The two candidates for the 6th Congressional District met Thursday morning in Oshkosh for their second debate. Democrat Mark Harris and Republican Glenn Grothman are looking to replace retiring U.S. Representative Tom Petri (R-WI) of Fond du Lac.
Grothman, a state senator from Campbellsport, wants to reform federal benefits programs which he argued are “killing America” by “destroying both our work ethic and destroying our families.” Grothman contends the state can only do so much to address those program, since the vast majority of the problems come at the federal level. Grothman claimed that a mother with two children could receive around $30,000 a year in benefits, through food stamps, health insurance, low-income housing, and day care.
Harris, the Winnebago County executive, countered that studies have disputed those amounts. He also questioned what benefits should be cut, noting that Grothman thinks it’s perfectly fine to eliminate all income taxes for the wealthy, “but then you’ll begrudge those two little girls the food on the table…How is that fair?”
Grothman and Harris also faced off on issues surrounding Obamacare. Harris said he is open to changing parts of the law, but would like to keep popular requirements in place, such as coverage for preexisting condition. Grothman argued that the law creates problems that stifle the economy, such as setting up situations where businesses have to limit hours for workers or cap the number of employees they have in order to avoid mandates of the Affordable Care Act.
Grothman and Harris face each other on November 4.