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tv   Georgia 6th District Debate  CSPAN  June 9, 2017 5:38pm-6:38pm EDT

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>> if you missed any of that hear, find it online at c-span.org. just type secretary tom price in the search bar. before becoming health and human rvices secretary in february he represented georgia's sixth district. with a special election just days away, democrat jon ossoff and republican karen handel squared off in a debate. 90.1 s hosted by wabe f.m. >> hello and welcome to the georgia sixth congressional district debate on pba 30 and 90.1 wabe atlanta.
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i'm dennis o'hare, the host of "morning edition" on wabe. early voting is already under way in the sixth district, election day is june 20. the district covers parts of cobb, fulton, and dekalb counties. the winner of the runoff will succeed republican tom price who resigned when president trump apointed him the nation's secretary of health and human services. the runoff winner will finish congressman price's term and then an election for a full term will take place in november of next year. we are honored to have the two candidates with us for the next hour. republican karen handel is former georgia secretary of state and former chair of the fulton county commission. democrat jon ossoff is a former congressional aid, an investigative filmmaker, and we are joined by a small studio audience, we are insisting on
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silence from them with two exceptions. at the end of the debate and now. please welcome and thank our candidates. [applause] mr. ho heir: for the next hour, we will have a discussion on affecting -- pics mr. o'haayer: for the next hour e will have a discussion about topics. each canned did will have a chance to answer initial questions and followups with me, then they'll have 30 seconds each or to a minute to exchange responses to what each other has said by coin toss it was determined that karen handel will make the first opening statement. secretary?
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ms. handel: thank you for sponsoring this debate and having us both here. i am an extremely unlikely candidate for congress. i left home when i was just 17, finished up high school and went to work. i know exactly what it is like to fight against the odds and to overcome adversity. i started my career in an entry-level job. i worked really hard to move up and excel and prosper. ultimately holding executive positions in several companies, running the chamber of commerce in north fulton, having the privilege of serving as county commission chairman and secretary of state. i'm tough, i'm resilient, some people call me strap by and that's because i am. i am determined to get the job done. and i will take that tenacity, that type of dermings to congress to represent the -- that type of determination to congress to represent the sixth district in the fiercest way i can. i look forward to answering questions, sharing my experience and how i'm the better candidate
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for this job. thank you very much. moderator: thank you. jon ossoff. mr. ossoff: thank you. thank you for being here. we have virtually unlimited economic potential here in atlanta. we have growing biotech and medical tech centers, all the assets necessary to become one of the world's great commercial capitals. we have the busiest airport in the world. we're just up the road from a deep water port in savannah, becoming a hub for logistic in the global economy and we can become the great commercial capital and bring greater economic opportunity, bring more households here, but we need some imagination to get that done. we need some fresh leadership that's ready to work across the aisle to cut wasteful spend, to set the right priorities like infrastructure, high tech research, higher education. with some fresh leadership, we can achieve our full economic potential. i'm ready to go to washington to
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work across the aisle to focus on solutions so we can become what we have the potential to become and have a higher quality of life. moderator: thank you very much. now to our questions. once again, each candidate has two minutes exchanging thoughts with me then a chance to respond to each other. you don't have to take the whole two minutes if you don't want to, we can move on to other things too. by coin toss, mr. ossoff gets the first question. you talked about fixing the affordable care act instead of scrapping it. that's how we'll begin this section on health care. one of the biggest problems with obamacare has been a much sharper than expected increase in premiums that people have to pay. it can vary, we won't get into all the variables but here in the atlanta area, the average annual jump in premiums in the last three years for a 40-year-old on the silver plan, just to take a hypothetical, has been 5%.
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annual jump of 5% according to georgia state university analysis. but in other places like gainesville, northeast georgia, it's 2 % a year. the house republican plan, that passed the house and is now in the senate, would let states get waiver so people could buy plans without some of the coverages now man dathe under obamacare. the congressional budget office score of that estimates that depend og whan a state does with its waivers, average premiums could eventually end up anywhere from 4% lower to 26% lower in 10 years than they would be if we kept obe -- obamacare. doesn't that potentially address the problems of uninsured people and the high premiums and given that, isn't that a fix for obamacare? mr. ossoff: what we need is bipartisan efforts to get premiums urn control. i think we can do that by introducing more competition into the insurance market. something for which i think there may be bipartisan will on both sides of the aisle, letting georgians shop plans across
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state lines. like in any market, if consumers have more choices, then prices will be driven down and quality will be driven up. but what the house health care bill does and secretary handel supports the house health care bill is not only three more than 0 million americans off their health insurance but guts essential protections for georgians with pre-existing conditions. and there are more than 328,000 georgians with pre-existing conditions in the sixth district alone. moderator: but if people can get coverage, especially young people, could get coverage for just the conditions they might need, wouldn't that actually mean more people insured? mr. ossoff: i oppose legislation that guts protections for georgians with pre-existing conditions. i mentioned the other night a young man named matt, a 7 -- he's 7 years old, has a heart condition. without protection for pre-existing conditions like matt, his family could have to pay tens of thousands of dollars
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a year. let me mention another story. a young man named john armwood who was between jobs when he developed cancer. because there are protections for georgians with pre-existing conditions he was able to get the insurance he needs and his cancer was cure. secretary handel supports a bill that guts protections for those with pre-existing conditions. and the other evening you were misnored -- misinformed about that. this bill guts protections for pre-existing conditions. 's consistent with secretary handel imposing her views on things. moderator: we'll pick up on that in a moment. let me ask you quickly if you win you'll be joining a house caucus with -- where some members, along with some in the senate that the answers to these problems that you're referring to or the republicans are
