tv Wisconsin Senate Debate CSPAN October 16, 2016 11:23am-12:24pm EDT
is too great not to find a bipartisan approach to make america the leader in the world. ms. ross: certainly, the most important thing that we should always work on in a bipartisan way is national security. we all care about the people of north carolina and we all care about the people of this country. and we must come together to work on national security, defense and foreign affairs in a bipartisan way so that we have a strong country going forward. jonathan: that concludes the questioning portion of this debate. we now turn to closing statements. 90 seconds to each of you. we begin with miss ross. ms. ross: thank you so much for tuning in. and i think you heard tonight that senator burr and i have very different visions for the future of north carolina and how we would approach being a eunice -- a u.s. senator. senator burr's vision where it's
ok to vote against a bill that bans against insider trading. and look out for special interest in himself. what north carolinians are looking for is a change. i been all or the state and i've heard your struggles and i know you are frustrated that washington isn't working for you. i want to go to the united states senate and make sure that your everyday struggles are taken care of. i will be a different kind of senator, one who listens. and i won't back down or sellout when things get hard. i will put your interests first every single day. and i hope very much to earn your vote. thank you so much. senator burr: jonathan, it takes a lot to commit with the atmosphere in washington today to run for office. i thank ms. ross for doing it. i am reminded of a conversation i had with my dad six years ago. i had come back from an intelligence trip.
he was in the hospital. i went in to see him and i said dad, how are you doing? he looked up at me and said two words -- i'm sorry. i said sorry for what? , he said i fought a war so you wouldn't have to go through this. my dad was the last child. he had all of his brothers and sisters serving in war when they became of age. he made only one mistake during basic training. they said who could swim, he raised his hand. he ended up in the south pacific. no wonder he became a presbyterian minister when he came back. thought i understood my dad was telling me. it wasn't until i started thinking about running for reelection. at that how easy would be not to run. i realize what my dad was telling me was life is not about sacrifices. it is about responsibilities. he didn't see world war ii as a sacrifice. he saw it as a responsibility.
the reason i am running for reelection is because i want to make sure that the next generation inherits what i inherited, which is an unlimited opportunity. i need your vote. if i have not earned it tonight, i hope to earn it over the next three weeks. thank you. jonathan: that concludes this debate. i want to thank mr. burr and ms. ross for participating. this public service program was brought to you by the north carolina association of broadcasters educational foundation. thank you for watching it good night. ♪ >> c-span brings you more debates in the week ahead of key u.s. senate races.
monday night, three debate starting at 8:00 eastern on c-span. first from c-span, incumbent republican pat toomey faces democrat 80 mcginty. marco rubio seeking reelection challenged by patrick murphy. from ohio, senator rob portman faces former democratic governor ted strickland at 10 eastern on c-span. onsday, live coverage c-span2. a debate from indiana. youngican representative faces former democratic senator evan pies. debate to, another succeed a retiring member of the senate. louisiana republican david bitter. --vitter. several candidates will take the stage.
live at 8:00 eastern on c-span two. on thursday, the candidates in ohio senate race meet for another debate. rob portman and ted strickland will meet live on thursday at 7:00 eastern on c-span. follow key debates of house, senate and governor's races on the c-span network, c-span.org and the c-span radio app. c-span, where history unfolds daily. in wisconsin, former democratic senator russ feingold is looking to reclaim his seat for the u.s. senate against republican senator ron johnson. the two candidates were in green bay on friday for their first debate. this is one hour. >> from the studios of wluk in green bay, the wisconsin broadcasters association foundation presents the 2016 u.s. senate debate with incumbent republican senator ron johnson and challenger russ feingold.
now, here is wba president and ceo, michelle vettercon. >> the broadcasters association is pleased to welcome you to the u.s. senate debate between two leading candidates senator ron johnson and former senator russ feingold. tonight's event originates from green bay, wisconsin at the studios of wluk tv. behind me is the home of the green bay packers, the legendary lambeau field, the symbol for excellence. tonight's debate continues the wba's long-standing commitment to excellence and public service. the debate is underwritten by the wba foundation and the -- supported by the branch of the wisconsin association of independent colleges and universities. it is being broadcast on radio and television stations across wisconsin and on c-span.
