KCID: California's 23rd Congressional District
>> and good evening to you, welcome to this special edition of kern county in-depth tonight, a debate between the candidates for the 23rd congressional district of california.
Incumbent, house majority leader kevin mccarthy and his challenger wendy reed, a business administrator and for the antelope valley conservancy.
Our candidates have been briefed on the rules of the debate and by virtue of a coin toss, congressman mccarthy will go first with an opening statement.
>> mr. mccarthy: first i was to thank kget and wendy and i for this political process.
I'm a fourth generation kern county resident, born and raised and educated right here.
I met my wife, judy, at mrs. flynn's buyology at bakersfield high.
This community has been very good to our family and we want to give back.
I've been fortunate enough to serve you in the u.s. congress.
I have worked hard on many issues.
I think one of the most important issue we have is water.
Something that since we've taken the majority, we have passed five times.
I will not stop fighting until we're able to have more water in our valley and more ability to store it.
Secondly, i've worked on education.
So the parents could have greater choice, and opportunity where their children go and the education their children receive.
I've also worked on edwards air force base, and the naval center, making sure they're prepared for the 21st century when it comes to defending this nation, worked on valley fever.
For the first time, we're having a clinical trial never held before, right here in the valley, just opening up.
Most importantly, i want to prepare us for the 21st century, our kids, so we can handle the things before us.
Thank you for having us and i look forward to a healthy debate on ideas.
>> moderator: ms. reed.
>> ms. reed: thank you.
My name is wendy reed and i'm very grateful to my husband of 27 years and all the volunteers who helped with our candidacy.
They've helped with this candidacy because 2016 is not about any party versus another party.
It's about the corporate influence on our government and getting the big politics and money out of our government.
Politics itself appears to be our nation's greatest difficulty and we need genuine representation to fight for our district.
I've been a resident of our district for over 30 years and in that time, i've engaged citizens in the government processes that affect us, from regional land use planning and water on the integrated water management plan program to disaster preparedness and climate change preparedness.
I will fight hard to bring resources for our infrastructure because when you're not doing politics and fundraising all the time, you can actually represent your district.
In fact, the name of the job is not politician.
The name of the job is representative and that's what i will do.
>> moderator: thank you, ms. reed.
Our first question has to do with the presidential campaign.
Congressman mccarthy, some of your g.o.p.
Colleagues have distanced themselves from donald trump.
You continue to support him.
Explain to our viewers why.
>> mr. mccarthy: well, i see america needs a change.
I see our middle class is worth less today than eight years ago.
I see the challenge today and a vote for one or another person.
The policies i've fought so hard for this community, when it comes to water, when it comes to veterans, when it comes to economic growth, i need someone in the white house that will sign those bills.
Donald trump will sign those.
When i look at our foreign policy and our standing in america today, we're less than we were eight years ago.
The challenge when it comes to yemen as a new example and they're firing missiles at our battleship.
Our libya, a failure.
Our restart with russian.
Those are decided by a foreign policy from a former secretary of state who is hillary clinton.
When i look at hillary clinton receiving a subpoena from the united states congress to keep her e-mails but then going to a company to scrub and bleach them all, or i just look at what the future holds.
Do i want status quo or do i want change?
It's not a tough decision.
>> moderator: ms. reed, would you like to rebut?
>> ms. reed: you've called yourself a -- do you >> ms. reed: i support much of the democratic platform, but i believe that both of the parties deeply flawed and we see that in their deeply flawed presidential candidates.
It is an absolute disgrace that people in america are voting against the other candidate rather than for a candidate that they love.
Now, there are many people who are voting for both candidates and i respect that.
In fact, there are two other or three other candidates on the ballot for president and many of their voters are also voting for me.
I am focused on non-partisan issues that we can all agree on, all the way from the right to the left, which is that this kind of pay to play politics that engages itself constantly in fundraising and then representing those who give the campaign contributions has got to go.
And a lot of people say that trump is not a politician and yet he's been purchasing politicians by his own admission for many decades.
I think it's quite political.
>> do you support hillary clinton?
Because she's been accused of those things as well?
>> i'm here in my campaign with mr. metler, i'm running my own campaign on my own qualifications.
I have a master's degree in public administration.
I've spent 30 years as a volunteer, engaged in our community and engaging citizens in their own self-govern it's been nothing but corrupted by the influence of pay to play politics.
