tv Campaign 2018 Washington Senate Debate CSPAN October 20, 2018 10:40pm-11:42pm EDT
senate race in washington between incumbent democratic senator maria cantwell and republican challenger susan hutchison a former tv journalist. this is about an hour. ms. guenther: good afternoon and welcome to the lair student center at spokane community college. the second and final debate in the 2018 race for u.s. senate. i am hayley guenther with khq local news. ms. mccarthy: i am jane mccarthy. this debate has been organized by the washington state debate coalition, which was founded by seattle city club in 2016 to enhance washingtonians' access to those who hold and seek our highest offices. financial support has been provided by our lead sponsors, aarp of washington, the bill and melinda gates foundation, and the norcliffe foundation. we also want to thank the community colleges of spokane
for hosting this debate and partnership with gonzaga university, eastern washington university, the university of washington, washington state university spokane, and woodworth university. ms. guenther: this is a town hall style debate and the questions will come from the hundreds of people here at spokane community college. aside from asking questions, the audience has agreed to remain silent and hold applause until the end of the debate, except for now as we meet the candidates. democratic senator maria antwell. and republican susan hutchison. >> welcome to you both. as you watch this debate, we
invite you to join the conversation on social media using #waelex. to the format of this debate. the questions will come from the audience, both here in the room and from our broader audience via social media, who have posted questions online. each candidate will have one minute for reply and then the moderators will lead a follow-up discussion on the topic before moving to the next question. there will also be one minute in closings a immense to wrap up this debate. so let's get started. jim camden with the spokesman review has a question with an audience member. mr. camden: i have frank malone here, who has a question on the topic of the environment. the question goes first to senator cantwell. you each have one minute. >> do you believe in climate change? and is it a threat to
washington's coast? are there steps that should be taken to protect washington from its effects? sen. cantwell: thank you. thanks for asking that question and thank you for wearing that great hat and for your service to our country. my colleague susan collins and i did a report on government accountability, how much climate was impacting us. they said it cost $650 billion every 10 years because of its effect on our coastline, shellfish, the effects in catastrophic fires, and that we need to do something about it. i definitely support making sure we are not only mitigating the impact of climate change but preserving great things that help us reduce fossil fuels, like keeping our mileage per gallon fuel efficiency that we implemented a decade ago. that is very important because it helps consumers save on the cost of gas, but also helps us
save on our environment. mr. camden: ms. hutchison, you have a minute to respond. ms. hutchison: i notice your cap says vietnam and desert storm, so again, thank you for our service. i remember you asked, do you believe in climate change? the word believe is associated with faith. i just want to make sure that when we are talking about climate change, we base all our decisions on science. when you combine politics and science, you end up with junk science. certainly we have to, with a problem as significant as the changing climate, we have to be sure that our decisions as we go forward are grounded in good science and are clear of politics. this is one of the problems that i have with those that use climate change as a wedge in politics. of all subjects, if it affects
the entire world, shouldn't this be a subject that draws us together? shouldn't we be working together to bring the best scientists in all the fields that are impacted or have a contribution to make when it comes to determining what impact climate change are going to have? we have had climate change since the beginning of time, so what are the impacts going to do -- we will discuss it in a few minutes. mr. camden: let's continue on his topic. how much of climate change that we are seeing right now do each of you think is connected to human activity? senator? sen. cantwell: as i mentioned, there is impacts, and that is exactly what the scientists said. the plan is, let's make reductions in those greenhouse gases we know are detrimental to our environment. i helped author tax credits to go to more renewable energy, wind and solar and biofuels, and our state is leading in that.
that is very important because if we can change our energy sources to cleaner sources along with our hydro system, that will make a better environment for the future. mr. camden: ms. hutchison, how much of climate change, that has been going on since the beginning of time, right now -- ms. hutchison: again, i would defer to scientists to make that decision. certainly we have an example with the ozone hole over australia and the southern hemisphere for a while. we tackled that by banning fluorocarbons. as we quit using those in spray cans, we began to close that hole. we have seen how human behavior can change the atmosphere in a way, but we also have to be really careful as we move forward to always balance against the needs of our developing economies. we don't want to make those who are forced to make decisions
that they are not ready to make, their needing of growth nd energy. we need energy to be as clean as possible. i'm sorry, i did not realize i had gone over. did i have a time -- mr. camden: we are not timing these, but we are giving both candidates equal time. was president trump right to pull the u.s. out of the paris climate accords? and are governors, like governor jay inslee on the west coast, were they correct in trying to have their states meet those requirements? senator? sen. cantwell: i disagree with pulling out of the paris climate agreement. one of our leading citizens in our state, bill gates, made a major economic investment and tried to get the rest of the world, the best scientists and investors in innovation that are going to help us deal with this problem in the future. i definitely believe in a more collaborative approach. here was bill gates waiting for the united states to continue that effort so he could
continue on the innovation side. when the president said, we are not going to support that, it is not working together with those nations that can help us address this. it is a big challenge. mr. camden: ms. hutchison, was the president right? if he was, are the governors wrong? ms. hutchison: what the president was saying is we are not going to have an uneven playing field. when the major polluters in the world are china and india, as their growing economies are throwing so much pollution into the air, why should united states be penalized and they get a pass for several decades? the president is basically saying, this climate accord is not really fair and it is not going to work. so in the pragmatic way of looking to our environment, i think it is important that we make sure that whatever we pursue is going to work. mr. camden: senator, is the governor right, and the other governors on the west coast, trying to maintain the standards? sen. cantwell: it is important to create market opportunities.