let's go to our moderator, a veteran wisconsin broadcaster member of the wnba hall of fame , -- wba hall of fame and professor of integrity, joe geisler. jill: our goal tonight is a debate that helps voters make choices. the debate in which the panelists ask questions that are relevant fact-based, and fair. , the candidates answer with specifics. no ducking, dodging, or changing the subject. i know that the panelists have researched and done their part. in addition we are incorporating , a social media desk so that we can pitch in on a topic or two. viewers can do this via the #wbadebate. social media questioners use this #wbadebate. we are counting on the candidates to their -- to do their part. let's welcome ron johnson and russ feingold.
gentlemen, let me remind you and the viewers of the rules of the road to which we have all agreed in advance. you will each have one minute and 30 seconds to respond to a panelist or social media question. we will alternate so each of you has the opportunity for the first and last word. if your responses don't really answer the question that was asked or you need context or clarification, i will invoke the moderators option and give you 30 seconds to give me a specific reply. your opponent will also get 30 seconds as well. we keep to time limits. there is a countdown clock in the studio. it is big and we can all see it. if you go over your time or intrude on each other's time, i will give you one warning. if you ignore it, your microphone will cease to function. finally, we will conclude with
two minute statements from each candidate. we flipped a coin. the first answer will go to russ feingold. the first question from tom milbourne of wluk green bay. >> our first topic has to do as it relates to a recent law school poll showing 53% of likely wisconsin voters say they were uncomfortable with hillary clinton presidency and 60% said -- 63% said they were uncomfortable with a donald trump presidency. senator johnson, your called trump's recently surfaced comments about women completely indefensible but you have not said you do not endorse him. mr. feingold, you did not endorse clinton until it was clear she would be the nominee and still have not said whether you voted for her in the wisconsin primary. starting with senator johnson, do you stand 100% behind your party's nominee? yes or no, and why?
jill: ron johnson has the first answer. ron johnson: i have been very consistent with how i've been dealing with our nominee. i am supporting the areas of agreement. on growing the economy and making sure realizes the full potential, defeating isis, securing our border. we have to doing that. certainly, appointing judges as opposed to legislators. in certainly supporting someone who will change washington. i have been supporting those a group air -- aries of agreement, but i have not been shy about disagreeing with our candidate and our nominee. i'm not going to defend the defect -- indefensible. which is a different stream of self then senator feingold who might be the last american that thinks hillary clinton is trustworthy. he has completely supported her even though she has decades of
corruption, lying boldfaced to the american public, a dereliction of duty in benghazi, i believe it cost for americans -- four americans their lives. i would call it negligent and reckless behaviors regarding some of america's top national security secrets. it shows she is completely disqualified from being president. i will search for areas of agreement and support those areas of agreement. that i will hold whoever is president accountable. i will work with whoever is president trying to solve the enormous challenges facing america. russ feingold: this is beyond areas of agreement, it's about deciding who'll be the leader of the united states and these most significant percent of the -- person in the world. it is my view that supporting donald trump is completely irresponsible. and that no one should really do it after they have seen the fact that he simply isn't qualified to be president. he doesn't have the temperament to be president.
he has used divisiveness, said horrible things about various ethnic groups and others in this country to get himself the nomination. it appears he's done a lot of other inappropriate things. this is no person to be the role model. i think it will be very frightening for the rest of the world if we elected donald trump. senator johnson has the chance to follow the lead of other republican senators who have said no i'm not going to support , enough is enough. i'm not going to support donald i challenge them to do the same. this is one of the times we have to be an american first. not a politician running for office. not a republican or democrat, but an american who is worried about the future of our great country. i have supported hillary clinton and bernie sanders both. i said all along that i would
happily support either one and i am confident having worked with secretary clinton in a number of contacts that she will be an excellent president. jill: let's go to the next question. this question is about guns. 49 people were gunned down in the pulse nightclub. also in june, five dallas police officers killed in an ambush style shooting. people keep saying we need to do something to reverse the problem. a recent law school poll found 85% of registered voters in wisconsin say they support closing the private gun sale loophole. mr. feingold, you have been outspoken about expanding background checks and have mentioned the possible use of an executive order. senator johnson, you voted against a bill that would have allowed the attorney general to bar people on the federal terrorism watch list from buying guns and voted against another bill requiring background checks for guns purchased at gun shows
and online. what is the one thing you pledge to wisconsin tonight that you will do if elected to better protect our communities, and still protect our constitutional rights? russ feingold: having grown up in wisconsin, i understand the importance of gun rights and the second amendment. i have always believed in it. i believe the people have the right to have guns for the purposes of self-defense and and all legitimate activities. on this one i follow the common sense of the people of wisconsin. the one thing i would make sure of is that we follow the common sense of those that demand overwhelmingly that we have background checks at gun shows and on the internet. i would work extremely hard to make sure that actually occurred. that the votes were lined up. there are republican senators who have been bipartisan on this issue. who have cosponsored on this legislation. senator johnson does not follow the common sense of the people
of wisconsin on this issue. he follows the rules and the edicts of the nra. he will not buck the nra and -- on anything on this. something is common sense as background checks when you buy a gun. this is one of those moments when the people of the state have to decide, do you want somebody who respects gun rights and believes an appropriate regulations, or someone who will only do with the nra permits him to do? that is the choice on november 8. ron johnson: there is no doubt about the fact that additional gun control laws don't solve the problem. if they did, you would see the murder rates in chicago going lower. they have extremely onerous gun control laws. i have backed provisions to increase enforcement of purchases. the vast majority of gun purchases and gun shows do go through background checks.