That is where i stand in my campaign and neither trump, nor clinton generally represent that perspective and yet all americans seem to understand that that's the problem.
>> you touched on a term here, self-governance.
What exactly do you mean by self-governance, ms. reed?
>> ms. reed: it's establishment of a civilized society that people have a say over what happens to them.
We have that through voting and periodically in our history, we have that through the political process, but since the rise of television, we have such a huge blossoming of the supposed need for money to be able to run for office.
I have run this campaign on barely $30,000, 10,000 of which went straight back to the state and counties for registration fees.
I've proven in my campaign you don't need to raise millions of dollars and sell your influence to big donors and satisfy them in order to run for congress.
>> congressman, do you care to rebut that or should we move on?
>> i believe the greatest strength of america does not rest in power in washington.
It's us the people.
We're participating in the political process right now.
People have a vote.
At the end of the day, you have to make a decision who you want to vote for president, especially if you're going to serve in congress.
You have to be honest with the american people where you stand.
>> i think truth is a very important component of whether we have a knowledgeable electorate.
Debates are set up for sound bites.
We're given 30 or 60 seconds to represent ourselves.
This is not a representative democracy.
When people come to your office, they find the doors locked.
When people try to talk to you, like the woman who has a husband who has valley fever, you patted her on the shoulder and said "good luck with that" and walke off.
You're actually fighting for goldman sachs and it's just not the truth when you say that you're fighting for taxpayers.
So i think that's an important difference between the candidates and how we would address the people's offices and the people's employees paid for by our tax dollars.
>> congressman, are you aware of what ms. reed referred to here?
>> not quite.
Valley fever, one of the first thing i did when i went to congress, i visited the c.d.c., and i went to the national department of health and talked to both directors and come to bakersfield to have a symposium on valley fever.
Because of that and the work of those before me, i put together a caucus we've never had before, from arizona to here, because that's where the majority of all are.
Since then, 8 million has been invested, never before, through duke university.
Now through k.m.c., we're having the first clinical trials in history.
I would never pat somebody on the back.
I'm fighting for them.
I look forward to continuing the fight until we get a vaccine.
That's what i look forward to.
>> congressman mccarthy, the country is clamoring for an end to the partisan bickering and political gridlock in congress.
Your colleague is promising to ramp up his investigation of hillary clinton should she become president, specifically focusing on her tenure as secretary of state.
He told the "washington post" this week, quoting here, "we've got two years of material lined up and four years of history at the state department and it ain't good."
The post wrote this would raise the spector of more partisan acrimony between the g.o.p.
And the white house should hillary clinton be elected president.
Do you support him in this effort?
>> look, what i support is that we change this country, that we focus on growth.
Growth will solve so many of our problems. economic.
We need to have tax reform.
When you look at what we proposed with our ideas and our policy, and that's what elections should be about, we talk about poverty.
We've had five decades of a war on poverty that just locked generations into poverty.
Our military, the lowest at some point it's been since world war ii, the world being less safe, rebuilding our military.
And, yes, repealing and replacing obamacare.
We put our plan out so healthcare government won't make a decision, you can have a relationship with your doctor and lower the premiums. that's what i'm working toward not what the congressman is working toward.
>> that's the answer.
Ms. reed, rebuttal?
The leadership has what kevin has often referred to as the "do-nothing congress."
There is an attack underway to take out paul ryan from the speaker ship.
They're not clear.
The healthcare plan they refer to now as obamacare is essentially a heritage foundation plan, a private insurance and free marketplace and it is self-regulating.
The increase in the premiums has been debunked in an article earlier today.
When 1 in 7 californians is actually experiencing hunger, we have a much higher hospitalization rate in the last week of the month because people are going hungry, removing their food stamps, which includes the food stamps that military families rely on while their family members are in service, you know, it's just not good thinking.
You talk about growth and yet you're constraining every budget so you can give tax breaks to the very wealthy.
That does not make a recipe for growth.
>> let's move on to the issue of immigration reform.
Congressman, you have said that we've got to secure the border first before congress moves on with immigration -- on in immigration reform, a position that earned you a lot of criticism from hispanic leaders in your district.
Are your views in alignment with donald trump's on the issue of immigration reform?
>> a lot of people have different views when it comes to immigration.
My view is probably different than donald trump.
I believe you have to secure the border.
