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Rossi vs Schrier: Debating Trump’s tax cuts, climate change, Medicare

Oct 17, 2018, 1:27 PM | Updated: Oct 18, 2018, 11:14 am
Democrat Kim Schrier and Republican Dino Rossi. (AP)...
Democrat Kim Schrier and Republican Dino Rossi. (AP)
(AP)

Republican candidate Dino Rossi and Democrat Kim Schrier faced off at Central Washington University in Ellensburg Wednesday for the only debate between the two before the November election.

Rossi and Schrier aim to fill the vacant seat in the 8th Congressional District, left by recently-retired Republican Representative Dave Reichert. A substantial crowd of supporters from both sides of the aisle attended the event, hosted by the Washington State Debate Coalition. The coalition pressed the candidates on a range of issues from Trump’s tax cuts to climate change, abortion, and Medicare for all.

“I think Kim Schrier clearly supports issues, such as a better health care system, that are better for citizens across the board in Washington,” Charlie McKinney, a Schrier supporter, told KIRO Radio.

“We’re just out here to support Dino, listen to the debate, and hopefully change minds,” Ian Elliot said.

Trump tax cuts

Rossi: My opponent wants to raise people’s taxes by $2,821 of every family in the 8th Congressional District. Pulling money out of people’s back pockets isn’t going to make it better.

Schrier: He supports this tax plan, that again, gives 83 percent of the benefit to the wealthiest of corporations and does not give nearly enough to the middle class. I will stick up for the middle class and working families every day. I don’t trust that he will.

America pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord

Rossi: What it did was allow China and India, two of the biggest polluters, off the hook. That’s what it did. It handcuffed America and let them off the hook. So I think we can move forward in a different way without that.

Schrier: I think it’s absolutely the wrong move. This is a place where we should be joining with our fellow citizens around the world. This is a global issue. It’s something we should be joining with all other nations. We are the only nation that has pulled out of that.

Abortion

Rossi: My wife and I are both Catholic, we believe every soul has a value. I never really believed that abortion was intended for anything other than cases of rape, incest, or the life of the mother.

Schrier: I will support access to Plan B, which my opponent opposes, and I will always respect women’s rights to make their own health care decisions.

Medicare for all

Rossi: My opponent wants a government takeover of health care. And a government takeover of health care means that the government is going to pick your doctors, it’s going to pick your hospital.

Schrier: I believe that we should have Medicare as a public option, so that anybody at any age, even small business owners, could buy into Medicare just like they could buy into private insurance.

Tariffs

Rossi: I’ve been very clear that I don’t think anyone wins a trade war.

Schrier: You don’t have to throw uncertainty and put our farmers at risk in order to secure and renegotiate a better trade agreement.

Initial polling

The latest polling from The New York Times has the two candidates neck-and-neck, with Schrier clinging to a one-point lead (46 percent to 45 percent). Crosscut disagrees, with their own polling methods showing Rossi holding a 10-point lead as of Oct. 10. Most recent totals show Schrier’s campaign has raised $5.3 million in contributions, $1 million more than Rossi’s campaign.

The 8th Congressional District encompasses Sammamish, Issaquah, Auburn, Wenatchee, Leavenworth, and Ellensburg, and has never elected a Democrat as its representative.

RELATED: Who is in the lead? Polls released for 8th Congressional District

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Rossi vs Schrier: Debating Trump’s tax cuts, climate change, Medicare