Pella Chronicle

Local News

October 17, 2012

Archer, Loebsack debate in Newton


Newton —

"We must stand with our closest ally and engage in that process," Archer said. 

Loebsack and Archer were asked if the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" was working. Loebsack believes it is. Archer again said he would base his opinion on whether or not military leaders felt it was working. 

"We must listen to our subject matter experts," Archer said. 

Immigration is one area in which Archer feels the federal government has understated its authority, though he does not believe American troops should be stationed at the border with Mexico. He is also not in favor of mass deportation. 

Loebsack said he voted to improve border security, but the real problem with immigration, as he sees it, is employers who hire and exploit those here illegally. He believes the key is to crack down on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. Loebsack also supports measures to grant legal resident status to those immigrants who have fought in the military. 

Archer pointed out that the Department of Defense is an employer as well, and that Loebsack's plan to crack down on employers who hire illegals is inconsistent with that stance. Archer does not support the Dream Act, either. 

Lynch asked the candidates if the "Farm Bill," which is 80 percent nutritional programs today, should be divided into two bills; one specifically addressing farming and food production, and the other addressing the nutritional programs. 

Loebsack said no one thinks that is a good idea. He blamed Boehner again for holding up the Farm Bill. The Democrat-controlled Senate did pass a Farm Bill this year. 

Loebsack went on to discuss his visits to several farms this year, due to the drought. He was critical of Congress' decision to pass a "stripped down" farm aid bill in response to the weather struggles. 

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