This was something that was addressed in the 1980's when we did immigration reform.
Once you secure the borders, then you move forward with the rest of immigration reform.
I think the immigration in america is broken.
40% of everyone here illegally came here legally on a visa.
We have to reform the visa program.
I think it's crazy that when we see a system that someone gets an engineering degree and we tell them to leave the country.
It's just the luck of the lottery to come and this chain migration that you bring the whole family.
We need to redo the entire structure but first thing first.
You need to secure the border before you do anything else.
>> ms. reed?
>> immigration seems to be a reflection of a multi-tiered economic system in america.
We cannot forget we were not the first people here in america.
We took the land from native americans.
We then relied heavily on indentured servants and on slaves to work for no wages at all.
We have struggled with human trafficking, with illegal operations that use undocumented workers from the hotel industry and the building industry to slaughter houses and, of course, the agricultural industry, and we need to relook from a systems perspective at how these employment opportunities are working for americans.
As we have closed the borders and clamped down on immigration, we now have throughout the central valley many orchards and fields that do not have workers.
Some people have suggested that we have an employment office at the border instead of a wall.
These are issues that we need to address in much more full-fledged ways than just building a wall.
>> what about amnesty and a path to citizenship or perhaps the deportation of the millions of undocumented immigrants in this country right now?
Ms. reed, which policy do you support?
>> i think that if an infant child, a small child, has been brought to america and has lived their entire life here, has gone to school here and even works here, that they should not be torn from their families and that there needs to be a path to citizenship.
Ronald reagan, your favorite guy, certainly had an amnesty program and all of the republican presidents have allowed that when people have proven themselves good americans, that they should have a path to citizenship.
We have a situation now where the deportation is cruel and inhumane in many circumstances and where even our veterans from our military are being deported, simply under the heavy-handed and single-minded us and them policies of the republican leadership under kevin mccarthy.
I don't believe that that is appropriate or american, no, sir.
>> the administration carries out those policies.
I believe america is the strongest because of the rule of law.
If you provide amnesty to everyone, you break the rule of law and you break society down.
I don't believe amnesty helps us in any shape or form.
I think from a structure of everybody has a rule, an ability to go to justice, to go to court, how will you ever take everybody and move them back?
I think we need a system that you protect, one, secure the border and then you deal with the rest afterwards.
>> let me just follow up with one more question on immigration.
We're getting close to a break here.
Donald trump says he'll stop funding sanctuary cities.
Ms. reed, are you in favor?
Do you support the idea of sanctuary cities for undocumented immigrants?
>> i agree that we have laws and they need to be followed.
And i'm not sure of the legal background of sanctuary cities and what they're, you know, talking about.
I know a sanctuary in a church during a time of war but i do not know about sanctuary cities, although i've heard the term.
I would have to research that before i could arrive at a decision on that, but it does not seem to me -- >> fair enough.
>> -- on the other hand, it is the republican party that typically wants local rule and states' rights.
So if you're supporting that as an ideological ideal for good governance, then one would think if the city wants to go ahead and go against the law, they should.
Certainly they have many other policies that affect women's rights and voting rights of people of color and of elderly people, that they need identification from the d.m.v., even though they're in a nursing home.
These are all based on local rights.
>> fair enough.
>> maybe that's how they defend it.
>> congressman, sanctuary cities?
>> i don't support sanctuary cities.
End of your answer.
>> all right.
You're watching a one-hour edition of kern county in-depth.
We're back after the break.
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>> welcome back to our candidates' debate with the two people wanting to represent you in the 23rd congressional district.
We have incumbent representative kevin mccarthy and his democratic challenger wendy reed.
>>> well, let's get to the environment here.
Environmentalists, many of their democratic allies and those who live in the delta region say protecting endangered fish come first and come over the water industry.
They say farmers in the valley need to make a water consumption correction.
Ms. reed, what do you think of that.
>> i think we're the fruit basket of america and it's inappropriate to reduce the agricultural industries that we have.
I do think that our issues with water come from a variety of problems. no.
1, being overpopulation of the entire planet and our region.
2, doing things in areas that aren't particularly appropriate for those areas.
3, climate change.
And the drought is not just a temporary thing.
So i think that we need to incident vies and the kinds of improvements we can make to the agricultural industries, our oil industries, our eco-tourism and the transportation that's necessary there.