in washington, we have several counties that have taken the leadership role upon hemselves. if a governor wants to help push that along, it is a good idea, because as our counties have done, gotten lots of second crops for our farmers. they get wind and wheat or something else, so it works to help us. mr. camden: i don't mean to cut off a senator. back to hayley. ms. guenther: thank you for that. for our next question, let's go to mark baumgarten, news and politics editor at kcts 9/crosscut in seattle. mr. baumgarten: we have a question about trade. >> will you advocate to lift tariffs on our allies and trade partners? mr. baumgarten: you each have one minute to answer. let's start with ms. hutchison.
ms. hutchison: i believe that the best free trade is fair trade. hat we are seeing right now in the tariff discussions around the world with president trump and the administration is an effort to make the playing field even, which has been uneven for a very long time. the average percentage of tariffs we place on other goods is 3.5%. the europeans put about 5% and the chinese, 10%. that has grown now that they are in discussions. i am very pleased with what the administration has been able to negotiate when it comes with the agreement with mexico and canada, the eu with south korea. i expect he is going to do an awful lot on behalf of our farmers and others who export to china when the trade agreement is discussed there. tariffs are a tool and i believe the president is using them to get the chinese to the table.
mr. baumgarten: senator cantwell, you have one minute. sen. cantwell: i will work to make sure we are lifting tariffs on products made in our state that are now being penalized in other parts of the world. i think tariffs are a last resort, not a first resort. i hope we continue to modernize agreements, like the mexico agreement. originally the president said it was not a good agreement, yet we have grown our exports from $300 million to $2 billion from our state. but those products are still acing tariffs. so why should apples and cherries and potatoes still face additional tariffs in mexico when it has become a big economic market opportunity for us? i want them to be used as a last resort, not a first resort. mr. baumgarten: senator antwell, building on that. do you have -- do you have
plans to support the united states-mexico-canada agreement? sen. cantwell: yes, i do want to say that we want to keep modernizing and opening up markets, as this does, on digital issues. and there are some important dairy concessions that canada was making a market distortion by supporting dairy prices. i will do that. but you can bet i will bring up all my colleagues in the senate, that we have not fully got nominees on the export-import bank, a credit agency that the other side came dragging their feet on. export opportunities are key here in the northwest. i held up the senate to get the export-import bank reauthorized, but now we can't sell boeing planes because they don't have a functioning board. i am going to make this point in november. we need both. we need open markets and we have to have credit assistance for our companies to gain
access to markets. mr. baumgarten: given that you see the new trade agreement with mexico and canada as having some advantages -- it is considered a win for labor, certainly opening up the dairy market in canada is seen as a victory. doesn't that validate the president's approach of a more aggressive policy that uses tariffs to push our trade partners to a better deal -- sen. cantwell: as i said, i believe in tariffs last, not first. it would have been great to modernize. as the head of the foreign council said, he does not think it is a cataclysmic new deal. what i am trying to explain is when we do agreements like mexico the first time, it had huge growth for us as market opportunity. i want to grow on top of them. but now because of this dispute, we have our products seeing as much as 50% tariffs. what i worry about is farmers
losing shelf space while this debate goes on for another year or so. does some farm not make it through this season? does somebody lose shelf space and next year when they go back to asia, somebody in australia has got the market space and they don't want to buy from us? mr. baumgarten: i would like to get ms. cantwell's response to this in particular. the president urges patience. how much patience can we expect? how long is a reasonable amount of time before tariffs turn to agreements -- with china, say? ms. hutchison: hutchison. mr. baumgarten: i'm so sorry. ms. hutchison: i just want to make it clear to our television audience that you were asking he question of me. i have the endorsement of the washington farm bureau, a very important group of people in our state. i have had a lot of discussions with people who produce hay or
cherries or apple or other farm products around the state. hey have said over and over, it has been such an unfair and unlevel playing field for so long that we are grateful we finally have a president -- these problems preceded president trump -- but we finally have a president willing to take it to the chinese and make sure we negotiate fair trade agreements. mr. baumgarten: so farmers in the state are suffering. there is a $12 billion bill to help them across the country. how much longer are they expected to have that market altered before -- ms. hutchison: i talked to them, i really went to them to ask their opinion about how they felt about the tariffs. they said they are willing to accept short-term pain for long-term gain. i have seen president trump move at a speed that most of us have never seen in any dministration.
