U.S. Rep. Chis Pappas accused his Republican challenger of treating politics as a show without offering solutions to problems, while Democratic Rep. Karoline Leavitt accused the Democrat of being a partisan troublemaker during their third and final debate Thursday.
The two candidates for New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District seat offered contrasting views on a range of issues, including rising costs and the economy, and abortion, among other issues.
Pappas, who is seeking a third term, said he was proud to have worked to get a record amount of money to New Hampshire families from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. He said he is working on ways to modernize shipping and trucking regulations to “de-clutter supply chains,” move more goods to market, strengthen the workforce and address the state’s housing shortage, which contributes to inflation.
“Well Congressman, everything you said sounds great, but the truth is none of it has passed and none of it has worked,” Leavitt said. “Granite staters suffer.”
He accused Pappa of supporting trillions of dollars in spending that he says contributed to inflation and attacking New Hampshire energy production, which he said was “not true.”
“I support an all-of-the-above energy strategy, and I’ve supported legislation to pay down the deficit” that also provides tax credits to homes and businesses for energy efficiency programs, Pappas said.
Leavitt said if elected to Congress she would work to pass a balanced budget and cut junk spending in exchange for a vote to raise the debt ceiling, which would allow the Treasury Department to meet the financial commitments they’ve already made. Congress and the president.
Citing economists, Pappas called it “a completely reckless position, because it would not only jeopardize our own economic health here in the United States, but could lead to a global recession.”
“We need bipartisan conversations about how to reduce the debt and the deficit,” he said, adding “we must not hold our economy hostage, with the full faith and trust of the United States.”
Leavitt responded: “Our economy is being held hostage right now. The people of this region are being held hostage right now because of the economic policies you have supported.”
On the abortion issue, Leavitt, who is pro-life, said she supports state legislatures making decisions about abortion regulations and would oppose a federal abortion ban.
Pappas, who supports the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would protect the right to access abortion care nationwide after Roe v. Wade was overturned, said New Hampshire women deserve a vote pro-choice in Congress.
“I want women and families in consultation with their doctors to make that decision for themselves,” Pappas said.
“No, that’s not true,” Leavitt replied. “You want the politicians in Washington, D.C., to make these decisions … I support those who are closest to the people, closest to the voters,” he said in Concord.
Pappas called her response “really creepy,” adding, “I think the government needs to get off the street because it has no business deciding this issue for women and families.”
Both candidates were asked if they believed former President Donald Trump when he said he was robbed of the 2020 election.
Leavitt, who worked in the White House press office under Trump, had said during debates before the primaries that she believed the 2020 election had been stolen by the former president. On Thursday, he said he believes there were irregularities in the 2020 election.
He spoke of Pappas’ support for a bill that would have created national automatic voter registration, allowed all voters to vote by mail and weakened voter ID laws, among other measures.
“Donald Trump is wrong,” Pappas said, “the election was not stolen from him. Everyone knows that. And Karoline Leavitt continues to play down the big lie.”