the problem in orlando is not one of gun control. the problem is we did not achieve the goal against isis. president obama laid out the goal against isis. in september of 2014, he said we would defeat them. we have not defeated isis. what we have to do, we have to lead. we have to heal our economy and strengthen our military. we have to actually cop the goal defeating isis. as long as they exist, they will continue to inspire the lone wolf activity that we saw in orlando and san bernardino. i asked people in wisconsin have , you ever heard of sammy mohammed hamsa? we have the potential of an -- we had the potential of an orlando sized terrorist attack right here in milwaukee. he was trying to buy a fully automatic weapon on the black market. criminals will be able to get guns, additional gun control is
not the answer. defeating isis is. nother question on ice is coming up. but specifically, what would you do for guns beyond isis? >> i supported the gun-control -- chairman grassley's gun-control bill that would increase the enforcement of straw purchases and increased enforcement of the people that violate current background checks. it was my leadership they tried to bridge the difference to keep people on the no-fly list from getting guns, but the problem is the bills being offered had no chance of passing through the house and were opposed by the nra and aclu. if we had more time, i think i would've been successful. senator johnson was not trying to bridge the gap. that it isbly noted his action and proposing an nra proposed idea on this. this was a bipartisan bill that
was going to try to solve this problem. but because senator johnson has no independence from the nra, this bipartisan effort failed. that is the actual story of what happened. jill: next question. panelist: the most recent figure shows 91% of people across the country have health insurance. at the same time, premiums continue to rise. in wisconsin, premiums will go up by an average of 16% next year. starting with senator johnson what solutions do you have to , reduce insurance costs? >> first of all you are way understating the problem with obama care. we really got hit in the first year. a study of six demographic groups after obamacare implementation, the lowest price increase of those is 1.8 times, the highest is three times. if you were paying $100 per
month, and i are paying about $180 or $300. obamacare has been an unmitigated disaster. i was at an interview yesterday and one of them asked would you turn back the clock and go back to where we were. in order to go back, because of obama, absolutely i would go back. we would go back and we would allow states to continue to regulate. i would eliminate the individual mandate. i would allow individuals to purchase across state lines. i would reestablish high risk pools. senator feingold was proud of his vote, said he knew what was in the law and said there's nothing that would prevent you from keeping the health care plan, yet it eliminated the high risk pools that actually work in wisconsin. obamacare is a massive consumer fraud. there were three promises, those
were lies. it never occurred. we have to go to free market patient centered reforms that put patients in control. freedom of choice will work. russ feingold: fraud is pretending these problems didn't exist before the affordable care act and pretending it didn't make real progress. senator johnson was very straightforward and said he would turn back the clock and take away all the things that have been accomplished. that means 20 million people who have been covered under the affordable care act would lose their coverage. 20 million people. that's not just import and for -- important for those people, it is important for hospitals and others that no longer have to see these people as charity cases. i have been told by hospitals in monroe. by patients in others that this is a major step forward. i have heard stories over the years of people who were blocked, people with cancer and other issues who could not get insurance because of pre-existing conditions.