the renegotiation of nafta is an indication of that. we tend to be fairly impatient. we want things to go well very quickly. i think there is a point at which that if we don't have an agreement, because i can talk to president trump -- my opponent cannot, she is a member of the resist and has made it clear she cannot talk to the president -- because i can talk to him, i can be an advocate for washington state and speak very strongly about moving things along. mr. baumgarten: thank you very much. >> thank you for your question. our next question is from chris, who has a question about health care. chris, what is your question? >> would you support legislation creating a single-payer, medicare for all system? if not, what would you do to propose providing access for high-quality health care? sen. cantwell: thank you for that question, such an important one. i do believe that access to health care is a basic right and we should have universal
access. i prefer something that i offered in the affordable care act, the basic health plan. the concept is working in several states. people are able to buy insurance for just $35 a month if they qualify. that includes prescription benefits as well as dental. why does that work? we had it for a while in our state. the concept is simple. bundle up individuals and small businesses who don't have the same clout as a large company like boeing. but if you bundle up 40,000 or 50,000 or 250,000 people, now you can force a discount from the drug manufacturers and providers. that is what worked in the basic health plan here when it was in our state, and now it is working in new york, where over 700,000 people are buying insurance for just $35. >> ms. hutchison, one minute. ms. hutchison: i grew up in socialized medicine, so no matter what the democrats want
to call it -- single-payer or universal health care or medicare for all -- it is socialized medicine and i have lived it. let me tell you what it feels like. you stand in line for a very long time and then you don't get a doctor who cares about you. you just get whoever is available. as a military dependent, we were called, that is the health care i experienced. i would fight any attempt by the federal government to take over this high-quality health care that we enjoy in america that is the finest in the world. i can't imagine that we would gain by having the government take it over. it is very important to me that access and lower cost is the way that we improve our health system. there are many different ways that health care is delivered. obamacare came in, sort of switched gears. it had no support by republicans at all and had to be passed using a procedural trick in order to get it
passed. because of that, it does not have bipartisan agreement. the next health reform that we do will have bipartisan agreement because that is the only way we as a country have to move forward. >> senator cantwell, you talk about the basic health plan. if that is implemented, specifically what are the real hurdles to making that happen? sen. cantwell: i am glad you asked that question, because marcus here is a local state representative working hard on getting that passed here in our state. our state has to decide, like new york and minnesota, if they want to pursue that option, because legislation gives them that right, but also helps our state, just like the affordable care act. in spokane, 30,000 people got access to health care. you have 165,000 people on edicaid. they now in this community are art of an ecosystem.
the number one employer in spokane is health care. i want people to have affordable access to health care, i want great providers in spokane, and i want the solution to work for us. i am so glad markets is leading the way in olympia to get it done. >> ms. hutchison? ms. hutchison: i think we need to clarify, because the question was single-payer health care and i don't think we have gotten an answer from my opponent, although i have heard her explain it many times on the campaign trail. she is in favor of socialized medicine -- in other words, a government takeover of our medical care -- and i am not. i want to make that important distinction. the other thing is, what she is talking about about health organizations in the spokane area, those are privately run for the most part, except for of course the air force and the medical care provided at fairchild. universal health care or
socialized medicine would make all of your plans illegal. none of us want that. it would mean a takeover of all of our hospitals, our private hospitals and public hospitals. that is not what we want. when you hear something like $35 for a month for your health care that is heavily subsidized, which means your taxes go up even more than they already are. >> senator cantwell, we do have another question from a viewer about opioids. how do you feel about the war on opiates as it relates to the impact on chronic pain patients who are being cut off from opiate medicine and new pain patients who were denied treatment with opiates? 30 seconds please. sen. cantwell: we have been from port angeles to spokane talking about this issue and hearing from the local community about how to deal with this. i am glad we just got a new opioid bill passed. we are working with physicians and clinics on what pain
management really should look like. we are not turning someone away from the needed medicines they have to have for whatever challenges, but we are trying to get away from this very addictive drug that is being diverted into so many places that it is causing catastrophic events. thank you. >> what is the most important element of this bill that passed 99-1 is that over a billion dollars is being allocated to fight the crossing of fentanyl from mexico. fentanyl, as you know, is a substitute for -- a heroin substitute that has been cheaply produced in mexico. part of my question for senator cantwell -- she is so soft on the border. how is it that we can have such an open border policy from the democrats and yet these drugs continue to flow over the border?
