On Sunday, Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX-32) criticized President Trump and branded himself as bipartisan in a debate with his challenger, Republican Genevieve Collins, who blasted Allred as an “ineffective, party-line politician” who sides with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The candidates addressed police reform, small businesses, the coronavirus, the federal judicature, social media, and health care.
Collins emphasized her experience as a businesswoman and said Allred “votes with Nancy Pelosi 100 percent of the time.”
Among her primary criticisms of Allred was that he has not authored any bills that have ultimately become law. Allred responded that collaborating with other lawmakers by co-sponsoring legislation is how work gets done in Congress.
The congressman underscored his work to establish a Veterans Affairs hospital in Garland, a project that he stated would not have been completed without him, as well as his support for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement and the Dallas to Houston bullet train project.
On the subject of economic relief, Allred indicated that House Democrats have “bent over backwards” to pass more stimulus benefits but lack a “willing partner” in Senate Republicans and Trump.
Collins asserted her support for another stimulus package and liability protections for businesses.
“We also have to ensure that small businesses or any business of that kind have liability protections because this pandemic was very unexpected. No company should be held liable for the loss of people’s jobs,” Collins said.
The candidates addressed Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Collins described Barrett as a “remarkably intelligent jurist” whom the Senate should confirm.
Allred stated he is opposed to confirming a justice so close to Election Day, especially given Senate Republicans blocked Judge Merrick Garland’s confirmation in 2016.
The congressman stated that expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court is never something he’s supported, but criticized Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for lining up seats in federal courts to be filled by conservative judges.
Collins attributed a great deal of the political division in the U.S. to discourse on social media platforms.
“I do think that one of the things we have to do as a Congress in the next session is actually look at Big Tech and how Big Tech drives a wedge between us all,” Collins said. “As we are seeing, the advent and the rise of social media is creating a further divide in who we are as Americans, and now we’re unable to have conversations.”
Allred agreed that technology companies should be regulated, but contended that much of the problem is animus stoked by the president.
“I don’t think it’s tech companies themselves that are entirely the problem,” Allred said. “The problem is that they provide platforms that are then allowing these groups to organize and that they’re taking their fuel and their fire from the leadership they’re getting.”
The candidates also sparred over the United States’ relationship with European allies.
Allred contended that our relationships with NATO-affiliated countries are critical and that Trump is damaging America’s reputation globally. On the other hand, Collins asserted that NATO needs to be held accountable when other countries are not contributing their fair share.
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Hayden Sparks is a reporter for The Texan in Dallas. During the academic year, he coaches high school competitive speech and debate and has also been involved in community theater and politics. A native Texan, Hayden served as a delegate at the Republican Party of Texas Convention in 2016. He is on track to receive a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Liberty University. In his free time, Hayden is known to take walks around the neighborhood while listening to random music on Spotify.