the fact that they could be prevented from getting insurance. the affordable care act takes care of that. he would remove that. there are all kinds of people who can stay on their parents policy now until they are 26, he would get rid of that. there are people with mental health issues, opiate addiction issues that are very serious and they are now covered because of the affordable care act. it is not perfect and i agree that the deductibles and others have got to come down. we need to act if i have the . opportunity to be the senator, i would act on this instead of defending deductibles as senator johnson did on an interview. panelist: we have been hearing from citizens on this topic. it takes us now to mike at wl uk. and want to ask you first, some people are saying it was put in place to quickly. if you had to keep one part of obama care and dump one part for
both of you, which would it be and it only the one on each side. russ feingold: i would get rid of the cadillac tax. i don't think it makes sense. it was something i opposed at the time and effects perfectly legitimate policies and is one of those things i think would be a beginning step to improving it. we need bipartisan efforts to try to change this bill. there are other problems as well like the so-called family glitch. that means somebody that gets evaluated as an individual for the affordable care act, but not in a situation where they have a family. that doesn't make sense. surenk we need to make that premiums and deductibles are under control. that means signing up on exchanges -- it means signing up for exchanges are affordable. the more people signing up, the better for private insurance companies. insurance companies have indicated that they have dropped out or are thinking of dropping out because the mix of people -- a lot of people tend to be
sicker as opposed to healthier. the more people that are covered under the affordable care act, the better possibility that those will remain will be a better mix and will allow them to make the appropriate profits they need to make in order for this to make sense. all of these are bipartisan things. i will try to work on a bipartisan aces. senator johnson is assessed with getting rid of it. he filed a lawsuit, a frivolous lawsuit. it was thrown out here and in the seventh circuit court because he has litigated rather than try to work with other members of the senate to try to say how can you make this better. ron johnson: one thing i would keep is to allow kids under 26 to stay on their parents plan. that had a real cost impact. the thing i would definitely immolate would be the federal definition of health care. that is what has driven premiums through the roof. let me state, the promises of if you like your health care plan
or dr. you can keep them, premiums to duck. all of those things have not been true. premiums have skyrocketed. health feingold said the care law isn't as bad as people pretending it was. a premium went from $276 a month to $787 a month. gina who had to quit a part-time job, she is a mother, she is to work full-time because her premiums went from $500 to $1200 a month. millions of americans lost their health care. thousands of wisconsinites 20,000 in the high risk pool. , you had to know what was going to happen because you said you knew what was in there. you promise that wasn't it happened. people are losing access to doctors that they know and that they trusted. prior to obamacare, 95% was covered in wisconsin by insurance. after obamacare, 95% art
covered, it hasn't had an impact other than people lost health care they can afford. you are losing access to doctors. premiums have doubled and tripled. that is because of people like senator feingold passed this law. jill: we are out of time. we will go to our next question. would like to stay on this topic a long time because it affects many people but we have other important topics. senator johnson. we're going to start talking what isis and national security. u.s. troops are advising iraqi forces as they plan to capture mosul from isis fighters. news broke just a couple hours ago about the milwaukee mended -- men who have been charged with trying to help isis. a recent research poll shows 87% of people questioned say terrorism is their top concern. but for this question tonight, let's focus on isis overseas. you both served and have similar
-- both served on intelligence committees. you have similar backgrounds. there are different solutions that deal with this threat. tonight, starting with senator johnson, tell us about your specific plans for shutting isis down in the middle east. >> the first is to stop the hollowing out of the military. the democrats insist on more domestic spending before they are willing to agree to funding the military the way we should. when i was in new york, i was meeting with foreign ministers, ambassadors, delegations of the gulf states. they are begging for american leadership. we need to lead. we need to provide air cover, things like no-fly zones, but america has to lead. they are begging for a leadership. senator feingold says he has a the, the problem is that
cia director said despite her efforts, isis remains a formidable and resilient and many -- and many -- enemy. that is pretty sad. perhaps senator feingold's flam -- he voted against the very elements against the plan. 11 times he voted against authorizing the finest among us. gathering tools not part of his plan. he's the only senator to do so preventing law enforcement from having those tools. he also wanted to close down guantanamo bay. he was the first of the senators to call for a troop withdrawal from iraq which is a strategic blunder. >> the first thing to say is that a group like isis cannot allowed to continue to exist. it's not a time for listing
things people have done wrong that have nothing to do with it. this is beyond politics. this should be when we talk to each other and try to figure out what are we going to do to destroy this organization? what you've heard from senator johnson was no plan at all. there are several things need to do first of all, we have to , knock off their leaders. we have to kill them. there is a special force and they got the number two guy, they think. that needs to be intensified. how do you intensify? increase human intelligence. spies in the region. senator johnson, the chairman of homeland security hasn't lifted a finger to increase those resources. recently, there was a tragedy where we didn't have the right information and killed syrian troops. we need information. we have to cut off their oil supplies. this is how they created the caliphate by trading and producing oil.
