US Senate candidates Senator Chuck Grassley and Admiral Michael Franken have asserted and clarified where they draw the line on abortion rights in America. Franken took a strong stance against government regulation of abortion. Meanwhile, Grassley said he thinks the matter should be left to the vote of elected officials.
Regarding government regulating abortion, Franken said it has no place in the private decision between a woman and a doctor. Grassley said he supports the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn precedent and said the abortion decision should be left to the states.
Congress attempted to codify the protections of Roe v. Wade, restoring abortion protection. This legislation failed in the Senate, receiving a negative vote from both senators from Iowa. On the other side of the issue, Republicans have talked about proposing a federal ban on abortion.
Radio Iowa news director and debate mediator O. Kay Henderson asked Grassley if he was talking about elected officials at the federal or state level.
“Obviously it could be at the federal level, but we’ve been waiting a long time to get that back to the United States,” Grassley replied. “That’s where it should be, and that’s where I want it to be.”
Teaching associate professor Kelly Shaw said students should pay attention to whether abortion should have federal protections or belong to the states, but the question is moot at the federal level given the makeup of the court and deadlock in Congress.
“Given how polarized Congress is and, one might say at least ideologically, the Supreme Court is polarized now, I don’t see that precedent being overturned or crushed,” Shaw said.
Franken was also asked about recent allegations of giving a former staff member an unwanted kiss and having an old-fashioned approach when interacting with women. Franken said the allegations were unfounded and posed the question at the women’s rights discussion.
“He has a problem with women,” Franken said. “We see that manifest with the series of other bills he is working on now.”
Des Moines Register chief political reporter Brianne Pfannenstiel asked Grassley if big business got tax breaks and if farmers got subsidies, why wouldn’t middle- and low-income Americans get the tax break? .
Since the Americans promised to pay the debt, Grassley said he thought they had to. Grassley also asked if President Joe Biden had the authority to cancel student loans. Shaw said that issue was settled and the president was within his executive powers to cancel federal loans.
“It could be a slippery slope,” Grassley said of the student loan forgiveness. “Someone is going to say they need help with their car loan or their home mortgage. It starts right there.
Franken isn’t exactly in favor of the loan forgiveness, though when Biden announced the plan, Franken said he welcomed the first step.
“We’ve bailed out a lot of industries over the years,” Franken said. “I’m not a big fan of student debt bailouts. I want to fix the problem. Something he could have done anytime between now and 63 years ago because it got progressively worse.
Grassley told Franken that there were more ways to pay for college than borrowing money.
War in Ukraine
Addressing the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Shaw said neither candidate was eager to put American boots on the field. Shaw also said that Franken and Grassley are not that far apart in their approach to international relations with Ukraine.
Grassley offered Biden credit for doing a reasonably good job as commander-in-chief — just six months too late. Franken agreed that the United States was late in helping the Ukrainians defend their border. While some Republicans in Congress advocate cutting aid to Ukraine, Grassley said not now and maybe never.
“That ‘never’ relates to the application of Article Five of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization,” Grassley said. “So that we then had to defend wherever Putin went in Europe or in NATO countries. And I hope the American people will be patient to understand that helping Ukraine now will save us a lot of money later if Putin is arrested.
Shaw said Franken, particularly as a Democrat, seemed to display a more hawkish stance.
While Grassley said he doesn’t believe US troops should go to Ukraine. Franken did not directly indicate whether he would support or oppose sending in armed troops. Instead, Franken said no one knows more about sending troops to US combat zones than he does.
“We have to realize that anything other than pushing soldiers across this border will involve another chapter of Russia expanding Great White Russia into neighboring countries,” Franken said.
Stick to their masses
Even though the first question of the night was about how each candidate would appeal to voters from an opposing party, Shaw said throughout the debate, the candidates tried to answer their base.
Throughout the debate, Grassley said while touring County 99 that the top three topics he hears from Iowans are that inflation, energy and the border are all out of control. All of this as a result of failed Democratic politics. During this time, Franken continually came out for Grassley on her positions and votes regarding women’s rights issues.
Shaw said both candidates could have elaborated on immigration issues.
“Given the lack of politics and the lack of progress that Biden has made and President Trump has made,” Shaw said. “There is certainly a lot of blame to be had. I thought that would have been an issue that they probably could have spent more time talking about.
Shaw said the temper of this debate did not disappoint.
“There were more punches than I thought,” Shaw said. “None of them turned away from it.”