i am glad that the bill that passed 99-1 allocates money to solve that problem, or at least make a dent in it. there is no question that drugs are flooding across the southern border. >> we would like to give you an opportunity to respond. sen. cantwell: the bill is great in that it is giving law enforcement more tools. we met with ozzy and sheriff pastore and they basically said, more money for grants that help us fight gang activity. pass this new law so we can crack down on the distribution by having the tools to go after people who are distributing it. i had 39 attorneys general say yes, take maria's language and put it in that bill. so that is what we did. it also includes new language to crack down on the mainland, which is coming from foreign countries. it is great new tools asked for by our law enforcement agents and i'm glad we got it done. >> thank you, and thank you,
chris, for that question. >> our next topic is the economy. we have edwin here. you have a question about the high cost of living here in washington? >> housing supply and affordability issues affect every community in washington, limiting new job development and the money consumers have left over to spend. what is your solution to the ongoing housing crisis? >> that is a wonderful question. thank you for asking it. i turned to my colleagues, my opponent. senator cantwell had a heavy hand developing the growth management act of this state, about 29-30 years ago in the legislature. there is no question we have outgrown the growth management act. everywhere i go across this
state, people are concerned about the cost of housing. when we are talking about housing affordability so that you can find a home you can afford and that your children could stay in the same region as they grow up and try to access housing, is very important. what has happened is the cost of land has gone up so high that we no longer can expand outside our metropolitan areas and build houses that don't cost very much. the other problem is that 40% of every home that's built, every apartment, goes to red tape in this state. it is a crisis and it has to change. that is something i am committed to when i am your senator. sen. cantwell: thank you so much for asking that question. i just led the charge in the senate with my colleague orrin hatch from utah to increase a program that is a public-private partnership to build more affordable housing. what people don't know is that we are in a crisis of affordable housing here in spokane,
seattle, many parts of our country, because we have not kept pace with supply. what increasing the affordable housing tax credit did was allow us to get more projects built. as soon as we pass that bill, the first thing the commission in washington announced was a new project at airway heights. if i want to know anything about how great a tool this is, for veterans, for aging populations, for people who need to be close to workforce, no better example than the hotel in spokane. it is being renovated using the affordable housing tax credits for workplace housing in downtown spokane. this program works. i am going to go back with orrin in november to get even more done with this, because we need more supply. >> what about skyrocketing rent? there are so many families in spokane spending half of everything they make just to pay for a roof over their head. what can be done to help ease the burden?
ms. hutchison: they pay that same 40%, the people who build those rental units, the same 40%. they cannot build housing that is affordable anymore because of what government has done. government is not the answer in housing until they can provide incentives that help developers build, especially around transit, build the kind of affordable housing that they can actually afford to build as developers, so that people can actually afford to rent them. this is an issue where there is too much government in the way with permitting and fees and red tape and we need to get rid of it. sen. cantwell: that is exactly what the affordable housing tax credit does, incentivize developers to build more affordable housing where otherwise they wouldn't. what is great about making this bogus is because if you don't have enough supply in the
marketplace, the demand goes up and people are getting higher and higher rents. we have to go back and look at some of these projects that were built years ago, and as we came out of a downturn, people converted affordable housing and a higher market rate programs. that happened in seattle, tacoma, and i bet it is happening here in spokane. it is about building more supply. the good news is that is stimulative, to build more construction and make housing affordable is a good answer, not just for residents, but for our communities and the economy. >> thank you. thank you, edwin, for that question. let's go back to jim camden with the spokesman review. mr. camden: jacob has a question about politics and political style. >> president trump ran on getting rid of this want in d.c. -- of the swamp. what would you do to heal the damage in our political system?