we have to cut off their finances of the treasury has done. i have served on the intelligence committee for five years and worked on that. we have to make sure they can't get their arms to the turkish border. we have to be tough on the saudi's because they are friends in some cases, but in some cases they are exporting a radical idea of islam that is radicalizing muslims around the world. we of the recourse is to -- increase resources to the fbi. jill: we will move on. panelist: let's move domestically. we have seen the videos of body cams, dash cams, showing us police shootings of african-american men. those incidents of lead to demonstrations and some of them have gone file and. research by gallup and others indicates distrust of the justice system. police leaders like green bay's chief recently acknowledged the deterioration of community relations around the country. the u.s. justice department pledging to undertake its most ambitious project to date.
to track the use of force by police officers. starting with mr. feingold, what could you in your role as u.s. senator due to rebuild the trust in our communities? be specific. >> we have to recognize that nobody wants to be in this position. the african-americans i met with in sherman park the other day feel very uncomfortable. many friends of mine are police officers who feel uncomfortable and worried that when they leave their home to work every day, it can be a scary time. how do you do that? specifically, community policing. we need to reintegrate funding for community policing started in 1994 and was very beneficial so people know each other. people in the neighborhood know the police officers. there is a problem with institutional bias. we have to address that some of our communities don't have normal elements you would expect
in a community. we have to properly fund public schools. we have to have police officers in the community. we have to stop discrimination in lending for housing. we have to make sure that there are actually businesses in the neighborhood, a real neighborhood where people get to know each other and protect each other. the problem here is that there is not enough contact, there shouldn't just be a presence in sherman park, or milwaukee at the time of the tragedy. there should be a presence there all the time. the u.s. senator should go out and listen to people. not just in reelection time. but throughout one's terms of that you can constantly be part of the effort to make sure that the tension is reduced. ron johnson: you need to be involved. i have been involved with the certainly one of things i've done is community and i have shown up. i have done far more than show up and talk and call for more government spending and taxes. what i have done is i have
acted. one thing i am very proud of is my involvement with the joseph project. as a driver on the state of wisconsin there's not one , manufacturer that can hire enough people. and you have all this high level of unemployment. i have been racking my brain how , can we make those connections? how can we make connections to people generally trying to turn the lives around that want to seek that opportunity when they exist? using the greater church of christ that identifies people in that situation, formerly incarcerated, or people down on their luck, we going with just one week. we provide soft skills, training, interview skills, training. we set them up with interviews. 20 wonderful companies are hiring people from the joseph project. it is transforming people's lives. alvin says i go to work and it's
like heaven. said myhe participants nine-year-old daughter is finally proud of me. once is my parent's for -- parents are finally proud of me. you have to go in in gauge, you act and you turn people's lives around one person at a time. that's what actually works. panelist: the united states is the only industrialized nation without national paid family leave according to political -- politifact. out of 41 countries examined, the smallest amount of paid leave required with the exception of the united states is about two months. on the state level, a handful of states have paid family leave for birth or adoption. or to tend your medical issues or those of an immediate family member. wisconsin is not one of them. should the u.s. join other ed countries and paid
family leave and for what length of time? >> we face a number of problems whether it is strengthening the , military or providing opportunities for economic growth. the keith rings from my standpoint that are harming economic growth are massive over the regulation of government which costs about $2 trillion a year. i realize we are getting immune to these massive numbers, but household.,000 per this would be another federal regulation to increase costs on employers. i was talking to a wisconsin paper manufacturer about regulations. it is costing him about $12,000 per year per employee. again, paid family leave mandated by the federal government would increase the cost of those employers not only for under have money to increase wages and benefits. the question i would ask all wisconsinites would you rather have 14,000 of the cost of complying with federal
regulation? feeding a massive load of government bureaucracy would you like your paycheck feeding -- providing for your family. offered providing tax credits. that is leaving money in taxpayers money in their pocket. that is something i can support. in a different spin senator feingold and i is i want to leave more money in your pocket senator feingold wants to grow , government. when you grow government, it will require increased taxes. russ feingold: this is where we see the real difference. all 72 counties last year, all 72 counties this year and what people tell me if they are having a heck of a time making ends meet, making it work at work because of this problem, the failure of the economy to keep up with wages. people want the minimum wage raised. they also want family leave.
to not joinreason the cut -- other countries. it is also good for the businesses. because the business is saying that we value you. we want you to have a good family life and it is going to make that person more likely to stay with that business. it really is a shame that instead of siding with the families of the state that are making this request, senator johnson will only go with a position that is oriented to the corporate view. this is the view of the people of the state. overwhelming support family and medical leave. it is a reasonable request. it is not scream regulation. it is done in so many other places and it has not brought down the economies. it is time we join the rest of the world. senator johnson is not responding to that.