There are many things we could be doing differently.
Some of those are sequestering the methane coming off agricultural processes, doing things in greenhouses where you can reuse and recycle the water.
If we approach it like we approach the space program, we can do a lot better.
>> congressman, rebuttal?
>> water is a top issue when it comes to the valley.
For the last 30 years, we've not built a new dam, but california continues to grow.
The snowpack is in the north, the central valley is where we grow the food for the world and southern california is where the population is.
If you don't pump the water through the delta, no one gets it or it goes into the ocean and we lose it.
The greatest return on investment is take the dams that we have and raise them, best return.
Second, we have to pick people over fish.
Right now, it's not happening.
Fish are being chosen over people.
We have to be able to move the water down.
Thirdly, i think, yes, we can continue to conserve but we cannot conserve our way out of this problem.
This is something that for five times we've passed in the house, the senate has never passed it once.
I'm hopeful when we go back on november 14th we'll be able to move the bill inside the bill and have it done once and for all.
>> some critics of agriculture argue we should take millions of acres of farmland out of production on the valley's west side which relies heavily on surface water from the delta.
They argue that in and of itself would solve the water crisis in california.
Ms. reed, do you subscribe to that point of you?
You touched on that earlier, but is that something you agree with or disagree with?
>> let me say that i think when agriculture is feeding people, it is from a people perspective, if you put people over all other creatures on the planet, then obviously feeding people is incredibly important.
Much of the agriculture we do is not necessarily for feeding people and we perhaps can reorient ourselves from a high meat diet to a more vegetable diet that would reduce the amount of water that is used and the amount of carbon dioxide and methane that is emitted in the system.
We grow a lot of alfalfa with water that is exported.
So i think our trade policies need to be looked at.
My opponent here likes the idea of exporting oil to other countries and bringing oil from other countries through our watersheds and exporting it out through the gulf.
There's a lot of exportation of agriculture which doesn't put people first but puts corporate profits first.
>> congressman, do you care to rebut?
If you take it out of plantation for the service, you end economic growth in the valley.
People are then out of work.
If you then are not growing the food, the food is coming from somewhere else.
They do not have the same standards of america, so they do not know about our food security.
Then we have an economic problem so kern county goes down in value.
The one thing wendy said that i agree with, i do support and i fought and for the first time we lifted the oil export ban.
Kern county produces more oil than any other county in the 48 states.
I want to keep people working.
I read the headlines where people are being laid off because the price is lower.
I want people to work in this valley and i want to plant more in this valley because i know we can feed not just america but the world and to do that we have to export our food which is going to create more jobs, more value and more kids going to college.
>> may i rebut to that, please?
>> sure, go ahead.
>> i think there are a couple of different things kevin has touched upon here.
What we have not spoken about is the fact that we're not just talking about some fish.
We're talking about a keystone species in the functioning ecosystem of our oceans.
The exportation of oil and the transport of that oil not only on oil trains through our communities, but also on tankers across the ocean is not an environmentally sound concept, and it certainly isn't good for american domestic security and security of our oil supplies from our reserves.
We need to focus on that and position kern county for good tax revenue and for good oil implementation into the future and not just be selling it off to japan and china and wasting it.
We are already importing all kinds of things that use all kinds of oil in transport coming over from china, and those are not the solutions to having local production of food and community security of food.
It's all about profits.
It's not really about feeding people, kevin.
>> i'm not quite sure what she meant there.
What i look at is the supply of demand.
If the price of oil drops and you can't sell more of it, you produce less of it and you laypeople off like what's happening in kern county today.
I talked to kevin small, k.s.i., a place that had 7,000 employees, and now 2,000.
For 40 years, they put this in in the 1970's back when we used to ration whether you could even get gasoline.
We lifted the oil export ban so the free market could actually work.
With the free market, america will get stronger so we'll be energy dependent.
So we'll not be dependent on other countries for oil or fund our enemy.
I think it makes not only kern county stronger but makes america stronger.
>> if memory serves me correct, correct me if i'm wrong, but it seems to me i read once that america produces enough oil to get us through a single day in our nation.
Where if we don't import oil through tankers from the middle east, where would you get the oil to power our economy, ms. reed?
>> well, what we're talking about here is exporting kern county oil.
We're not talking about importing oil.
>> i thought you said something about it's wrong for our planet to be exporting or bringing oil to this country through tankers.