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referring to is to move to sangele payer system like -- along the lines of medicare or what other countries have? mr. ossoff: we need a lot less ideology and more focus on health care. i don't think a plan like that has any hope of passing this congress. the only way we're going to get anything done on health care is with a bipartisan approach. i think that by increasing competition in the health insurance market we should be able to build bipartisan good will to do that. i will be the kind of independent voice ready to work across the aisle to achee that oal for georgians. moderator: secretary, the congressional budget office score of the republican plan projects that 23 million more americans will go uninsured in the next 10 years and bill custer whoablizes health policy at georgia tech estimates 700,000 georgians, we're talking about just georgians here, would
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lose coverage over the next decade. but there's another problem. while premiums would drop for some people, and i referred to that with mr. ossoff, others could become uninsured by just being priced out. the c.b.o. said over time it would become more difficult for less healthy people, including people with pre-existing medical conditions in states that get waivers, to purchase insurance, because the premiums would go up so sharply. so that leads to the question we actually got from someone in our audience this person asked, how are you going to make sure my son with a pre-existing congenital condition would be able to afford insurance as he turns 26 and ages out of the coverage he has through me? ms. handel: first of all, the status quo on obamacare is unacceptable. s that system that is collapsing in on itself. we talk about skyrocketing premiums and what might happen post the repeal and replace. ladies and gentlemen, premiums
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are already pricing people out of plans. that is a fact. for my husband and i, and i know what i'm talking about because steve and i get our insurance off the obamacare exchange, we have seen our personal premiums go from $300 to almost $1,00 a month. meanwhile, our deductible went from $2,500 to $10,000. people are already being priced out. the status quo cannot continue. what we need -- moderator: the c.b.o. says under the republican plan as it exists -- ms. handel: that assumes not a single, solitary person will take advantage to have the tax credits that are given to individuals who want to buy plans. what this does is provide tax credits, it gets the federal government out of the way that is going to create more plan optionsmark doctor choices and bring down the premiums. it is incorrect, the c.b.o. projected great numbers for obamacare and they did not come
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through at all. we need to have more choice, get the federal government out of the way, and if i can, i'll phrase this in conditions work all due respect, jon, you are factually incorrect. factually incorrect. i have great empathy on the pre-existing condition issue. my sister was born without an esophagus. she is the very definition of that. and for individuals who currently have plan they cannot be deny. they cannot be charged more. there are already individuals who are being -- with pre-existing conditions that are being priced out of the market. so what is being accomplished? nothing. we have to repeal this bill. and replace it with a new fix that's coming through that takes out those tax -- incredible tax increases and restores back to the people their health care decisions that -- at a rate they can afford. moderator: just a couple of seconds left, just a note on whether the c.b.o.
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underestimated what the impacts would be of obamacare, both cnn and our colleagues at npr did a fact check on that, it is true, the c.b.o. overestimated the number of people who would gain coverage through the exchanges, but they were much closer to the mark on a lot of other things about it, including how much the a.c.a. would affect coverage overall. so it was kind of a mixed record on that. ms. handel: but it doesn't take away from the fact that their main projection was incorrect. moderator: many of their others have been. mr. ossoff you want to respond to something secretary handel said? mr. ossoff: on the matter of pre-existing conditions, and secretary, i appreciate you sharing your personal story, the facts are the facts. independent fact checks, journalist, analyst, have all found that this bill guts protections for georgians with
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pre-existing conditions. it's fine to say, madam secretary, that someone cannot be denied coverage period. if they have a pre-existing condition. but if there's no limit on price discrimination and the plan is unaffordable that is a useless protection. and it is a fact that this bill guts protections against massive price hikes for georgians with pre-existing conditions. and it is important that the voters be well informed about this. and frankly it's important that candidates for congress be well-informed about this. secretary handel's position is incorrect. it's factually incorrect. this bill will not serve georgians with pre-existing conditions. more than 328,000 of them in the sixth district. and for that reason it's unacceptable. moderator: secretary handel? ms. handel: i guess, jon, you subscribe to the nancy pelosi approach to policymaking, just pass it, then you'll read it.
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i looked at the bill. it specifically says individuals who have a plan as we transition to the new plan in more market approach in the state that you cannot be denied a plan and you cannot be charged more because of a pre-existing condition. so i think it is really important for everyone to understand that the system we currently have is collapsing. the status quo, doing nothing is unacceptable. we are down to just two providers in the state of georgia that is not choice. and those premiums are going through the roof. they're already pricing people out of the market. moderator: we've got about a minute left to cover the rest of health care. you touched on something, secretary, that is important about insurance. and i'm going to toss this one to you first and then mr. ossoff. the deadline for insurance companies to file their obama marketplace plans is the day after one of you will be
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elected. right after the runoff election. if the trump administration decides to cut subsidies to insurers that are called cost-sharing reduction, and it fwets weedy here, but if insurance companies don't know what their subsidies will be they'll pull out of the exchanges. we've seen this happen in ohio. do you think the administration and health and human services secretary price should at least figure out how to continue the marketplace since the senate hasn't even agreed on what its version of the bill is, at least give the insurance companies some certainty, say we're going to continue obamacare the way it is until we agree on what repeal and replace should be. we've got about 30 seconds. ms. handel: as someone with real world business experience i completely understand the requirement to have a transition period. i don't think anyone is suggesting, certainly not secretary price, that this would change from friday to monday. there will have to be a transition period.
