Meadows and Hill Debate at WCU

Republican Mark Meadows and Democrat Tom Hill in a congressional debate.

Republican Mark Meadows and Democrat Tom Hill in a congressional debate. 

A polished Republican Mark Meadows and a new on the block Democrat Tom Hill visited Western Carolina University’s campus for a congressional debate at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 4.

The District 11 candidates addressed a wide range of issues including taxes, health care, immigration, human trafficking, foreign and domestic policies and fracking.

Democrat Tom Hill presenting his arguments.

Democrat Tom Hill presenting his arguments.

Both parties recognized issues in the United States and had different ideas in resolving them.

Mark Meadows urged the voters to understand the issues in trying to raise the debt ceiling saying, “When you allow the government to make choices where our federal dollar goes, it doesn’t come to western north Carolina. We need to get regulations out of the way so the private sector can get jobs in.”

In contrast, Tom Hill urged the voters to see the benefits in raising the debt ceiling saying, “Start rebuilding the infrastructure. We also need to start some honest-to-god public works. We have to use federal funds to put people to work in our district. You have to spend money to make money.”

The Affordable Care Act struck a note of interaction between the two candidates. Hill acknowledged that he sees problems in the ACA saying individuals should be able to keep their insurance policies if they meet federal minimum requirements.

Meadows presented the lack of promises the ACA followed through on and believes that people should have the freedom to choose their own policies and doctors in regards to health care. While Hill agreed that ACA needed improvement, he challenged Meadows that he doesn’t see any better proposals from the Republican Party.

During this hot topic, Hill titled Meadow’s the “architect” of the government shut down last year that promoted the discussion to escalate.

Hill: “We failed, but we can fix it. Mark’s group doesn’t want to fix anything.”

Meadows: “We need to make sure healthcare is indeed affordable.”

Hill: “I keep hearing… we’ve got a plan. Where the hell is it?”

Meadows: “Tom, it’s sitting on Harry Reid’s desk, that’s where it is.”

Republican Mark Meadows preparing for a rebuttal.

Republican Mark Meadows preparing for a rebuttal.

Meanwhile the topic of more current issues such as the conflict in Ferguson, Mo. urged the candidates to move on. The shooting of Michael Brown has drawn the nation to focus on current racial realities. The two parties addressed their point of views.

Meadows stood by law enforcement and did not question the issue of racism nor the decisions made by the police force. Hill brought up the issue of current racism in America and reminded everyone of the 1992 police beating of Rodney King. Hill used this example to point out the possibility of certain situations where law enforcement should be questioned.

Both debaters faced an equivalent amount of claps and boo’s when addressing certain topics throughout the evening.

Both mentioned the idea of bi-partisanship as a crucial step to obtaining results, but could not agree on any issue discussed.

On Nov. 4, the voters will have the opportunity to elect Meadows or Hill to represent North Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives for District 11.