>> no exporting oil to sell overseas and kevin nodded his head, that that's exactly what he wants to do.
>> i see.
>> that's exactly what they want to do with the oil fields coming out of canada and bring it down through our great lakes region.
That's why the native american tribes and nations are grouped in dakota right now protesting the d.a.p.l.
We don't believe that environmentally it is sound to take dirty oilsands out of canada to begin with.
We need to be using the relatively cleaner oil supplies that we have in kern.
We have the third largest oil reserves in the nation.
Alaska, texas and california, most of which is in kern.
We can position ourselves into the future.
We can actually -- and i have campaigned -- on building an environmentally sound refinery.
We know we can do that because when the e.p.a.
Has charged companies with polluting, they have required them to upgrade their facilities to be in environmental compliance.
We can do that and we can position kern county for much better tax revenues, to funds of public services that kern county residents deserve.
>> all right.
Let me ask you this.
We'll start with you, ms. reed.
Are you in favor of the environmental call to ban hydraulic fracturing of oil wells?
>> that is on the democratic platform of the state of california.
The democratic national platform calls for domestic production for the purpose of national security.
I am deeply concerned that under the bush/cheney administration, cheney exempted himself from the clean water act and mr. mccarthy recently, i read in the bakersfield, californii bakersfield, californiian had tried to chip away at the clean water act.
Our water supplies are much more important than our food.
We can go without food a lot longer than without drinking water.
Since we don't know what the chemicals are, we need to reverse the ill-thought legislation and exempting fracking from the clean water act and from public knowledge of what chemicals are being used and what the impacts are on the groundwater.
I think that public information is the blood of a free society and without it i don't know how we have self-representation anymore.
We have kings that tell us what they want us to know.
>> congressman, the calls to ban fracking, what do you think?
>> look, i want to make sure we have a safe drinking water.
We have been fracking for decades.
It's the lifeblood that allows us from the standpoint not to bring more oil over on tankers from the middle east but actually develop the fields here in america.
Fracking works and it helps.
I think we need to have strong regulations as we move through it.
We need to maintain our ability to frac.
If we do not have the ability to frac, our oil wells will dry up.
Our jobs will dry up, just as we watched the price drop and people be laid off, it's more punishment for kern county.
>> congressman mccarthy, do you reject the assertion that climate change is occurring and the burning of fossil fuels is the blame of that.
What do you think that >> >> the debate is of what's the cause of it.
I think the earth does change in climate.
We've watched from being iced over and not.
I also think we have to continue to look that we want to have cleaner air but we have to be able to achieve that in the science base that we can live with.
I have a frustration when people do not use science-based in any of the legislation of where they go or their decision-making process when it comes to regulations.
>> and, ms. reed, your thoughts on the climate change and the burning of fossil fuels and what role it possibly plays in that.
>> there is no debate other than political debate and it is political debate because they're the companies that are funding the campaign contributions.
There is no doubt that the burning of fossil fuel contributes more greenhouse gases, specifically carbon dioxide, to the atmosphere, to the ocean, and the green plants on our planet.
Anyone who has taken earth science can understand the process of carbon dioxide and oxygen.
Once you dig up fossil fuels which are adding to that closed system of our planet, there's no doubt about it.
Kevin likes to say science-based that we can live with.
Science is not subject to human beings' opinions and whether we can live with it or not.
The fact is that we cannot live with it.
We're watching massive flooding.
We're suffering a drought here in california and we need to take a world war ii-style effort, a space program effort to address climate change.
It will make jobs and it will solve the problems we're talking about here tonight.
>> if we just acknowledge it and face it like adults.
>> congressman, you'd like to respond.
>> our own government did a study on greenhouse gases in america because as we go around the world and the president tries to come to an agreement to see.
In the height and growth of drilling in america was 2006 to 2015.
America lowered their greenhouse gases more so than every other country combined.
If we're doing our job and at the same time having economic growth and at the same time giving america energy security on our path to be energy independent, this is where the argument lies.
Can we have economic growth and a safe environment at the same time?
I say yes, if you have common sense and science.
>> may i rebut?
>> briefly, please.
We've got to move on.
>> 15, 20 seconds.
The young people of america understand that growth is just not sustainable, that we are already seeing young people unable to move out of their homes because our economy has stagnated, unable to know if they can afford to get married and have children.