he just response the big corporations, billionaires and others don't want to do this. the future of social security is an ongoing issue. federal projections show that if nothing is done, the trust fund will be exhausted between 2029 and 2034. the retirement for manyeingold: people, it is all they have. it might be a small pension or something else. it is crucial. that is why i have always supported social security as a public program. i've never tried to suggest that there should be privatization or some other technique that would threaten those accounts. senator johnson has called it a ponzi scheme. he has specifically advocated george bush's idea of private
accounts. that is privatization. that is one of the scariest things. when people across the state here about private accounts, and makes them very concerned. what is the answer? first of all, the fund is not going tomorrow. that is a scare tactic. one thing that would help is to make sure that will pay their fair share on fica. right now, it covers out -- it stops out at 118,000. lebron james could pay more. pays 175,000.n wealthy people get social security. i'm not proposing we change that. i do not want to view it as a welfare program. it is only reasonable that people would pay their fair share. covering up -- cutting it off at 118,000 would not make it there, but it would help solve it. it would avoid this terrible
idea that senator johnson supports of privatization. the fact of the matter is that the trust fund holds an asset that is a liability to the treasury. it has no financial value whatsoever. that is because people like senator feingold, when given the chance to invest those surplus funds, he voted no. he voted not to protect the social security trust fund. he also voted to tax social security benefits. he voted to give social security benefits to those that have entered the country illegally. those actions do not save social security. i want to save social security. how do you do that? i do understand the enormous problem that in the past three years, so security will pay out trillions more dollars. save soto solve and security is economic growth.
we have been growing at such a low level since this recession, a little over 2%. historically, the american economy grows about 3.4%. it is a phenomenal difference. it sells and fixes social security. another little fact on that -- even with the meager economic growth we have had since 2009, the federal revenue has increased over the years. our god-givenlize resources. >> let's go over to the social media desk. >> one and subject we have not talked about yet is energy. here is a tweet we got a little while ago. what will you do as a senator to move us towards more renewable energy and combat climate change? when d.c. is the most important energy source of the future, and what is -- what do you see at
the most important energy source of the future, and what to me due to get there? senator johnson: thank you fracking, we are energy efficient. let's use this resources. the policies that senator feingold supports would cause electricity rates to skyrocket. that makes wisconsin workers on competitive in the global market. from my standpoint, the best thing to do is to use those god-given resources so that we can have a strong economy. that is the solution. energyr all the above strategy. i am not opposed to some government funding for wind and solar. funding basic science and research. in the end, it has to be market-based. , the is not market-based electricity rates would skyrocket and that is not good for the economy. we really have to focus on economic growth.
senator feingold: there is an area of agreement here. -- two and all of the above approach to energy. we just to do some thing about climate change. it is a serious problem. i grew up in the state, and the climate in the state has changed over my lifetime. it is a frightening prospect. editor johnson does not see it that way. in fact, -- senator johnson does not see it that way. in fact, scientists around the world believed it to be a product of man-made actions. man-made climate change. senator johnson does not believe in climate change great last july -- in climate change. last july was one of the warmest in history. we have to look at alternatives. one of the answers is to look at solar and wind. the president's plan allows the states to use flexibility. we can continue to use coal, but we will want to use more solar
and wind. we are going to use other renewable resources, both because it create jobs, and because it create -- reduces carbon emissions. industry truck recently cut a deal with president obama. they agreed to lower their commissions over the next 20 years -- emissions over the next 20 years which will have a significant impact on carbon emissions. they believe they will sell more cars this way. this is not just something to do about energy. it is also about the economy. senator johnson does not believe there is man-made clement change. -- climate change. >> let's talk about defense spending. defense spending in wisconsin is 2.6 billion dollars and created 19,000 jobs in the state. the potential for production in funding over the years remains. aware, mandatory
are enforced by the budget control act of 2011. both presidential candidates have called on ending sequestration for the department of defense saying that the military right now is simply too important. where do each of you stand on this? senator johnson, i know you voted against the initial act. has your opinion changed? senator feingold, we will start with you, how do you feel about funding the military? we have tongold: continue to fund the military. we have to make sure we spend the money as it relates to the threats. you have to tailor the spending to the kind of threats like isis and al qaeda and other threats around the world. we do not exactly spend in the exact same way. you also have to find places in which money is not being spent
wisely so that it can then be spent wisely. a good example is a federal fitness plan which is a plan for -- with about 35 provisions that says how we could save some money in the military. for example, we have abrams .anks -- some 1000 abrams tanks only about 300 of them need to be retrofitted according to the military. it continues because of the corporate contracts that supported. what we need to do is be smart, take a close look at what is not supportd i do some kind of cut to the military across the board. i support making sure the money is being spent wisely, and that it is being related to the problems around the world. i think this is a golden opportunity given the enormous threat of these terrorist groups to consider if we find the intelligence community to a degree. we should look at these as combined. the defense and the intelligence spheres work together. i've seen that during my work in
the senate. work and in hand, and we make sure they are funded appropriately, too. defense hawksn: do not vote against authorization for the villa terry 11 times -- for the military in the last 11 years. -- for the military 11 times in the past few years. i believe in the military. of course we have to resources. i voted against the budget control act, because of defense sequestration. i thought it was the craziest policy. i would know it -- i knew it would put our homeland at risk. it has. our military is now being hollowed out. the problem is that senator feingold's party in the senate consistently blocks republicans when we tried to increase defense spending, because they always ask for more domestic spending on programs that do not work or exacerbate the problem.
