Jordan, Garrett Debate In New Bremen

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Urbana) (left) Retire school teacher, Janet Garrett (D) (right) pose for a picture prior to Tuesday's debate.
Staff Writer

For the final installment of the Rotary hosted political debates, the New Bremen-New Knoxville Rotary Club, along with the St. Marys club, hosted Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Urbana) and candidate Janet Garrett (D) for U.S. Representative.

The debated started with opening statements from both Jordan and Garrett. Jordan opened the evening talking about the extreme position the democrats have taken on issues. If elected, he said they will not push to build the border wall, will raise taxes, continue to socialize medicine and continue to investigate the first family. He compared that to what President Donald Trump has done in the 21 months he has been in power. He cited lowered taxes, reduced regulation and a growing economy, among other things Trump has done successfully. He says the vision and choices of each party are very clear and he will continue to work for the people of Ohio and the president if he is elected, again. 

Garrett on the other hand, took a softer approach as she explained that she is a retired school teacher, and isn’t the typical democrat. She emphasized the need to reach across party lines instead of holding clenched fists. She wants to tone down the rhetoric and the fear mongering to reach solutions to the issues the country is facing. She also noted on believing Jordan when he says he is going to do something, but also noted for voters to listen to what he’s not saying. She claims he never told the women in the 4th District that he was going to vote against the Women Against Violence Act, something he later claimed was untrue. He said he voted for it when it was in the house and passed, but when it came back from the senate they got rid of due process, he voted against it. 

He didn’t disagree with the need to work with the Democratic party to acknowledge that he wanted and was willing to work with anyone who as long as he thinks they will help him complete the promises that he made to the people. 

He cited working with former Rep. Dennis Kucinich as an example of him willing to work with political leaders in the Democratic Party. 

Garrett denied that he is willing to work with members of other parties, and mentioned that he sometimes doesn’t like to work with members of his own party. 

She then moved on to talk about how with the Kavanaugh nomination, she believed that the parties should’ve handled the selection differently. She shared a story about how when she was building a home with her husband, they made a rule that if they both didn’t agree on an item for the home it was off the table. And they would keep looking for items until they found something they both liked. 

“I believe that that’s what the senate should have been doing with the Supreme Court picks,” she said. “They should’ve kept going until they found someone that they could both agree on. You can’t tell me that in a country of 300 million people, there’s not a single Supreme Court nominee they could both agree on? I just don’t believe that.

“There has to be a mind set that we’re not going to force feed the minority party. Something that is unpalatable to them. The Democrats are going to be in power someday and when they are what are they going to do? They are going to force feed the Republicans something that is unpalatable to them. That’s not the way to get a really good, effective Supreme Court.”

One area where the candidates disagreed was on what needs to be done with healthcare in America. Garrett believes that not enough was done with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with presenting good quality and affordable healthcare for all Americans. She wants to go to a Medicare for all system because she says those who are on it like it and it’s a system America is used to and needs to be expanded. 

She touched on preexisting conditions, stating those are the individuals who need healthcare the most, while Jordan rebutted a claim by Garret saying he voted to take away coverage for those with preexisting conditions. 

“I did not vote to take away pre-existing conditions, in fact a bill passed the house that was replacing Obamacare just last year, covered pre-existing conditions,” he said citing the American Health Care Act of 2017. There is an amendment in the bill, the MacArthur amendment, which allows states to allow insurers to charge patients on exchanges more if they have a pre-existing condition, but they cannot be denied coverage. 

Jordan also noted that Garrett wants big government to be in control of health insurance but claimed Obamacare was full of “lies” like claiming individuals could keep their doctor, their plan and premium would stay low. 

“We have got to go back to a model that keeps people to buy the kind of insurance that fits their families needs,” Jordan said. “Actually empower the patient to actually examine price in those situations where they can, prior to making a medical decision. That will help bring down costs … and that will that’s the kind of bill that we have at the house and the senate.”

To the full story, see Wednesday's print edition of The Evening Leader.