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that's really important for the insurers, for physicians, and frankly for patients and those who are out shopping plans. without question, a transition. moderator: mr. ossoff? mr. ossoff: there's no doubt that the laws on the books need improvement. it's important that the federal agencies work to make sure that these adjustments aren't disruptive and don't deny people the health insurance they need. what we need is a bipartisan approach to this issue that will increase competition in the insurance market, while strengthening essential consume brother texts. secretary handel's insistence to the contrary notwithstanding, it is a fact that this bill is bad for georgians with pre-existing conditions. voters need to know that and candidates need to know that too. moderator: we're going to move on to the economy, we may come back to some of the things later on and you'll have time in your closing statements to make any points you don't -- didn't have time to. we'll start with secretary handel on this one.
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the president's budget is based on the assumption that the economy will grow at an annual rate of about 3% by 2020 and stay there. in other words continue 3% annual growth. a lot of economists say this is unrealistic. won't this add to the deficit if the projections are wrong, the president's math is wrong, won't this actual add to the deficit and to something that a lot of your republican colleagues in georgia are concerned about, including senator david perdue, the long-term debt which is now $550 billion. ms. handel: i think a couple of thing, first, on the president actually submitting a budget, that's something that hasn't happened certainly under the eight years obama and it is one that does balance in 10 years. to be sure, we have serious budget issues that require our attention and some tough decisions. at the same time, we're not going to cut our way out of things. so that budget was presented with also a parallel to do tax
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reform, roll back mandates, roll back regulation. moderator: in the short-term that would cut revenues more. ms. handel: looking at a 10-year horizon, the budget was built out on a 10-year horizon. having a growth rate, an economic rate of 1.5% growth in our economy is nothing short of anemic. we have to move that needle up to 3%. and i believe unlike my opponent who refuses to commit to tax reductions and tax cuts, that if we reduce corporate rates and individual rates we will start to spur real economic growth so that we can get the economy moving up into the % range, if not higher. i believe that is imperative. couple that with regulatory reform as well as rolling back some of the onerous mandates that are literally strangling small businesses. the companies that are the largest creators of jobs, not only in the sixth district but
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in the country. moderator: last year growth was at 1.6%. you're saying we could double that in that short of time? ms. handel: in 10 years? we better or we have much bigger issues on the horizon. i believe deeply that when you combine tax cuts for corporations and individuals and the individual component of this is key for this reason, so many businesses in the sixth and in the country are organized as l.l.c.'s and s-corps, the pass-through companies. we must do it on the individual side so the middle class can participate and those l.l.c. and s-corp businesses can participate. that's how we get going. if we don't include that segment of the economy, middle class and small business, we won't achieve it. moderator: mr. ossoff you've talked about cutting wasteful spending. you said you identified $600 billion in potential savings. over what period of time and to
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secretary handel's point, can we cut our way out of this? just about every economist on, no matter where they are on the spectrum has said, yeah, we have to cut wasteful spending but there's no way we can cut our way to budget stability. mr. ossoff: first of all, to ensure the record is accurate, ecretary handel, i've been advocating for reduction in corporate tax rates for small and medium sized businesses, i think that would be a big win for business here's in georgia. i've identified specific cuts and savings, $600 billion over 10 years, $16 billion immediately, in order to reduce the deficit and create space for us to set the right priorities. higher education. infrastructure. high tech research we need to grow our local economy here. it's important that candidates for congress understand the facts. and the budget proposal we've been talking about has been
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widely panned by independent economists because it's unrealistic growth expectations and because it pro pre-sumes that the tax reform plan which so far amounts to little more than some bullet point os b a single sheet of painer is deficit neutral. it's not been assessed by indement economists yet the secretary supports it. she supports the health care bill sand wrong about moderator: but can you address those keff sits and debt without looking at the revenue side? you have talked about tax cuts for small and medium sized businesses. but if you win, you're going to join a house democratic caucus where many members have called for increasing individual income taxes on folks in the top income bracket. according to the census bureau, the median household income in your district was $83,900. certainly effect
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some of those folks. would you support a higher tax rate for upper income americans as many democrats in the house do? mr. ossoff: no. i don't support any increase in income tax rates. what i support is a serious approach to tackling wasteful spending and then setting the right priorities, like infrastructure, high-tech research and higher education. secretary handel has not specified any cuts. whereas i have, which is pretty unusual for a candidate for congress, specified $600 billion in cuts over 10 years. i think that speaks to the kind of independent-minded leadership we need, to work across the aisle, to attack waste. by the way, folks know this. both parties in washington are complicit in wasting huge amounts of taxpayer dollars. the problem is career politicians. and if we send another career politician like secretary handel to washington, we're going to get more of the same. you elect more of the same. you get more of the same. we need a fresh per spectacular thave will take tackling -- perspective that will take tackling waste seriously.
