ELMIRA, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - - Heated is how most would describe tonight's 23rd Congressional District debate between Republican incumbent, Tom Reed and Democratic challenger, John Plumb.
Shortly after their opening statements, Reed and Plumb shared their differing opinions on the affordable care act.
"Now, the Affordable Care Act should be improved," Democratic candidate John Plumb said. "It is certainly not perfect. I have never heard anyone say that and it needs to be fixed. And, the role of our Congress, is to fix things and make things better."
"He supports the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare," Republican candidate Tom Reed said. "I do not. I believe we need to repeal it and we need to replace it. Because, as I have gone around the district and I have held these town halls and I have looked people in the eye, it is not affordable."
When questioned about gender equality, both candidates were unanimously in favor of equal rights and pay. However, when the topic of job creation surfaced, Plumb wished to join a new era of manufacturing while Reed hoped to promote traditional trade jobs.
"I've been to high schools, I've been to schools across the district, and a long story short, one time, I came out after the one kid who said 'I'm going to be a welder Congressman,' I put him on a pedestal," Reed said. "But, coming back, the guidance counselor said to me 'That was great Tom. You made his day. But, we don't promote those careers here.' That's wrong and those are the kind of jobs I'm fighting for."
"We need to be working on the wave that is happening right now all around the world, which is clean energy technology," Plumb said. "We need to be pushing on this. We've got the land, we've got the sun, we've got the wind, we've got the water, and we've got the workforce. So, let's go. We should be building and selling this stuff all around the world."
Later, both Reed and Plumb acknowledged the national debt crisis, with Plumb advocating for Medicare to negotiate drug prices and Reed striving to limit auto pilot spending by the federal government.
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