>> it is very important weakened -- important we continue to make reforms and washington, d.c. i tried to work across the aisle and make sure our colleagues understand our ideas are coming from people in washington state. whether we are talking about getting a fix for fire funding or doing something like affordable housing, you have to have the ideas and people in our state. even though we did not necessarily agree on a lot of issues, on this issue we agreed. taking good science and information and making that the basis of our decision-making is the most important thing we can do. ms. hutchison: i don't think that was the intent of the question. i think the question was asking about what is going on in washington, d.c., which gives so much power to special interests and lobbyists. my opponent is a poster child
for being a d.c. insider and taking advantage of that insidious relationship between politicians and special interests. if you take a look at her fec filings, you can find at least this year over $1 million from lawyers. those lawyers represent special interests and they expect a return on their investment. another .5 million dollars comes from people who call themselves consultants. that is a euphemism for lobbyists. at least $.5 million of personal money from lobbyists has, the way of senator cantwell to make sure she is on their side. i am not a professional politician. i know a thing or two about
politics, having led the gop party for the last half decade, but i do know that term limits is one of the ways to stop this problem. mr. camden: the senate is a great place to filibuster, but debate not so much. i am going to try to get a couple of quick questions with individual answers. senator cantwell, do you agree with the tactics some democrats suggest that when they go low, we kick them. sen. cantwell: no. [laughter] mr. camden: ok,'s extinct -- succinct. ms. hutchison, does it help or hurt the discourse when the president uses nicknames for people like lying ted, crooked hillary, or courseface? ms. hutchison: no. mr. camden: we are doing good. senator cantwell, if democrats get control of the senate, would you support reinstating the 60 vote cut off the cut off debate on supreme court nominations? sen. cantwell: i think it is
very good that we consider that, i do. the reason is i want a senate that works well together and i want to make sure that as we continue to move forward that we are the cooling saucer, as it has often said, to the contrast to the house. so definitely would consider going back to that. mr. camden: different question from his hutchison. if a vacancy occurs on the supreme court in 2020, should president trump be allowed to fill it? ms. hutchison: in 2020 when he is running for reelection? mr. camden: yes. ms. hutchison: that is an interesting question because of course the senate decided not to move forward with the nomination during the election year. but we had two people running for president who were not incumbents. the difference is there is an incumbent running for reelection. i do believe it depends on the vacancy that would occur and at what point it is in the cycle. i think people in all of america can be pleased that president trump kept's promise and has appointed two people who are constitutionalists, who uphold
the rule of law through the constitution. mr. camden: so that was a maybe. question more about leadership style than political style. do you believe president trump is properly handling questions around the death of jamal khashoggi and our relationship with saudi arabia? sen. cantwell: i want our president and members of congress to say clearly, we do not as a nation support the killing of media by governments or their agents. that we will get to the bottom of this, that we will use the tools we have available to make sure that we are speaking for the rule of law and certainly for the freedom of the press. so i want everyone to be saying that and i hope that this will be heard around the world. ms. hutchison: as a former journalist, i take these incidents very seriously. this particular one has gotten a
lot of attention because he worked for the washington post. but i do want to remind us that hundreds of journalists have been murdered in mexico because they got too close to the drug cartels, and there is no one standing up for them. we take a look at what is happening in saudi arabia. there have been 18 arrests now and i think five dismissals from the crown prince's inner circle. this is a step forward, as they have admitted this was wrong. i do think as we move forward, we have to remember that the saudis play an important counterbalance to the iranians and syrians the middle east. we have to look at all the players in the middle east with eyes wide open. mr. camden: senator cantwell, are we doing enough to pressure the saudis? should the question of how much they contribute to both the region and our economy come into this? sen. cantwell: i already voted in the senate to say in the situation in yemen that we
should not continue to support them and their efforts involved in a civil war if we are having that level of human tragedy and loss of life. i do want to hold them accountable. we have three tools that we will be considering -- sanction on individuals that are involved, this issue of whether we continue to support them in yemen, which is turning into one of the largest unitarian crazies -- largest humanitarian crises in the world, and the issue of arms sales. we will continue -- will consider all of those when we find out how high up this land -- in the government. >> thank you for the question. we do have another questioner with kcts 9 editor mark baumgarten. mr. baumgarten: ally has a question about immigration. >> spokane and many cities in washington consider themselves sanctuary cities.