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ms. handel: thank you. my opponent talks a lot about cutting spending. he talks about balancing budgets. he has not done it one single time. he was a junior staffer for hank johnson, one of the most liberal tax and spend members of congress that we have. i have a track record of cutting spending and balancing budgets. in fulton county i took on a $100 million budget deficit. i worked in a bipartisan fashion to stave off a massive property tax increase for the people of fulton county and get that budget balanced. as secretary of state i cut that budget by nearly 20% as well. that's the kind of real world experience. we cannot just sit around and talk about this, that and the other, which -- what john has proposed is essentially just a gnat in the grand scheme of big budget. what needs to happen is fundamental budget reform. we need to move to zero based budgeting. we need to break down the silos in the federal government, and
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break down the bureaucrat speak where they talk about, oh, if i don't get the same amount of money i got last year that's a cut. that's the kind of talk that comes out of the liberals, that jon ossoff is being propped up by and supported by. we need experience. someone who really knows how to deal with the budget. mr. ossoff: only a big spending career politician like secretary handel would refer to $600 billion as a drop in the bucket. that is $600 billion. ms. handel: in terms of balancing this budget and dealing with a $20 trillion debt, it is. mr. ossoff: with all due respect, secretary handel, you don't have a lot of credibility. on fiscal responsibility. when secretary handel was the chair of the fulton county commission, she plundered the county's cash reserves to balance the budget. in fact, was found just a couple of months ago telling half truths about it, at the same time grew her own office budget by more than 40%. what we need is a fresh perspective. career politicians on both sides of the aisle, dennis, have been wasting taxpayer
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dollars for too long. ms. handel: unbelievable. you continue, continue to mislead and lie to the voters. i have one of the strongest fiscal records of any individual who has held public office in the state of georgia. balancing that budget at fulton county by having targeted account -- cuts, realigning that budget, prioritizing spending, and as secretary of state i cut that budget by nearly 20%. my record speaks for itself. you have a record of working for one of the most liberal members of congress. your track record, your experience amounts to being a junior staffer for hank johnson and producing a couple of documentaries. moderator: about 15 seconds. then we're going to have to move on. mr. ossoff: the facts are the facts once again. when secretary handel was the chair of the fulton county commission, she plundered the county's cash reserves to balance the budget. was found telling half truths about it by an independent fact check a couple of months ago.
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ms. handel: when i left as fulton county commission chairman, finishing up my term as chairman, fulton county had the highest cash reserves in the recorded history of fulton county. jon, you are the one who needs to get your facts straight. moderator: at that point -- this could go on for the entire time. but we will have to move on here. and if you just joined us, this is georgia's sixth congressional district debate on pba 30 and 90.1 wabe. we are joined by the two candidates in the june 20 runoff election, republican karen handel, and democrat jon ossoff. let's talk about president trump and the russia nvestigation for a moment. we are speaking moment before fired f.b.i. director james comey speaks to the senate intelligence committee. but we did at least see the opening statement in advance in which he said in a series of meetings, the president asked him to back off the
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investigation of former national security advisor michael flynn. and asked for what amounted to a loyalty pledge. secretary handel, starting with you, do you think the president obstructed justice? ms. handel: based on that testimony, i don't think we can know one way or the other. we don't know what former f.b.i. director comey is going to say. today in front of the committee. what i think is the responsible thing to do here is let the four investigations proceed. we have a special counsel, we have the senate, the house, as well as the justice department investigation. and it is imperative that we get to the facts of this situation and let the facts really drive where we go and what action we take. not innuendo and all of those things that have been in the press. so i'll be anxious to see what he actually testifies to. denis: is what's happening more than innuendo? at least some of the things? we have already seen the president fire james comey.
