Home Politics Elections Election 2018 Renacci and Brown face off in third, final senatorial debate

Renacci and Brown face off in third, final senatorial debate

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Rep. Jim Renacci and Sen. Sherrod Brown faced off in their third senatorial debate. Here are four topics they talked about.

Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown and Republican Rep. Jim Renacci faced off Friday in their third and final senatorial debate at Miami University, discussing education, healthcare, gun control, and immigration.


Both Renacci and Brown expressed concern over the student debt crisis. Renacci said he’d like to encourage schools to promote options other than college for students; he said he’d also look into the problem by talking to students to understand their problems.

“There’s nobody that understands it better than me,” Renacci said. “I had a student loan and I worked a number of jobs to go through college.”

Brown said the student debt crisis is partially because of the state’s investment in private education options, such as the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), instead of in public universities.

Brown also said Renacci voted against a bill that would have lowered interest rates for people with student loan debt and sided with the banks instead of the students.

Health care

Brown attacked Renacci’s record on health care, noting that Renacci voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) over 20 times. Brown said Renacci and other Republicans want to take away health care protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Renacci accused Brown of scaremongering, saying no one in Washington wants to repeal protections for people with pre-existing conditions or take away benefits from the elderly. Renacci would like to replace the ACA and put money back into Medicare. He said the ACA is not the only way to protect people with pre-existing conditions.

Brown later said he has faith in the ACA. Furthermore, he said Renacci and Republicans prioritize repealing the ACA rather than replacing it, despite their claims otherwise.

“They say repeal and replace,” Brown said. “But it was like, ‘repeal underlined, replace question mark.’”

Renacci criticized Brown for supporting a single-payer system and attempting to amend the ACA to model it after a system similar to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” proposal. He said this proposal would cost taxpayers $32 trillion.

Gun Control

Brown said he wants to pass “common sense” gun control measures, which would outlaw bump stocks and prevent people on terrorist watch lists from purchasing guns. He said Renacci and Republicans won’t pass these measures because they’re in the pocket of gun lobbyists, despite overwhelming support for gun control from the public.

Renacci said the solution isn’t to outlaw guns; he believes that the solution is to focus on mental health. He also brought up his personal experience in a mass shooting.

“Steve Scalise, one of my colleagues in the House, was shot in a gun-free zone,” Renacci said. “How much more can you take away other than a gun-free zone?”

Brown said Republicans won’t do anything but give thoughts and prayers and advocate for a focus on mental health after mass shootings. In response to Brown’s claim that Republicans are in the pockets of gun lobbyists, Renacci said Brown accepted over $27 million from lobbyists.


Both candidates said they want to secure the border. Renacci said he supports Ohioans and Brown supports illegal immigrants. He also said he wants a wall on the southern border and denounced Sen. Brown for being soft on illegal immigration

“I’m always going to listen to Ohioans and Ohians first, their safety and security. My opponent, he’ll support illegal immigrants first,” Renacci said.

While clarifying that he does want to secure the southern border, Brown said he wants to do it in a way that doesn’t require families to be separated at the border. He said he takes a back seat to no one and wants to secure the southern border humanely.

“Well Sen. Brown, if you take a back seat to no one, I want to know who’s driving that car,” Renacci replied.

Renacci said Brown and his party stand for abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), creating sanctuary cities, and having no borders — contrary to Ohio values, he said. Renacci reinforced that he stands for Ohio values.

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