do you support sanctuary cities in the state of washington and why? ms. hutchison: no, i don't. we are a country of the rule of law, and i think anytime a municipality take the law into their own hands and disregards what the law is for the nation, we put ourselves on a slippery slope. i think if the law needs to be changed, people of good will need to work together to fix the law. i don't think sanctuary cities is beneficial to the discussion of immigration reform, which certainly does need reform, no question about it. both illegal and legal immigration need to be looked at and fixed very quickly. thank you for the question. i stand against the designation called sanctuary cities. sen. cantwell: i definitely support our local governments and our local law enforcement, who have said, do not penalize
us as you pursue a course on immigration that oftentimes has been struck down by the court. why should the sheriff in our counties be penalized in not getting federal dollars just because they don't agree with the administration's approach? i have seen law enforcement across our state handle this problem deftly, but they have been clear they want the resources to continue to do what they do. they are on the front lines and want to go after the people that are really responsible. they are doing that, but we shouldn't take away their resources. mr. baumgarten: i have a follow-up for ms. hutchison. another hot button issue, family separation. in the spring, we saw the administration doing forced separations. since your last debate, we have seen the washington post report that the administration is considering a new approach which would force families who are
coming across the border illegally to choose between either being held together for them the indefinite amount of time or having the parents sign over their children to another facility, with the aim of placing them with a guardian or family member. would you support that policy? ms. hutchison: i think when it comes to whatever the administration decides to enforce along the border, it is very important we think in terms of what we can do to stem the tide of this porous border and the entry that has been illegal and that has caused so much political discussion for so long. we know that the people of washington state consider immigration to be the number one issue in our lives. you know why it is -- it is because they see that the illegal crossing of our southern border is a national security
issue, and they are afraid. they are afraid of what it is going to do to our country in so many ways. we have talked about the drugs and the drug cartels -- mr. baumgarten: on the issue of family separation, though -- ms. hutchison: i have been on the record many times that i don't agree with family separation except for the safety of children. if you talk to the border control officers who have been there, they know that part of what the border cartels -- of what the drug cartels are doing is using children to come across with trafficking, accompanied most often by an adult who is not their legal guardian or parent. all of this is very complicated. i do know that our border control works really diligently to do the right and humane thing on behalf of families. mr. baumgarten: senator cantwell your opponent said you are soft on the border. i would like you to respond to that within the context of the fact that we have seen such an
increase in the number of families that are crossing the border. sen. cantwell: definitely don't believe in family separation and don't believe in touting you are going to reinstate it as a way to deal with this problem. i do want border security and have voted for border security. i believe, as tom ridge said, if you are going to try to build a wall across thousands of miles of our border, we are not going to be successful. i take it personally on the northern border when they want to close the crossing and say they don't have enough money to keep it open. that affects our commerce and we are going to do some idea we know is not cost effective. i do believe in technology, i believe in stronger border agents, and i believe in moving some of our borders overseas to the most dangerous airports so we don't have people coming into our country. on this issue, the main thing is stability of those countries where we are seeing an agnes of people -- an exodus of people because they are
dangerous. we should not take money away from them, we should be giving central america to support and help stabilize, crackdown on narcotics, and helping those countries have a more stable environment so we don't have asylum-seekers coming to our borders. mr. baumgarten: do you support going back to a catch and release policy with families? sen. cantwell: the asylum would work as people come to our border and asked for asylum, they would go through a review process. that was the normal process. you would not be separated. i think there are more cost-effective ways to doing it. they are not allowed to stay in our country, but you can while you are going through the process detain them with more cost-effective ways. mr. baumgarten: ms. hutchison, i would like to talk about another issue with immigration. the guestworker policy in the country is largely viewed -- >> i'm sorry, i need to interact.
we are out of time on that topic. we need to move on to washington priorities. our next question came to us online. james asks, what have you done in the past and what are you going to do in the future to make sure the views and voices of folks in eastern washington are not just heard, that represented in policy? we will start with senator cantwell, one minute. sen. cantwell: one of the biggest priorities we have right now in this part of the state is to renew the columbia river treaty, an agreement between the united states and canada. it affects our hydro system. we are paying a little more to canada than we need to for that system. why is that so important? because we can't afford to pay anymore for our electric needs then we need to pay. we need to continue to be cost effective.
i was able to work with the last administration, and i do applaud president trump for making the columbia river treaty a priority and getting it down the road into the formal part of the negotiation. we can't go another five or six years without this eating renegotiated. we need a renegotiated and to modernize our hydro system for the benefit of both countries. ms. hutchison: i think it is an important question because i live in seattle and i know seattle has a very strong population and a very left-wing government that controls so many ideas and policies that eventually began to spread throughout the state. i think it is important that senator cantwell understand, i have been throughout eastern washington throughout this campaign and for the five years, the 39 counties represented in the gop committee. i know the folks who live in eastern washington do not feel represented. often when i am with them, they say, she is never here, we never see her. in 18 years, we have never seen