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ms. handel: and comey should have been fired. denis: then he told lester holt that the russia investigation had something to do with it. the white house has not said that -- denied "the washington post" report that the president approached top intelligence officials who testified yesterday, as we speak, that went before that very same senate intelligence committee. so do you see anything wrong here? i mean, someone might say, look, if a democratic president had done this, it's not much of a stretch to believe that republicans would be holding hearings that would make benghazi look like nothing? ms. handel: what i have said, i continue to believe. there is enough here, that's why we have to have this investigation. and i'm not going to get into the speck latory realm of this. i want to see the actual facts. and the american people have a right and deserve to know what actually happens. let's let the investigations go, get the facts, and i hope that everyone who is called to testify, that they actually show up and they tell
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truthfully and forth right -- with a forth right manner -- manner everything that they know. denis: the president campaigned for you. did he mention anything about loyalty or any of the things that mr. comey -- ms. handel: yes, primarily what was happening in the race. denis: do you think that -- do you have any second thoughts about him campaigning for you, given what has happened? ms. handel: look, we have an investigation going on in this. let's let the facts go where they need to go on this. president trump is the president. and having his support -- i'm happy to have his support. but i'm also happy to have, frankly, the support of the people of the sixth district. that is what is most important to me. because as the next congressman for the sixth district, i understand full well that i am not an extension of the white house. i am an extension of the people of the sixth district. denis: mr. ossoff, on the same subject, for all of the questionable things, some of which i just cited to secretary
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handel, there is still no concrete evidence, concrete evidence now, of any collusion between the trump campaign and the russians, let alone the president or the president-elect as he was at the time. and this brings up a question, another one from our audience, what congressional oversight is needed on russian election interference and any trump campaign ties? and if you were in congress, would you join some of your democratic colleagues, a few who are already demanding impeachment? mr. ossoff: here's what we know. he u.s. intelligence community has publicly stated that the russian government sought to interfere in the u.s. presidential election. and that they did so through their intelligence services on the direct orders of vladimir putin. and that is an outrage. no matter your party, as a matter of national security, as a matter of patriotism, foreign intelligence service, interfering in the u.s. presidential election requires a firm and tough response. and it requires a complete
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independent and transparent investigation and that's what we need. i've been calling for an independent investigation for a long time. a long -- along with independent-minded leaders on both sides of the aisle. senator john mccain has been calling for an independent investigation for months. secretary handel was silent on the subject. didn't call for an independent investigation until former f.b.i. director mueller had already been appointed. and what we need is effective congressional oversight. not partisan congressional oversight. when matters so serious as a foreign intelligence service interfering in the u.s. presidential election come to light, we need folks in both parties to be aggressively seeking the facts. so the american people know what happened. denis: so if you were in congress, and this may come up should you win, should congress pass a bill putting the existing sanctions against russia into law? in other words, have congressional on it because of their behavior in syria and
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because of the interference in the election? mr. ossoff: absolutely. we need a tough and firm response to russian meddling in our politics and it shouldn't be a matter of partisanship. secretary handel refused to call for an independent investigation until director mueller had already been appointed. because it was politically sensitive. i don't think these issues need to be judged on the politics or whether it's a partisan issue. we're talking about a foreign government interfering in a u.s. election. and career politicians, with all due respect, career politicians on both sides of the aisle have made congressional oversight into a partisan matter. that's why we need independent leadership. denis: quick yes or no. you told me a few weeks ago you weren't there yet on impeachment. is that still the case? amin: we're still not there yet. we need the facts but we need congressional overserious to go after the facts aggressively. ms. handel: the independent, transparent investigation is under way. going around and calling for things on the campaign trail. -- trail is nothing but a bunch
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of platitude, with all due respect. we have four different investigations that are under way. it is imperative that we get to the bottom of exactly what happened with facts, not with unanimous leaks and sources, and certainly not with innuendo, with real facts. so that then we can take whatever action, as tough as it is needed under the circumstances of what actually occurred. denis: as mr. ossoff said, he's not there yet. if, and we won't go through any hypotheticals here, but is impeachment something that is off the table for you should the facts show the president obstructed justice? ms. handel: i will look at the facts and let the facts take us to where the appropriate action should be. denis: ok. moving on. we're going to go to some foreign policy questions now. and if you just joined us, this is the sixth congressional debate on 90.1, wabe, and on pba 30. denis.
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we're joined by democrat jon ossoff and republican karen handel. mr. ossoff, i'm going it start with you on some foreign policy questions here. and this is about the iran nuclear deal. you have said, in fact, said fairly recently, that you would want to make sure that we are able to have snapback sanctions, was i believe your word. if our intelligence shows that iran is cheating on that nuclear deal, but you did not support just tearing it up as the president has said he would do. although he hasn't yet. but how can you be sure that our intelligence, good as it is, would be able to cash that? -- catch that? amin: our -- mr. ossoff: our intelligence community and inspect doers have the capability to assess whether or not -- inspectors do have the capability to assess whether iran is in compliance with the deal. we need monitoring of iran's compliance with its obligations
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to restrict iranian enrichment. furthermore, we should be prepared to impose additional sanctions if iran continues to test ballistic missiles in violation of u.n. security council resolutions. secretary handel sees fit to shred the agreement and in so doing put iran back on the path to a nuclear weapons capability. releasing them from their obligations to restrict enrichment. we need a tough and firm approach when it comes to iran. they are a major state sponsor of terrorism. they are a major threat to our ally, israel. and we need to make sure they're living up to their obligations. denis: they have a history of violating agreements in the past. so do you support continued suspension of the sanctions for now? mr. ossoff: that's why we need strict uncompromising monitoring. in the event iran violates -- denis: you're saying we could get that? mr. ossoff: absolutely. our intelligence community and the international atomic energy agency have that capability. the office of the director of national intelligence and senator bob corker, republican of tennessee, on the foreign affairs committee on the senate side have both said that iran
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is in compliance and if they violate the deal, sanctions should snap back immediately. denis: secretary handel, you have said, look, they are violating the deal and we need to tear it up. how do you know they're not complying? what evidence do you have, especially given the last few moments what have mr. ossoff said, that even republicans and even secretary tillerson has said, for now they're complying? ms. handel: it has been reported and like jon we only know what we can read in the newspapers. we don't have any inside sources on this. but from the things that i have seen, they are already and have violated the terms of the deal. that is the reason that there is a bill working its way through the united states senate now to enhance and in place nd put stricter sanctions against iran. i think that that has to happen. having a bad deal, which it was a bad deal, let's be honest, obama put the deal in place on
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his way out, took billions of dollars in cash over there to iran, and their own people admitted that some of that money was going to support terrorism. denis: real quickly, we have about 30 seconds here. several administrations, as you have implied, have identified iran as a state sponsor of terror. yet the president just finished a trip to saudi arabia. where private actors with connections at least have certainly been accused of funding terror. now the president has lashed out against qatar where we have a major military base. if we focus just on iran in our policy here, is the president simultaneously ignoring or possibly even making deals with other places from which terror funding comes? ms. handel: i have never suggested that we should only focus on iran. i believe that, look, the incredible and despicable attacks that happened in manchester and london really speak to the very fact that nations around the world -- we have to come together with our
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allies. and do whatever is necessary to combat terrorism, while at the same time making sure that we prevent the nuclear -- nuclearization of further nations. denis: 30 seconds for a response here. mr. ossoff: i think that the facts matter. that we need a tough and firm policy on iran. that if iran violates its obligations, then we need to impose sanctions mayorga immediately. we need to -- impose sanctions. secretary handel sees fit to put iran back on the path to nuclear weapons capability by eliminating their obligations to avoid restricting uranium and i don't agree with her on that. ms. handel: we can move on. he's just wrong. denis: let's talk a little bit about something we mentioned a moment ago. and, secretary handel, president trump did not do very well in the primaries. the republican primaries. in the sixth district.