We need to make an economy of opportunity and that is by facing the science-based facts about climate change and using those for an economic growth that is a sustainable america.
Thank you, ms. reed.
Kern county and the antelope valley have rich aviation histories, both hot beds for aerospace research and development.
That's probably no secret to either of you.
Your vision for the emerging commercial space flight and space tourism industry that is part of kern county's economy today.
Let me start with you first, congressman mccarthy.
>> to me, this is the hidden jewel of kern county.
Most people don't realize eastern kern county, the 2508 air space is probably the greatest air space the country has.
We've watched so many times, if you come into washington, you walk into air and space from the voyager to spaceship 1 to others, kern county left its mark greater than anyone else.
It's happening right there.
>> how do we grow this industry is my question.
>> that's a great question.
This is something i've worked a great deal on.
Just this year i had a bill signed into law, the space act.
What it does, it protects those who are making investment for commercial space because the lower orbit is where the government is not playing but private industry can.
The more regulation we put on it could harm the ability to grow with it.
But we also want to put protection.
That's what we want to do in the space act.
We want to see the investment people are making.
That will lower the cost to our cell phone, speed up travel to where we can go before and then you have an elon musk if you desire to go to live on mars.
We're making a whole new approach that we've never had and it's happening here in mojave.
That's why i put the space act together.
We have private property rights all the way to space.
It's one of our greatest strengths.
>> ms. reed, your position on the emerging space industry.
>> i am so proud of our aerospace.
It's in los angeles county which is part of our district.
Skunk works came up from burbank, which is also l.a.
County and part of our 23rd congressional district.
The opportunities that the space program provided for america, the small emergency blankets, smaller than a deck of cards, we're the premier aerospace builders of the galaxy.
We need to protect our surrounding areas and not put tall buildings or even residential structures in those areas.
We have fought very, very hard around the bases, including plant 42, to prevent that kind of counterproductive development.
I have met with the leaders of the bases as well as the mojave space port and i have assured them i will do everything, if not more, to support the programs and we have the f-35 which is an incredible program and going to bring a lot of employment and resources.
It's not only a military and very important airplane, but it is also a commercial export that we will be selling to other countries.
>> all right.
Thank you both.
We need to take a break.
Our 23rd congressional district candidates debate here on kern county in-depth will continue right after this.
>> and welcome back to the special one-hour edition of kern county in-depth featuring the candidates for the 23rd congressional district, wendy reed and kevin mccarthy.
Let's turn to healthcare here momentarily if we could.
There's been a lot of talk in this presidential campaign about repealing the affordable care act.
Premiums are starting to go up substantially, sometimes twofold, 200% in some rural states, less in others.
The department of health and human services announced on monday that premiums will go up on average by 25% next year.
Should obamacare be repealed?
Let's start with you, congressman.
It should be repealed.
I voted to repeal it numerous times.
Because it's collapsing on itself.
The promises the president made.
If you like your healthcare, you can keep it.
We know that's a lie.
He said your premiums would go down.
Year over year, that's a lie.
People today in arizona, more than 100% increase but the deductibles are even higher.
It created an obamacare 23 co-ops and they provided $2 billion in taxpayer funding.
As of today, 16 of those co-ops have failed.
This is collapsing upon itself.
This is not providing better healthcare.
>> if i may follow up.
>> does it make sense to repeal the entire affordable care act or to attack it at its weakest points and retool it, if you will?
>> i don't see how it sustains itself.
It's been subsidized today.
It's a government-funded program.
You're taking away the relationship from the doctor and the patient.
It is not lowering the cost.
So you have to have a different philosophical approach.
And if i may, people who go to buy how they watch television, different cable packages, they have a lot of choices, but they have choices within who they buy from.
Do you want a sports package or other choices, you don't get that.
Judy and i want different healthcare today than when we were younger and are having children, let us make the choice and let us make the competition where more people are involved.
Not only are the premiums going up, but there's some states that have only one option, so you have less choice in the whole program.
Government is making the decisions.
I think that's wrong.
That's why you have to pull it all up and start anew.
>> ms. reed, repeal obamacare or not?
>> absolutely not.
What a waste of taxpayer money trying to repeal the affordable care act.
It implemented some very important corrections to an irresponsible free market run for greed.
It ensured that people with pre-existing conditions would still get coverage.