senator cantwell. the second thing we hear is, what has she ever done for us? i want you to know that i will be here for you. i love eastern washington. to your question that we did not get to answer, the guest worker program is so essential for our farmers, and it definitely it needs to be upgraded, modernized. we need to make it so much more efficient for our farmers to bring guest workers were seasonally harvesting our crops. >> senator cantwell, do you have a response to ms. hutchison saying you are never in eastern washington? sen. cantwell: i have gone to pass four bills this year in the senate, incorporated in larger legislation, thanks to the people of washington. i never would have had that opioid bill if i had not been to dozens of locations around the state and heard firsthand, like in mason county, how devastating it would be. i can guarantee you, i spent the summers traveling to call will,
omak, listening to our fire problems. and even had meetings with your congressperson, cathy mcmorris rodgers. she has mentioned how we work together on fire. we would not have gotten those solutions if i had not heard firsthand from people here in the state about how to go back there and fight the battle and win the day to get more money to fight fires. my best ideas come from people right here in our state. i am going to keep doing that, because they are the ones i represent and they are the ideas that are leading our country forward with innovation and successful results. >> speaking of wildfires, washington state has seen an alarming increase in magnifiers -- mega fires. how will you advocate for washington to combat this issue? >> i produced a video in the midst of the smoke in seattle,
which has gone on for the last two years and the people of eastern washington have endured for years. senator cantwell, if you had been in eastern washington, you would have experienced you cannot see anything as you drive the highways in every corner of this region. that is not because of firefighting money. there is a big difference between fighting and preventing fires. we are talking about colossal fires that are totally to blame because senator cantwell, at least 14 times and maybe more, has blocked all efforts to have intelligent logging and reforms of our good for us three management -- our good for a straight management. that is the cause of these fires and it is ruining our summers through the state. as you are senator, i will fight to get logging, intelligent
logging, sustainable logging back into our forests so they are not tinderbox is ready to burst into flame and because there are no roads, unable to fight. sen. cantwell: this is so important that we realize that hotter, drier conditions are causing more fire starts. i worked with wsu and the university of washington and said, what should we do about this? they basically said, fuel reduction on your pine forest. i went about getting an agreement from democrats and republicans, the administration, and the agencies to agree to this concept. it was a lot of hard work, but i used people like von brothers mills in the northwest, who said, this is the way to pursue this. talk about the timber you are going to harvest and put it into cross laminated timber. that way people will see it is going to a dual purpose of reducing fuel and helping us for the future. i am so proud that we are going
to have one of the first cross laminated timber buildings in the entire state. it is going to be a model of the development we can do. because i came up with that strategy for pursuing a better management, i got both democrats and republicans to the table and we solved the fire -- problem so now we can do more fuel reduction for the future. >> we are nearing the end of our time. our final topic is so important, our veterans. we spoke with a number of veterans in preparation for this debate. one spokane-area veteran told us a shortage of personnel at va hospital's and service centers is causing delays in critical medical and social services. what would you do to remedy this? ms. hutchison, one minute please. ms. hutchison: i am the daughter, wife, and mother of military officers. my son, my second son, has just
become a second lieutenant in the marine corps. i grew up in socialized medicine in the military under my dad, and then when i married my husband, also a marine. i care so deeply about the plight of our veterans. in the town halls i have been holding across the state -- because my opponent would not debate -- i decided, we have got to talk to the people. i would go to many cities and hold town halls. that is a question that comes up every single time. what are we doing for our veterans in the va hospital's? i have spent a lifetime in a va hospital because of my dad. i know they are inadequate for the need. i would recommend that our v.a. hospitals become centers of excellence for the needs of the wounded and the veterans, who have unique military associated diseases, ailments, injuries. that includes ptsd. then i believe that the most efficient way to deliver care to
our veterans is to allow their benefits to stay with them for their personal doctors close at home. we have veterans around the state that are traveling two hours just to see a doctor approved by the v.a. sen. cantwell: my father served in the military in world war ii, in the navy and his brother was a glider pilot and p.o.w. when he got out, health care was the premier thing they were concerned about. what we need to do in spokane is continue to support the v.a. facility and modernize it. we need to upgrade the mental health facilities for ptsd and make sure we have more primary care infrastructure. that is in this year's budget, the budget that is supporting the construction of military in our state. we along with senator murray and many of our congressional delegation are continuing to say we want more investment in spokane for military. the bill we just passed in
modernizing our va also says families can be reimbursed as caregivers and it helps modernize medical electronic records so that our veterans get the better care by having managed across various services, that it is all coordinated and better care. it is so important that we not privatize the v.a. veterans tell me they do not want to privatize, but they do want, if they have emergency care, to be able to go to other facilities to get that. >> another big issue throughout eastern washington involves medical marijuana and our veterans. a growing number of military veterans do use medical marijuana to treat ptsd, chronic pain, a variety of ailments. some say it could be an alternative to opioids. but right now, government physicians are barred from prescribing that to our veterans
even when it is legal in washington state. would you support changing this policy? if so, how far should we as a nation go toward legalizing veterans' access to marijuana? ms. hutchison: medical and scientific research is showing there are substances in marijuana, just like a lot of the plants that surround us, that can help ease pain or cure some diseases. i would be in favor of moving swiftly forward with the national institutes of health to implement the changes in the law that allow us to use those substances to provide medications that are uniquely suited for the needs of our veterans and pain management. sen. cantwell: i definitely support making sure that marijuana as a medical tool is further advanced, including access to veterans. when you look at what canada is doing to take that product and turn it into pill application,