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compared to not only previous presidential candidates on the g.o.p. side, but he didn't win the district in the georgia primary. is that a signal that voters are looking for someone who will push back against the president, against the president when he, for instance, takes on the russia investigation, or when he tweets and calls people names and whatever? ms. handel: i realize that democrats and even the media want to make this congressional race about -- denis: i've been told we have one minute here for each of you. ms. handel: about president trump. this race is not about the president. it is about who is most equipped and has the best experience and really aligns with the people of the sickth district to be their next congressman. john ossoff -- jon ossoff, he says he lives five minutes outside the district. that might be true but his values are 3,000 miles away in california. we need someone who has been
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part of this community, someone the people know. the people of the sixth district know my track record. they know what i have accomplished. they know that i am going to go there to be a voice for them. and to fight for them. i have built my career on facing down and staring down the status quo. i have never been a go along to get along. that's not going to change. it's just who i am. i will have a singular mission, to be the fiercest advocate for the people of the sixth district. denis: mr. ossoff, let me pursue that point for just a second. because it's one that secretary handel has made in her campaign, or least the republicans have made in their campaign ads. assuming you're elected, you're almost going to be immediately running for re-election. and you're going to need help from the democratic leadership, which has been part of the health for your campaign. it's a natural thing in politics, they're going to say, look, we helped you, you need to help us. you've talked about being independent. how can you when you may need their help against a well-funded republican opponent
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in the next election, should you win? mr. ossoff: there is indeed a clear contrast in this race, as secretary handel said. i will be a fresh independent voice for this district. secretary handel on the other hand is a career politician who has run six times for five different opposites -- offices. the last two major responsibilities she had as secretary of state, she quit the job early to seek higher office as so many career politicians do. her last major responsibility in the private sector, at the could heman foundation, she quit -- komen foundation, she quit. she resigned in disgrace amidst a scandal of her effort to defund life saving breast cancer screenings at planned parenthood. in 2012 secretary handel, you said, quote, i embrace that i led the project. that project being to defund breast cancer screenings at planned parenthood. the last few weeks you avoided responsibility. i think you should take responsibility for what you did and explain to the people of the sixth district why you thought it was appropriate to impose your own views on women here in georgia and across the state, by defunding life-saving breast cancer screenings at
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planned parenthood. ms. handel: if i might. jon, i know you're really stuck on this issue. so i'm really glad you brought it up again so that i can reiterate the facts. what was happening at komen was not a defunding of screenings. it was a recognition that, number one, planned parenthood does not do mammograms. those dollars were being realigned to provide direct services to women so that more women would have access to more mammograms. number two, and i realize you might not know this, because you don't live in the sixth district, the sixth district does not have a single planned parenthood clinic. we do however have four community health centers. and these community health centers are the front door for a full range of health care for low income women in our community, around the state of georgia there are four planned parenthood clinics as opposed to 60 community health care centers. i've always been in the place of wanting more funding for women to have greater access to
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health screenings. and that's what i will fight for. mr. ossoff: there's a planned parenthood clinic in marietta that serves many residents of the sixth district. ms. handel: it's not in the sixth district. mr. ossoff: you said in 2012, quote, i embrace that i led the project. the project to defund breast cancer screenings. now, you avoid responsibility. which is the truth? ms. handel: once again, you continue and have throughout this entire campaign misled individuals with false and deceptive comments. mr. ossoff: it's a simple question, with all due respect. ms. handel: with all due respect, do not interrupt me. when i was in my role as komen, the objective was to find way to have more money to go to mammograms. so that we were able to get greater benefit out of very limited dollars. planned parenthood does not do mammograms. and jon and democrats saying that over and over again does not make it true.
