SPOKANE, Wash. – The two candidates vying for Eastern Washington’s seat in Congress squared off in a debate Thursday.
It airs at 9:00 p.m. Thursday on public television’s KSPS. The race is between current Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Joe Pakootas.
KREM 2 On Your Side's Whitney Ward was one-of-three local journalists to question them about a wide-range of topics, including this year's Presidential election.
Here’s a look at one of the questions Ward asked the two candidates:
WW: How are you both prepared to work under a President, if your candidate does not win? And what can be done to end the partisan gridlock we have seen for so many months and years that keeps things from getting done on both sides of the aisle?
CMR: That's a great question. I lead by example. And you look at my record, and you see that I am someone who has looked for opportunities to work across the aisle. And I'm someone who has worked on issues important to Eastern Washington in a bipartisan way. But as it comes to the next President, I believe that one of the most important, fundamental issues for us in this country is representative government, and ensuring that Congress is functioning as an equal branch of government, that will hold the administration accountable, no matter who it is. Exercise the power of the purse, and really on behalf of the people, make sure that accountability is in our government.
JP: I am able to work across the lines. As chairman of the Colville Tribe, I was required to work with city governments, county governments, state governments, and federal governments. And we had many, many issues, jurisdictional issues, sovereignty issues. You look at Congress today, and how things have happened. When President Obama took his oath of office, and immediately after that, Mitch McConnell took another oath of office, providing to the American people that this next President is going to be a one-term President. That's where the gridlock and the partisanship started. I highly respect the office of the President, and I'm willing to work with a President Trump, if that so happens.