Student record

Bacon, Vargas clash over abortion rights and student debt in first debate

The Senate races in Georgia, Arizona and New Hampshire are competitive battles between established Democratic candidates and new Republican candidates backed by former US President Donald Trump. In Georgia, Senator Raphael Warnock takes on newcomer Herschel Walker, an anti-abortion Republican candidate. However, Walker’s campaign is steeped in controversy after a former girlfriend and mother of one of his children came forward and alleged Walker paid for her abortion nearly a decade ago. The allegation has bogged down Walker’s messaging as the crucial final month before the election approaches. Associated Press reporter Meg Kinnard says Walker vehemently denies the allegation and says it’s a fabrication. “He’s adamant that it’s not a factual thing, and he’s really trying to distract and distract from what’s kind of become the biggest narrative in this campaign right now,” he said. said Kinnard. On the other side of the country, Democrat Mark Kelly takes on Blake Masters, a Republican candidate whose message aligns with Trump. Associated Press reporter Jonathan Cooper covers the race in Arizona and says Kelly’s popularity within his party has put him in a strong position against Masters.

In their first debate, Republican Rep. Don Bacon and Democratic State Sen. Tony Vargas squared off on Thursday over abortion rights, voter ID and student debt relief.

The two candidates from Nebraska’s 2nd congressional district continued to argue over abortion rights, even when WOWT reporter and debate moderator Brian Mastre moved on to other topics. Each candidate sought to portray the other as having the more extreme position on abortion.

The debate was held at noon at the Omaha Press Club and sponsored by WOWT and the League of Women Voters. About 200 people attended.

The candidates were asked if abortion rights should be left to the states or if Congress should play a role. They were also asked if they supported exceptions to a ban and who should make decisions about those exceptions.

“I’m a Christian, I believe God made us, we were made in his image, so I’m going to uphold the principle of defending the unborn,” Bacon said.

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He said he would support a 15-week abortion ban because he thinks that’s what the majority of Americans support. He said such a ban would move the country “in the right direction”.

Bacon attempted to portray Vargas as extreme on the issue, saying the Democrat did not support any restrictions on abortion, a position Bacon called “abortion on demand until birth”.

Vargas said he does not support abortion until birth, but what he does support is listening to women and letting them make decisions for themselves.

“I have a wife, I have a daughter, she’s 3 and a half, I want to make sure their rights are intact, I want to make sure that we protect their decisions and the government doesn’t do this guy excess,” Vargas said. “It’s important, not only because I’m not a doctor, but politicians shouldn’t have a say in these decisions.”

Vargas said Bacon supports one of the most aggressive proposed abortion bans in Congress, a constitutional amendment that would declare the right to life constitutionally guaranteed, including the timing of fertilization.

Bacon said nothing in this amendment, HR 1011, prohibits the state or federal government from making its own limitations or exceptions nor does it authorize the prosecution of a woman for the death of her child at be born.

On another issue, Bacon and Vargas were asked how they would vote on a ballot measure, Initiative 432, which would amend the Nebraska Constitution to require future voters to provide valid photo ID before to vote.

Vargas said he was not in favor of imposing additional barriers to people’s legal right to vote.

“What we should be working on is making sure people can vote, who are legally able to vote and who are citizens, are informed citizens,” Vargas said. “That we educate them and do everything we can so they can make the best decision possible on November 8.”

Bacon said he supported the voter ID measure but would ultimately respect voters’ choices.

“We need to make sure that those who are struggling to access it, we have a way to help them get that voter card,” Bacon said. “By doing that, it makes it constitutional.”

Applicants were asked about canceling student debt. Nebraska, along with five other states, has filed a lawsuit challenging President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive the student loan debt of millions of Americans.

Vargas, a first-generation college student and Pell scholarship recipient, said he disagreed with some of the ways Biden had approached debt relief.

“I would have targeted the relief to low-income families,” Vargas said. “I would have tried to reform the systems we have now and the programs because we have a higher education affordability problem.”

Bacon said what Biden did was unconstitutional and that actions such as canceling student loans must go through Congress. He said he was a supporter of allowing people to refinance their loans at a lower interest rate, Pell grants and encouraging young people to go into trades.

“It undermines people’s personal responsibility and accountability,” Bacon said of Biden’s debt cancellation plan.

The two men, who will meet in a second and final debate on Sunday, also argued over who has the better work record across the aisle.

Bacon said he provided bipartisan results, including 13 bills to Congress, money for Offutt Air Force Base to recover from flooding, money for the University Medical Center of Nebraska and several other projects.

“It’s a hit,” Bacon said.

Bacon said Vargas would be a rubber stamp for Biden and the Democrats.

Vargas said he wanted to discuss solutions to fix the problems, instead of blaming other people and political parties.

“Congressman Bacon talked about the administration or the Democrats because it’s easy,” Vargas said. “Send someone who won’t act like a politician to Congress. Send someone who will actually try to unite us more, rather than trying to divide us when it’s politically practical.

The general election will take place on November 8. The 2nd District includes all of Douglas County, including Omaha, as well as Saunders County and western Sarpy County.