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denis: real quickly, you have about 15 seconds here. mr. ossoff: in 2012, secretary handel said, i led the project. to defund breast cancer screenings at planned parenthood. and planned parenthood provides hundreds of thousands of breast cancer screenings per year. and now secretary handel has said that she didn't lead the effort. so she was either telling the truth then or she's tet teling the truth now. denis: we're going to move on. on planned parenthood, though, bear with me, we have a couple of fact checks here that might please both sides, make both sides less than happy. planned parenthood, according to the fact checkers at "the washington post," does in fact not provide mammograms. it does do physical exams. so the claim from secretary handel that it does not provide mammograms was rated true. and mr. ossoff's claim that ms. handel had said she had led the efforts to defund breast cancer screenings was rated mostly true by politifact. so those are the -- ms. handel: if i might.
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denis: let me get to -- ms. handel: well, this is really -- you've allowed him to have the last word every single time. denis: no. ms. handel: soify might. there is a very big difference -- so if i might. there is a mrs. biggert: difference for me to do my -- there is a very big difference for me to do my job at komen. i led a way to find dollars to go to organizations be reinvested. there was no decrease in funding for it at all. in fact, more women were going to be able to get mammograms. because those dollars were going to go directly to the service providers. that's a very different statement than is being presented. denis: i think you'll have a chance to get in what you're trying to say in response to this question. secretary handel, i'm going to start with you. because the president's fiscal 2018 budget defunds planned parenthood, because we're going
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from the past to now. with planned parenthood. the house passed a bill to temporarily block planned parenthood from receiving medicaid funds. but none of the federal money goes to abortions. you mentioned community centers. you're chair of the fulton county commission. you know the state of fulton county's health department sometimes. do you think that community centers could really take up the slack all around the country if planned parenthood were defunded? ms. handel: first of all, again, planned parenthood is not the front door of women's health. not here in the sixth district, not in the state of georgia, and not around the country. so it is imperative for community health centers to be able to pick up the slack. and i support more funding for these community health centers. because in the state of georgia there are four planned parenthood clinics. while there are 60 community health centers. and they are located strategically around this state
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where low-income women can have access. think about a poor woman who lives let's just say in south georgia. the closest -- in long county. the closest planned parenthood clinic for that woman is going to be in macon or savannah. she doesn't maybe even have a car, let alone the gas money to get there. so we need to build up the infrastructure, as well as the resources and the talent within our community health centers. because they are the front door for low-income women. for a full range of health care. denis: mr. ossoff. to make a u want point about what had happened previously, we're already into our domestic issues section. mr. ossoff: the physical breast cancer screenings that planned parenthood provides are recommended as a key diagnosic technique by the american college of obstetricians and gynecologists. my fiance's mother survived breast cancer because it was caught early. and there are millions of women who survived breast cancer
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because it was caught early. and that's why this is so important. because secretary handel took a job at a charity whose purpose was to fight breast cancer. and she brought in her own agenda, she led the effort to defund life-saving breast cancer screenings at planned parenthood. and it cost the komen foundation tens of millions of dollars or more. in lost revenues. it did significant damage to their life saving mission. denis: secretary handel, 15 seconds. then we have to move on. ms. handel: what i supported then and support now is making sure that dollars go where women can really get mammograms. planned parenthood does not do mammograms. planned parenthood in georgia, there are four. so if you're a low-income woman and you are looking for the full range of health care, you're not traveling three, four hours to get to a planned parenthood clinic. you're going to the community health center that's right there in your community. and i support more funding for that and will fight for that.
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denis: moving on. to the environment. and this comes from a question that we got from our audience. they want to know from both of you, mr. ossoff, i'm going to start with you, if elected, will you represent the majority of your district, this according to the member of our audience, and stand up to president trump on climate change, because he recently decided to pull out of the paris climate agreement and is rolling back obama-era climate plans? but the paris climate accord is voluntary, so there's no guarantee that if by itself would produce effects that might not happen otherwise. you probably know quite well that here in georgia, georgia power is phasing out coal plants, even with or without the clean power plan that the president is scrapping. o isn't there enough happening in the united states and here in georgia with or without the paris accord? mr. ossoff: here's who agrees that climate change is a major threat to our prosperity and to our security.