The marketplace that we're talking about is a free market.
It is not government-operated.
Yes, there are subsidies.
It's not just big oil companies and verizon that get government subsidies.
The real people of our country deserve subsidies when it comes to their health and their welfare.
That's a job of congress as established by the constitution.
Additionally, the only reason the premiums are going up in some of those states that you cited is because they were so angry at the president trying to fix our terrible, uninsured problem where we had hundreds of thousands of people going into the emergency rooms because they didn't have insurance coverage.
And the way that they expressed their anger at the president was to not adopt medicare.
And expansions of medicare.
That's where the premiums are going up.
The premiums going up are at normal market rate and the subsidies are going up to balance them.
The same woman whose husband has valley fever told me about her story that i don't have time to tell you but she's incredibly grateful to get the affordable care act to get her family back on medical coverage.
>> how should the u.s. deal with refugees seeking entry into this country.
Your party has promised to deport 12,000 refugees and proposed a ban of muslim immigrants trying to enter this country.
>> i think you need to secure america.
After what took place in paris and san bernardino, i created a caucus inside of congress.
I happen to be the chairman of counter-terrorism and homeland security.
What we have is visa waiver program.
We do it with 37 other countries.
The countries, if you live in them, you can come to america without even getting a visa and be here 90 days.
Many of those people in the country if you check have been to syria and have been fighting.
We changed that.
We need to know who is coming into our country.
The first thing that should have happened is what i proposed years ago a no-fly zone.
The worst thing to have happen is move people out of syria.
We should have found a safe haven area that actually costs less to make sure this war didn't continue so they could be there in their own country.
It's what they desire most.
>> and, ms. reed, your thoughts on this.
>> wow, what a loaded answer that is.
The greatest terrorism that's happened in america was done at the murrah building in oklahoma city by a guy that looked a lot like you.
We have a lot of home-grown terrorism and a lot of threats of home-grown terrorism because of the political riling up of all this us and them.
One of the main reasons we have the problem with syria is because of the bush/cheney administration and the faulty invasion of iraq which both presidential candidates called "business opportunities."
This has all got to stop.
America and our values, our conservative values are that we love our neighbor.
We should approach these other countries with diplomacy and with help and support and cooperation and not use our military to assert resources and taking over from indigenous people.
It's not sustainable and we have to stop.
>> ms. reed, you got a little off track there.
The question was really what do we do with the refugees and immigrants who want to come into this country from middle eastern countries.
That was the question.
>> most of the people that are coming from the middle east are incredibly wonderful people who are escaping war, just as our ancestors did.
I doubt that mr. mccarthy is a native american.
I imagine that as my ancestors did and my husband's ancestor came on the mayflower, my ancestors came as immigrants in the 1800's.
My grandmother on my mother's side came to escape war.
That's what these people are doing.
It's just as inappropriate to paint them with a broad brush as it is any other group, whether it be by gender, by color, by national origin, by ability or disability.
These are prevented under the federal laws of our great united states and it is entirely inappropriate.
>> so you don't think they should be vetted for any possible ties to terrorist organizations?
>> oh, of course.
>> well, that was the question.
>> we know we're watching our own f.b.i.
Is watching domestic terrorists the same way.
>> congressman, rebuttal?
>> you can't put a waive across people on religion and color of skin, but what's happening in iraq and syria and the idea they do not have passports, i think the country has a responsibility to protect their homeland.
So you have to screen these individuals before you allow them to come in.
More importantly, these individuals don't want to have to leave their country.
We should have had a no-fly zone.
This is where the president put a red line but let people pass it and never did anything about it, where he had a restart with russia and now putin is back in the middle east after they left in the 70's.
This is a lack of foreign policy.
We should have put a safe haven in the region so they could be there until the war ended and they could come back to their homes and run their own country.
That's the best answer for them.
That's the best opportunity.
>> one more question regarding the war overseas right now.
Would either of you support the next president if he or she called for putting more u.s. boots on the ground, regular troops on the ground in the fight against isis?
Ms. reed, let me start with you.
>> that's a very, very hard question.
It really would depend on the specific situation and what those boots were going to do.
We've seen boots in afghanistan and these are not boots.
Let's be very clear.
I hate that i adopted your language on that.
These are real men and women who are already suffering under a broken veterans administration system that mr. mccarthy and his leadership tried to defund.
