Democratic Congresswoman Cindy Axne and former Republican Congressman David Young dissected one another’s voting records during a debate broadcast Monday night on Iowa PBS.
The two are running in Iowa’s third district congressional district, which covers 16 southwest Iowa counties. Young criticized Axne for favoring repeal of Trump-era tax cuts.
“I want to get our economy just back to where it was five months ago, one of the strongest economies in the world,” Young said. “…That was with low taxes…and we need to make sure that is made permanent.”
Axne, who was elected in 2018, said the 2017 Trump tax bill Young supported has “dramatically” increased the U.S. debt at a time when the economy needs an infusion of government spending to stay afloat.
“The bill that you voted for — 83% of the provisions within it gave greater opportunity to corporations and the wealthiest among us at the expense of middle class families,” Axne said.
Young criticized Axne for using the “proxy” voting system House Democrats set up in May, so not all members have to be present on the House floor for voting during the pandemic.
“My opponent has taken advantage of that and missed votes,” Young said. “…In Iowa, if you hire somebody, you expect them to show up to work.”
Axne said the U.S. House is using online platforms like Zoom for meetings like many other organizations and her votes are being cast as directed.
“I haven’t missed a vote,” Axne said. “…What we’ve done in congress is do the job that needs to get done, but we do so in a way that keeps people healthy.”
The two candidates also debated the future of the Affordable Care Act. Young argued the government subsidies for 44,000 Iowans who get insurance through “ObamaCare” should not be paid to insurance companies, but go directly to the people.
“When that money goes straight to the people, they’re empowered with their health care dollars, you demand price transparency,” Young said. “You’re going to get affordability, better access and better quality in health care.”
Axne said when Young was in congress, he voted to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, without a solid replacement.
“You can slice and dice this any way that you would want to, but that’s what you did,” Young said. “You voted against Iowans and there’s no way to erase that history.”
Young served two terms in the U.S. House, from January of 2015 to January of 2019.