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the military, the intelligence community and peer-reviewed science. if that's not enough for you, your head is buried pretty deep in the sand. when the military, the intelligence community and peer-reviewed science all agree, then policymakers need to take that seriously. and in paris, for the first time, china and india, two major emitters, as well as two major economic competitors of the united states, also committed to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. and rather than letting them off the hook, we need to take a tough stance that holds china and india accountable to living up to their obligations and the u.s. should continue to exercise global leadership in the fight against climate change. denis: secretary handel. ms. handel: the paris accord was a very bad deal for america and americans. it is important that we do the right thing, but we also do the right thing in the right way. in that accord, first of all, there is no ability within the
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accord to hold india or china accountable. none whatsoever. and american businesses were being put at a significant competitive disadvantage. so what the president has said is he wants to renegotiate it and come back to the table and make it a fair agreement where there is accountability within that agreement. denis: let me ask you a quick follow-up here. the paris agreement, though, is based on what is a pretty widely accepted and vast body of evidence, scientific evidence, that human activity contributes to climate change. at least. so what response would you like to see to climate change? you can start by answering whether you think human activity contributes to it. ms. handel: look, i think that clearly there have been changes in the climate. i'm not a scientist so i readual all of that and take it all in. what -- read all of that and take it all in. what i'm set on is making sure we do the right thing in the right way. we all, i don't think a single person in this room, regardless of their political persuasion,
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disagree with the fact that we must be responsibility stewards of our environment -- responsible stewards of our environment. but let's do that in the right way and not cripple american businesses and put us at a complete disadvantage, with a fluffy agreement that had absolutely no ability to hold any other nations accountable. denis: mr. ossoff. mr. ossoff: neither of us are scientists, that's why we have scientists. and 97% of scientists, as well as the military and the intelligence community, agree that climate change is a threat to our security and prosperity. and that the driven in part by human activity. and secretary handel didn't answer the question. i would give her an opportunity to do it again. do you believe 97% of scientists, the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community, that climate change is a significant threat and that the driven in part by human activity? ms. handel: i would like to ask you this. do you believe that american businesses should be held at a competitive disadvantage? mr. ossoff: no. i think we need to hold china and india accountable --
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ms. handel: and the not possible in that agreement. denis: let him finish. then you can talk. mr. ossoff: i will answer the question and the answer is no. i believe that we need to hold to and india accountable the significant and unprecedented commitments they made and exercise u.s. global leadership on this issue. now with all due respect, i would give you an opportunity to answer my question. which is, do you agree that climate change is a significant threat and driven by human activity? denis: i'm sorry for cutting you off. ms. handel: we have to do the right thing. everyone agrees that is we have to be responsible stewards of our environment. but let's do the right thing in the right way. this agreement was not it. there's no ability to hold anyone accountable and our american business should not have been put at a competitive disadvantage. denis: it's now time for our closing statements. once again, there were a whole bunch of things we could have gotten to but we thank both of you for giving us this time. again, by coin toss, mr. ossoff, who is the democrat
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running for the sixth congressional drinth, has the first closing statement. you have two minutes. mr. ossoff: thank you again, denis. thank you, madam secretary. thank you to the audience for being here as i mentioned in my opening statement. atlanta's economic potential is huge. and i want to see us achieve that potential. i want to see us grow into the thriving commercial capital that we can become. and i believe to do that we need to exercise fresh independent leadership that listens to science, that works across the aisle, that is fact-based and that is committed to getting things done. that is the fresh independent perspective we need. with all of the gridlock and disarray in washington right now, we need independent-minded leadership. secretary handel will likely devote her final two minutes to partisan attacks. instead i'm going focus on what we can do to growing our local economy. we need to attack wasteful spending. i've identified $600 billion in cuts and savings over 10 years. so that we can attack the
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deficit, so that we can set the right priorities. high-tech research, biotech research, infrastructure, higher education that we need to move this economy forward. we have some of the brightest young people in the world coming out of our public colleges and universities, who have degrees in science, technology, engineering and math. we need to make sure they can apply their talents here in our technology sector. we need to make sure that metro atlanta becomes an economic powerhouse. that's the envy of the rest of the country. if we're going to do that, we need less partisanship, we need less careerism in politics, and we need fresh leadership focused on getting things done. denis: thank you, mr. ossoff. secretary handel. ms. handel: thank you very much. jon, thanks for being here as well. in this election, the voters of the sixth district have a real choice. between the real karen handel and the deceptive fake jon ossoff. i have brought tremendous experience and have tremendous tentacles and commitment to this community. i spent nearly 25 years in the sixth district. my opponent, he talks about
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what he's going to do and it may all sound good, but i have actually done it. as in the private sector, as fulton county commission chairman, i was able to balance that budget without any tax increases. as secretary of state, i cut the budget by 20%. as c.e.o. of the north fulton chamber of commerce, i led economic development programs that helped to create tens of thousands of jobs in north metro atlanta. you know my record. you know that i have a great determination to get the job done. what we need most is experience in these this role. not a lot of talk. not someone who has a career staffer as his background. for one of the most liberal members of congress. an individual who inflated that resume. we need someone who is going to go to washington, hit the ground running for you. someone who is tested. someone who is proven. you have a real choice in this election. the karen handel that you know, the karen handel who has always stood by you, stood up for you
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and has never been afraid to challenge the status quo. i ask for your vote in this election. but now i'm going to work very, very hard to earn it. denis: thank you, secretary handel. and that concludes georgia's sixth congressional district debate from the studios of hba 30 and 90.1 wabe. many thanks to our studio audience who remains quiet during the conversation. as we thank our candidates, republican karen handel, and democrat jon ossoff, as well as the staff and management of public broadcasting atlanta, you have your chance to express your appreciation to our candidates. thank you all so much. cheers and applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017]
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>> that special election in georgia's sixth congressional district comes up june 20. back in washington, d.c., the house and senate will debate iran sanctions legislation. we learn more about from a eporter on capitol hill. host: are these sanctions on iran new and why do senators in both parties feel they're necessary now? reporter: these senators are coming after there was a big desire last year to impose sanctions. when as you remember iran carried out a spate of medium ballistic missile tests. president obama was in office at the time and he strongly pushed against democrats from pushing sanctions now. with him out of the office, that weight is now lng

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