we have to focus on the top priority. we have to bring things like defense spending bills to the floor of the senate for consideration. there is no way i would say that the defense department in spending money. the government is not efficient or effective, however we need to defend -- and -- we need to spend appropriately towards the top priority. subject ofare on the the military, let us go to tom. >> when you talk about the military, you are talking about its people. when talking about the care that the veterans receive, in a recent survey more than 30% of veterans receiving care do not believe that the pa hospital -- va hospitals or medical centers leave -- are giving them the appropriate care. these are the people we need to care about the most. senator johnson, you have
supported partially privatizing. senator feingold, he said more money could be a solution. senator johnson, with visit -- examples, have youles proposed improving the care -- how do you proposed improving the care? senator johnson: one thing i have done, i have acted. i first found out about this of -- first became a part the chair on government affairs. and make more information public. there was a report that was buried. because of my investigation and mike hearings in our reports, we have held people accountable. for doctors and poor nurse practitioners have been fired.
the inspector general that buried 140 reports that had not been made public and could have saved the lives of others has been removed. the inspector general that senator feingold's office has repeatedly been advised as far back as 2008 in 2009. i had eight veterans serving on my staff with 110 years of combined service. we take these things seriously. i am not sure why senator feingold or his staff did not raise the alarm. they needed to lay out the problems. nothing happened in 2008 and 2009. with that specifically because his staff did not care or senator feingold did not? senator feingold: there was testimony before his committee that made it clear that my office never received any notification of the kind. this tragedy occurred several years later during senator
johnson's watch. this is a sad moment when someone who knows something is untrue repeats it because he is a politician trying to get reelected. it is awful. with this is about is making sure our veterans get the care they need. that they can get it quickly and near where they live. if they must travel, that it is not too onerous. that they do not have to wait for an appointment. i have been all over the state. whenever i meet a veteran, i asked them about how they feel about their care. a lot and have come up to me saying that they like their doctor and their care. one man said he got his glasses at the v.a.. there are problems that need to be improved, but most veterans want to make sure that this program continues as a federally guaranteed program. i did not wait until my fifth year in office to start acting on errands issues. i was responsible for new health care clinics in sawyer county and centers in green bay.
i got that done. i listened to the people in those counties, and i did as they were asking of me. i am going to invoke moderators privilege to ask what will you do moving forward? senator johnson? senator johnson: you need to make sure it has adequate funding. ofm totally supportive allowing that are in to have private access to health care that is close to them. one granddaughter said that had she had known, she would never have taken her dad to a specific center. it is about choice. the va has a life of problems. we need to improve the choice program. senator feingold: there are very specific things you can do.
