With Election Day quickly approaching, candidates for New York's 22nd Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Rep. Anthony Brindisi and Republican challenger Claudia Tenney squared off in an exclusive Spectrum News virtual debate.
The race is a rematch of 2018, giving the candidates a unique opportunity to discuss what they’ve both accomplished in Washington during their respective terms.
What You Need To Know
- Click here to watch the full debate
- Health care and COVID-19 was a big part of the conversation
- Both sparred over who's to blame for stalled stimulus talks
"I've gotten results. In fact, President Trump, over the weekend, just signed my fourth, my fifth and sixth bill into law,” Brindisi said in his opening statement.
"When you elected me to Congress, the viewers, in 2016, I got right to work, I worked with President Trump,” said Tenney in hers.
Brindisi narrowly defeated then incumbent Rep. Tenney in the midterm elections two years ago by less than 2 percent of the vote.
The candidates were asked in-depth questions on a variety of topics, including health care.
"Unfortunately, when my opponent was there, she voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said would take away health insurance from 23 million Americans,” Brindisi said.
The issue remains an important one as the Supreme Court is set to hear a case on whether Obamacare's individual mandate is constitutional.
"Our middle class is getting hurt by Obamacare. We went to try and fix it, to make sure people who are relying on their employer or on their own individual business to have health care,” said Tenney.
On the COVID-19 pandemic, the candidates sparred over who’s to blame for the continued stalled negotiations for a new stimulus plan.
"It's Anthony who is holding up the bill with Nancy Pelosi. She's refusing to come here while our small businesses are struggling," Tenney said. "I talk to them every day. I'm one of them. We need relief, we don't need Nancy Pelosi to wait for political reasons, until after the election is had before she brings relief to our struggling businesses."
"We have to have another COVID-19 relief bill. The person that's holding it up is Mitch McConnell in the Senate," Brindisi said. "The House and the White House are talking, the Senate has said they wouldn't even accept the White House $1.8 trillion plan, but what we need is we have to have a national testing strategy, we need to have support for our state and local governments,” Brindisi countered.
Each candidate also got an opportunity to ask the other a direct question. Brindisi asked Tenney if she supported a lawsuit to end the Affordable Care Act, while the Republican challenger pressed the incumbent for his choice to impeach President Trump.