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Thursday, May 23
The Indiana Daily Student

Congressional candidate forum shines light on challengers

About 50 people attended a forum of congressional candidates Monday night at the Indiana Memorial Union Whittenberger ?Auditorium.

Two candidates for U.S. Representative of Indiana’s District 9, Democrat Bill Bailey and Libertarian Mike Frey, were present at the event. Republican Rep. Todd Young was invited but not present.

IU history professor David Pace moderated the debate.

Audience questions, written on note cards prior to the event, drove the debate. Topics ranged from the budget deficit to privacy rights and foreign relations.

Both candidates discussed limiting the power of Congress, notably through term limits.

Both Frey and Bailey used current District 9 Rep. Todd Young as an example of a career politician. Young has served the district since 2011.

Bailey, former member of the Indiana General Assembly and mayor of Seymour, Ind., said he would set priority on limiting Senate terms to four years and limiting time in Congress to two terms in the Senate or four terms in the House of Representative.

“I’m convinced you won’t have a control of budgetary restraints if you don’t have a limit on the number of years,” Bailey said.

Frey, an IU graduate, said he would like to see not only term limits for members of Congress, but also limits to the executive branch, cutting funding to programs such as the Environmental Protection Agency and getting rid of the Department of Education.

“When you have a $5.5 trillion budget every year, there are areas you can cut,” Frey said.

Both candidates agreed on changes to Social Security, such as making it a supplemental retirement program to other plans retired people may use.

Candidates also agreed to limit federal influence in education by giving more power to state and ?local governments.

“I’ve always believed the closer you are to the decision, the easier it is to make,” Frey said.

The most stark disagreement between candidates was on the Affordable Care Act. Bailey, who is in strong support of the bill, said he cares most about people receiving insurance who need it most, especially those who have preexisting conditions, like himself.

“No parent should have to live in anxiety and fear that the fever will break within 48 hours,” Bailey said. “I am in favor of the Affordable Care Act for those who cannot get ?insurance.”

Frey said health care prices would be driven down if the free market allowed interstate competition between providers.

They also had similar disagreements on environmental policy. Bailey said he supported federal investment in alternative energy and imposing higher sales taxes on cars that use carbon-based fuel, while Frey said the market should decide what ?citizens use.

Juniors Alexandria Valkner and Alyssa Noble attended the forum.

“I didn’t really know much about the candidates before coming,” Valkner said. “Now I’ll be making an informed decision.”

Both said attending the forum was beneficial and that they enjoyed the sincerity of the candidates.

“It was more personal and it wasn’t as made-up,” Noble said.

The midterm election is Nov. 4.

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