Whether it's a given situation, it has to be looked at under that situation.
We cannot simply blindly continue to bomb countries.
Kevin wants to talk about the syrians should stay in syria.
If he had any knowledge of what the syrians are undergoing, it is apocalyptic there.
Of course, they're trying to leave their country.
If bush and cheney, under their administration and their secretary of state wanted to make a syria that was safe for them, they should have thought about that.
>> i've let a lot of this go.
>> i believe i said regular troops.
I did say boots on the ground.
>> u.s. troops on the ground.
>> i've let a lot of things be said that's not true.
First of all, the v.a.
Is funded under a higher level than ever under a republican congress.
My answer was to have a no-fly zone so we would not have the chaos or the barely bombing from russia that forces people to leave europe.
Secondly i said not to keep them in syria but to keep them in the region so they can come back home.
Your question was putting troops on the ground.
That's the hardest decision you'll ever be asked as a federal elected official.
I had to face that with the surge.
I would never take a hypothetical.
Administration came to ask and i told them where i stood.
The first thing i want to know is what our goal is.
I want to know we could achieve it and when we could achieve it to leave.
Secondly, i want to make sure our men and women are not hand strapped behind their back, that they're going to be protected and we'll make this over as fast and quick as possible to achieve the goal.
>> we have just about a minute left.
I want to give you time for closing statements.
Ms. reed, you said it's time to vote our representatives and to sell their influence for campaign contributions.
You say you're not for sell.
Are you suggesting your opponent is for sale?
>> yes, i am.
I deeply regret it.
I would not have entered this race if i didn't believe this was one of the major crisis of american democracy.
Mr. mccarthy has accepted and spent the past couple of weeks going on record as saying he's dolling out $23 million for house representatives for candidates and incumbents in 29 different states and he says our members, his house members, are always his top priority.
He didn't say they're his top priority at election season.
He said they're all his top priority.
We who are the people in your district have well understood this for many years that you're not representing us.
>> we're just about to closing statements, excuse me, ms. reed.
A quick rebuttal.
15 seconds, sir.
>> we're never going to get water in the valley if speaker pelosi is the speaker.
We could never get a water bill passed.
I spend my time going across the country and found people who believed in smaller government and created a business and opportunity and i'll never back away from that fact.
I play within the rules.
I want this valley to change.
This is my priority and i'm going to fight to make that happen.
>> we're at closing statements.
Congressman, mccarthy, you're first.
>> i thank you for the opportunity to listen tonight.
I thank you for the opportunity to serve.
And i don't want you to leave tonight without personally asking you for your vote this november 8th.
I'll be honored to serve and finish the job.
One thing my parents have taught me, you don't quit until the job is done.
I've worked hard on water and i'm going to finish it.
When it comes to valley fever, for the very first time, for our veterans when i went to washington, i heard what was going on with the v.a.
We found the problems and we passed the choice act which was the first start.
When i just listened the other day and found in the l.a.
Times our national guard being treated, i didn't wait to go back to congress.
I got on the phone right then, put it together, talked to the undersecretary and i used it in a bipartisan manner and put everybody together to change that.
How we treat our veterans shows the character of this country and i will never allow them to be treated the way they have been.
If you allow me to have two more years, i will continue to work on the values of kern county of what we need to have happen and change this country.
>> ms. reed.
>> i want to thank you again for the opportunity to debate at last.
Mr. mccarthy says he plays within the rules.
But these are rules that have been changed under his leadership.
He says he represents taxpayers when he has fiercely defended the carried interest loophole which really only benefits entities like goldman sachs, who happens to be his top contributors.
The corporate tax rate is not something which is hard.
It is the actual tax rate is much lower than other countries.
When we talk about veterans, i have traveled and spoken to many veterans and many v.f.w.'s and there are all kinds of information technologies that need improvement.
We want genuine services for veterans, not just lip service.
In fact, mr. mccarthy and congress were told about the national guard refurbishments two years ago and i'll never lie, cheat or steel and you'll have genuine representation if you elect me.
I hope to earn your trust and your vote.
>> that concludes our debate with the two candidates in the 23rd congressional district, wendy reed and kevin mccarthy.
Our purpose here is quite simple here, to help you make an informed decision when you go to the polls on november 8th.
Candidates, thank you for your time tonight.
Thank you for being with us tonight and enjoy the rest of your weekend.