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Perry, Scott square off on immigration, international trade and other issues

Written by Emily Previti/Keystone Crossroads | Oct 19, 2018 5:37 AM
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This combination of photos shows congressional candidates Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., left, and Democrat challenger George Scott. (AP Photos)

(Lancaster) -- One of most closely-watched elections in the country this year is Pennsylvania's 10th congressional district, which includes Dauphin and parts of York and Cumberland counties.

Of districts that lean Republican, the GOP is expected to have the hardest time holding onto the 10th.

Democrat George Scott and three-term incumbent Republican Congressman Scott Perry have been battling it out - but so far, the campaign hasn't gotten too personal. The candidates continued to focus on the issues during their most recent debate on WGAL, and they stuck to their very distinctive positions.

For example: Scott wants to gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024, then index it to inflation.

Perry's against that and says the federal government shouldn't decide for the entire country. He recalled his own experiences working for minimum wage - or less, he says - and that attitude.

"The minimum wage was never meant to be the ways that that you were supposed to make when you were keeping a family," Perry said. "It's for people that are getting started out in ways and if we raise that minimum wage, as some cities have, unemployment goes up employment goes down because they the businesses cannot pay that wage."

Moderators asked them to address how the Trump administration's tariffs are hurting famers in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

Perry says the pain will ultimately pay off.

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Campaign signs for Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Democratic challenger George Scott as seen on a neighborhood street in the district, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018 in Camp Hilk. (AP Photo/Marc Levy)

"The president is trying to force better agreements that have been made over a long time a long period of time and update them," Perry said. "The only way to get some of these folks to come to the table is with the threat of tariffs. The administration has also rolled out money to make up the difference for the farmers in the meantime while the deals are coming together."

But Scott says there are other, less damaging options for achieving the same end.

"We should use diplomacy," Scott said. "And in particular, we should use the World Trade Organization. The United States has succeeded in over 91 percent of the claims that we put before the World Trade Organization. That's the way to deal with this."

The candidates also are split on building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Perry supports it. During the debate, he hinted at using tariffs or other trade sanctions as leverage to get Mexico to help pay for it, but declined to get specific when pressed afterward.

Scott's opposed, partly due to its estimated cost of between $25 billion and $75 billion.

"Static structures like a wall are not the most effective way," Scott said. "We have all kinds of different technological means which can and should be deployed along the border."

 The election is Nov. 6.

Pa Post is fact-checking candidates' claims during the debate and annotating a transcript with our findings.

 

 

 

 

 

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