislation has voted for this four times. the sponsor gets up on the floor every single time the bill came on the floor and says it will
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only cost the taxpayers of new york $92 billion in new taxes each year. that is the sponsor. $150 billion in new taxes. can you imagine if we actually imposed $92 billion in new taxes on the taxpayers in new york? my opponent said i voted for this four times in the new york state assembly. i support medicare for all. he stands up in the town hall and says i support medicare for all. when he was confronted in the debate last week, he said it's ok for new york, but i don't know if i support it on the national level. this is a guy that is flip-flopping all over the place. he is pandering to convince you his far left record is something supportable. charles: the last two minutes on health care. mr. brindisi: we need to be looking for bipartisan solutions.
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there's lots of ideas to shore up the affordable care act and stop those attacks so we can make sure getting health care to folks who cannot afford it and making it accessible to everyone in this country. we are not going to do that by turning the clock back on the affordable care act like my opponent wants to do. i know it is popular with the insurance companies that fund her campaign. we really need to look at what is best for patients and is different. the hospitals were against it. it would have bankrupted hospitals in our community who are major employers in many of our counties across the congressional district. it would have taken medicaid funding away from our school districts that have to serve students with disabilities. i tend the subcommittee on students with special needs in the state assembly. one of our biggest fears was opposing repeal of the horrible care act because medicaid reimbursement goes to her school districts, without that those students with disabilities would not be getting their services. it was a heartless bill that
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would take away protections for pre-existing conditions. it would take away the essential benefits like maternity treatment and the emergency room visits. we should not resort to personal attacks and name-calling, things my opponent loves to do. how do we bring democrats and republicans together to fix some of these problems. charles: what about discrimination toward transgender and gender nonconforming people? rep. tenney: i was one of the few people that supported the trans-genders in the military and i voted against the amendment that would eliminate them and not make them able to serve in a military. i thought it was something that should be left up to our secretary of defense in pursuing a policy. i think it should be done on a case-by-case basis. if someone is unable to meet the readiness standard to serve in our military, i want to make sure i defend them.
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i cosponsored in a bipartisan way, every bill is bipartisan, even know my opponent likes to say we don't together. we work together to endeavor to put bipartisan legislation out, like all my bills. to protect discrimination against people who are transgender, or anyone who has any kind of sexual orientation. i have been a leader on that in the republican party and i've taken a lot of heat for it, but i'm very proud to stand of my vote. i think it is important that we respect all people, wherever they come from. i think the whole discrimination against anyone based on race or gender, and class i think is unfortunate in our communities, and i have stood up for those people. mr. brindisi: i have supported
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the gender expression, not n discrimination act that she has voted against at the state level. we need to put protections in place at the federal level, protecting people from discrimination. it's 2018, we need to move past this. i wish you would live up to that call for civility on this campaign. unfortunately, she has resorted to a lot of personal attacks and name-calling. we need to try to fix some of these problems we are facing in this country, and that's what i would do. charles: one minute each, sorry for that. as a black man, i have been struck by the absence of people of color related to the ads running this season. how can i be assured issues important to people color is a priority for either candidate? mr. brindisi: it is certainly a priority for me and i've done town halls in places like utica, trying to reach out to voters wherever they are. we have problems in this
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country. i talk a lot about criminal justice reform, things i have supported at the state level to try to end the era of mass incarceration we are facing in this country and make sure we're not punishing people for lower-level drug offenses and throwing them in jail for the rest of their lies with the criminal record so it's harder for them to get into school or get a job. there is a lot of bipartisan support for criminal justice reform at the federal level, an area where a lot of democrats and republicans agree. that is where we have to start, leading by example, focusing on jobs, job training programs in the inner-city, building on initiatives i worked on like the career and technical education, to expand those interested in making sure people are prepared for the kind of jobs that are out there right now. lifting everyone up in our country. rep. tenney: i think he is right, there is a lot of discrimination against people of color and people who are different in many ways.
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i've spent my life trying to help people who have been discriminated against. my opponent says i've somehow been running attack ads. i don't have $13 million in ads. i will have sustained $32 million in attacks and smears and bullying, and as a woman, i have stood up to these people. i've stood up to wealthy and powerful people in my community and my opponent has not. i am in solidarity with people who are struggling with discrimination and victims of bullying. not only from my opponent but from people who don't really like to have women in office. charles: it is time for closing statements. we are little ahead of time so i will give you guys a minute and half for each closing statement. before the program began, we
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flipped a coin and it was decided that claudia tenney should go first. rep. tenney: i just want to thank our audience and sponsors for this debate, for a lively discussion. we are getting to the end of the line and people need to make decisions. this is a decision about voting for someone who has an authentic, independent record, like i do, who stood up to the most powerful people against millions of dollars in smear campaign coming from billionaires in california, to mayor bloomberg who wants to confiscate your guns, to nancy pelosi wants to raise your taxes. i'm the first person to ever stand up to sheldon silver and call for his resignation. sadly, my opponent supported sheldon silver and he still voted for him for speaker. he voted for him after he was hauled off in handcuffs after he was indicted.
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he faces a jail sentence now. my opponent has sided with some of the richest and most powerful people. he is denouncing super pac's. he is running with super pac money. he is putting this money into nancy pelosi's super pac. don't trust him, don't believe him. he will side against the president, we will spend the next two years if you vote for him talking about impeachment and rolling back the progress we've made in our communities. i urge you to vote for someone like me who is independent, who has always stood up to the most powerful people in our communities and has an independent record. thank you so much, i appreciate your vote. mr. brindisi: sometimes i think my opponent thinks she is running against sheldon silver or nancy pelosi, trying to distract from her failed record, a record of standing with
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corporate special interest groups, hedge fund managers, people who are funding her campaign versus our record. 85% of our donations average $25. i wish she would support me in a constitutional amendment to overturn citizens united so we can get some of the special interest money out of politics. but she will never do that because those are the folks that are funding her campaign. the truth is i have always been independent. i led the charge to out sheldon silver from his role as speaker. i've stood up to cuomo and i've said repeatedly i'm not supporting pelosi for speaker. i'm going to do what john f. kennedy said. we should not be looking for the democratic or republican answer. we need to be looking for the right answer, whether it's a democratic or republican idea, i don't care. if it's a good idea, i'm going to support it. we need more of that in washington right now. unfortunately, with people like
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claudia tenney in office, we will never get that. we have to turn away from folks who name-call and and use fear tactics to divide us. it's time to bring our country together again, and i'm asking for your support this november. charles: time's up. thank you for joining us here this evening. [applause] this week on washington journal, we are looking at battleground states. races incompetitive the midterm election. minnesota, new york, california, and florida. join us for a live campaign 2018 call in. tomorrow we will bring you a memorial service for the late washington post columnist jamal
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khashoggi. live from washington dc at 10:00 a.m. eastern. >> sunday on q&a. >> seven years ago, the people of the united states set out on what they thought was a great liberal campaign. somewhere along the line, we lost the object. of wendellraphy wilkie. >> here was an internationalist, several libertarian. civil rights convictions that would have matched in obama perhaps. here was a man who was a liberal. accessible tome, the role of government in the economy.
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only to a great degree. i thought all the things about him were appealing. there is a part where we have roosevelt asking him to consider being his vice president. wilkie says no. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span. illinois 13th congressional district, incumbent rodney davis and under one hour. >> from the university of illinois, a debate between candidates for the 13th congressional district. brought to you by illinois public media.


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