Republican Congressman David Young and his Democratic challenger, Cindy Axne, both say they favor hiring more agents and using drones to patrol some areas along the southern border. But the two quarrelled about another immigration-related issue tonight during a debate broadcast on KMA Radio.
“If we lose this seat and Nancy Pelosi becomes speaker, their agenda is basically to have a borderless society and to get rid of ICE,” Young said, referring to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
Axne responded during her next speaking turn: “I have never once said that I would abolish ICE…I don’t think scare tactics are an appropriate way to address these issues.”
This summer, a group of House Democrats introduced a bill to abolish the agency and appoint a commission to examine how asylum seekers are handled at the southern border. During tonight’s debate, Young, Axne and Libertarian Party candidate Bryan Jack Holder all expressed opposition to the policy of separating children from parents crossing the border and seeking asylum in the United States.
The U.S. health care system was also an issue of pointed discussion during the hour-long forum. Holder revealed he’s been uninsured “for several years” because he has a pre-existing condition.
“When the Democrats were in charge of congress, they could have put through single payer, but they didn’t have the political courage to do that,” Holder said. “Instead, they threw us to the wolves, to the predatory health insurance companies.”
Young and Axne quarreled over Young’s record on federal policy toward Americans with pre-existing conditions. Young touted his support of an amendment he said made sure “those with pre-existing conditions could not be discriminated against…and not be allowed to have insurance.” Axne said it would still “allow insurance companies to charge any price that they would like.”
The candidates also used some of their air time to introduce themselves to voters. Holder, the Libertarian, touted what he calls the “Iowa Compromise.” It would double the size of the U.S. House of Representatives from 435 to 870 members, so there would be smaller districts.