i had a nice conversation with a county board member of north the other day. he said that when you go to the va, you go to your doctor tells you need to go see a specialist. apparently, you need to go through some your accuracy to see a specialist. i do not think you need -- it should be that way. i think we should cut the red tape out to make sure it happens. we need to do it in the context of the v.a. as a public program and not a private system. class in the entire system, 73.5% borrow money. the average debt at graduation for students reaches over $30,000. nationally, the institute for college access published reports 2014, the2009 two average graduation debt rose at twice the rate of inflation. student loan debt has surpassed credit card debt and hinders
students abilities of achieving my goals such as purchasing homes, starting families, investing in small businesses, or retiring from the workforce. what is the role of federal government in what will you do if elected to make sure that higher education is more affordable and -- accessible? senator feingold: as i have gone to the counties, that is the thing i hear most overall. the most commonly mentioned thing in the context is the cost of student loans. the problem it creates for families and for the community. if people have these huge loans, they cannot buy a house. that affects the entire community. we do need to continue the federal rule. we need the federal student loan program. senator johnson said it should have never been created. there is a simple piece of legislation that would help. senator elizabeth warren has a built that says you should be able to renegotiate your student
loan like a mortgage. senator johnson voted against it. where is the concern about the terrible position that the young people are being placed in? i think -- placed in? i think it is a denial of the american dream. there could be a profit off the student loans. they could use the money for something else such as the tax loopholes that senator johnson likes to vote for. they can use it for that, and i think it should be prohibited. if the federal government is going to have that program, the money should be poured back into making the student loans more affordable. these are specific things we can do. senator johnson has said that young people and it is free money, and that is not true. they know what interest is and they are very worried. senator johnson: the cost of college has increased tremendously. that hasso different
caused the cost of increased by that level? senator feingold is exhibit a of how that happens we charged $8,000 per lecture at elect -- as a lecturer at stanford university. that is what causes the on affordability of college. we have to address the affordability issue. the fact of the matter is that we already have 38 different tograms that lower payments 10% or 20% of discretionary income. it pays off the debt in 10 or 20 years. many who defaulted on their student loans did not know that these programs exist. so, we had these programs and websites on my website to make sure that students are aware of what already exists, as opposed to creating some new federal government programs. senator warren's program would cost $50 million that would add to the deficit. over the next 30 years, our
deficit will agree by $103 trillion. senator feingold had three opportunities to vote for a balanced budget amendment in the 90's. twice he could've been the yes vote to make it past the senate. since he voted no, our debt has increased i $14 trillion. i think senator feingold to be held accountable for that. it has not helped students. >> we have about 30 seconds. each of you can have a ticket this. -- a kick at this. senator feingold: the world that senator johnson describes is one that just says "too bad." bad that the students have this debt. if you want to represent the people of wisconsin, you have to get serious about trying to make sure that these loans are affordable. that needs to happen now and not in some kind of fantasy world
where millionaires and multimillionaires are redoing the world. senator johnson: i was the leader in making sure that the perkins loans were extended for another two years. i supported the student loan certainty act which lowered interest rates to about 3.7%. time to completely refute the false charges that i've been -- that senator feingold has hurled at me. i support that who ever want to have a college education -- i want to make you they have the opportunity to build a good life for themselves. it is all about how you makei so have a college more affordable. we have to address the issue honestly. >> it is time now for your closing statements. by the coin flip, senator feingold you are first. thank you,ngold: jill. thank you to the wisconsin broadcasters. it has been amazing to see the innovations such as the water
hub in milwaukee. this is doing amazing things with fresh water. you come up here to green bay, and i cannot stop eating the mozzarella that you get at the trek. it is a wonderful company -- quick trip. it is a wonderful company. tool shop machine that is taking old machines and manufacturing them, being able to sell them cheaper than some of the newer machines. this is some good news, but there are also problems. the problem that middle income and working families are not able to make ends meet. this could -- this is happening even though people at the top are living comfortably. so where is the fairness? they want an increase in minimum wage. they want pharmaceutical medicine to be affordable. they want student loans to be addressed with in a real way. they do not want jobs shipped overseas such as the transit pacific partnership.
sen. johnson:'s these are the greatest agreements -- senator johnson thinks these are the greatest agreement since sliced bread. they are not. they need a senator that will vote with them and not vote for the corporations and billionaires every time. they do not have a shot if that is the matchup. it would be different with me. i would stand with the people of this state. if you elect me, that is exactly what i will do. senator johnson: as i have traveled around the state, the number one and the people come up to say to me is that they -- is that i am in their prayers great i cannot tell you how much i appreciate that -- their prayers. i cannot think how much i appreciate that. the next most common thing they you nothat, "why do just get along and get something done?" that is exactly what i have done. of homeland security and government affairs, i have found agreements that unify us. i've accomplished things.
we have passed 18 pieces of legislation. you do this by using an outsider, business approach to get things done. that is what the people of wisconsin had asked me to do, and that is what i have done. this election is a stark contrast between two individuals. senator feingold was a career politician and he did not have a lot to show for it. during the same 34 years that he was in office, i helped start, build, and grow a successful wisconsin family business that has provided people of wisconsin good, paying jobs. i don't that company. -- i built that company. we export products. theder -- i understand importance of building business. i know how hard the government makes it. i want to build the private sector so