they are making more scientific r&d investments on the future opportunities and research that will let patients know what it can do for them. i want us to be in line with that. i want to have the research, the scientific information, and the access. >> do you have a rebuttal to that? ms. hutchison: i don't think we disagree. >> we are going to move on to closing statements. >> that is all the time we have for questions. we flipped a coin and senator cantwell, you begin. one minute. sen. cantwell: thank you so much for hosting this, for the moderators, for the audience, and my opponent for being here as well. this is an important time in my country -- in our country because we have a lot of partisan divide. but i will continue to get -- to work with anyone to get things done. that's why i am working for incentives at the federal level
so we can scale more people for the job they need. it is why i worked across the aisle on the fire fix and worked hard to make sure our sales tax reduction was made permanent and why i support making sure the export-import bank works for all of us as we make and grow things in eastern washington. i want to focus on our economy of the future so everybody has access to affordable health care and housing and has good paying jobs. that is going to be part of the legacy that we are growing right here in eastern washington, a great economy. i ask people for your help and support today in sending me back to fight for you to be your voice in the united states senate. i only have one thing left to say. go cougars. [laughter] >> ms hutchison, one minute. ms. hutchison: there is an old saying that says, no one cares
how much you know until they know how much you care. we have heard from my opponent. she knows a lot about the other washington. she has been there for 18 years. but she does not care so much about this washington anymore. i think nothing frames it better than her statement in the voter pamphlet about her community service. every one of you has access to that, you may have read it. she says her community service is hiking and climbing mountains. you can compare that to mine or just about anybody in this room. community service is helping others. but when you look at first, it is about herself. that underscore, of course, that maria cantwell is not caring for us. that is one of the reasons i am in this race, because i want you to know that when you elect me your senator, i will care for you. i will be here often. i will listen, i will hear, i will be your voice, i will speak for you.
when i am elected, it will be a brand-new day in washington state. thank you. >> that's it for the second and final debate for the u.s. senate. thanks to our lead sponsors, aarp of washington, the bill and melinda gates foundation, and the norquist foundation, along with supporting sponsors the boeing company, smith barberi progressive find, and washington realtors. >> tonight's debate was organized by the washington state debate coalition and its founder, seattle city club. the coalition is comprised of civic leaders, nonpartisan organizations, colleges and universities, intermedia partners committed to setting a high standard for a political debate. >> ballots have been mailed to voters within the past few days. they must be postmarked or put in a dropbox by 8:00 p.m. on election day, tuesday, november 6. please make sure to get out and vote. >> thank you to our town hall audience and all the great questions. thank you to senator maria cantwell and susan hutchison.
they took part in two coalition debates to discuss the issues, so we thank you for that. as we say goodbye from spokane community college, number two vote. and let's give the candidates a round of applause. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> thank you, everybody. thank you guys. [applause] >> thank you, jim. >> you hjang in there. >> i am. thank you. hi, how are you?
>> thank you. with midterm election days away, watch the competition for the control of congress on c-span. see for yourself, the candidates and debates from key house and senate races. make c-span your primary source for campaign 2018. tomorrow, a debate in the senate seat in massachusetts between incumbent democratic senator elizabeth warren and republican challenger jeff deal, a member of the massachusetts house of representatives. live coverage starts at 7 p.m. eastern on c-span. the election,ill make c-span your primary source for campaign 2018. ♪ >> c-span's " washington journal" live every day with news and policy issues that you.t
coming up sunday morning we will look at conservatives and the 2018 elections with the american conservative editor. also, the latest on the disappearance of journalist jamal khashoggi and its impact on u.s.-saudi relationships and joining us is michael hirsch. and norman solomon discusses a new report on how democrats can compete in 2018 and beyond. ngtonre to watch "washig at 7 a.m. eastern on sunday morning. travelingpan bus is across the country on her 50's capitals tour. we recently stopped in hartford, connecticut. and looking forward to the midterm elections, we are asking folks which party should control congress and why. >> i'm an independent voter. so, i usually don't have a strong opinion on who takes over in midterms or presidential elections, but this year i'm
basically voting democratic. just because a lot of the things that have been happening in the republican party just don't sit well with me from a moral standpoint. people in thet of republican party who disagree with their leaders but they are not actually coming out and saying so. they are toeing the party line. that's where i have to draw some distinctions. there a lot of things that i find favorable in both parties, and i usually tend to vote my conscience, but this time, i think i am voting for who i think will have the moral high ground. >> i think i would like to see congress go to the democrats. just to see a change in values and views. and try that for a while. i'm not sure if that's going to matter. id'd like to see a change.
>> as a democrat i would like to see my party take control of congress. congress changes hands and democrats are in charge we are going to have policies that are more p ro-union, pro-life, pro-environment and a very necessary check on an erratic and unreliable white house. states, partm the of c-span's 50 capitals tour. race fordebate in the the u.s. senate state in ohio between incumbent democratic senator sherrod brown and republican u.s. congressman james renacci. this is just under an hour. welcome to the 2018 ohio u.s. senate debate hosted by wosu public media and by nbc four. moderator: good evening and welcome to the united stes