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ENC political leaders want issues, expect politics in first debate

Issues the congressmen want to see covered include investments in infrastructure, the handling of the coronavirus pandemic and healthcare.
Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 6:56 PM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - It’s debate night between the two major party’s nominees. Political rivals Donald Trump and Joe Biden will meet for the first time one-on-one on the debate stage in Cleveland.

Leading Eastern North Carolina’s political leaders' minds: The vacancy on the Supreme Court that could be filled in the coming weeks.

“I believe that the choice the president made will be a fantastic Supreme Court Justice,” said Congressman Greg Murphy (R-NC03). “One who looks at the law. Looks at interpreting the law, rather than making the law.”

Murphy said that Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who was announced as President Trump’s nomination to fill the seat left empty by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, should be confirmed by the senate.

But Democratic First District Congressman G.K. Butterfield says the seat should remain empty until at least after election day.

“And then we can figure out who should be the next justice on the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Butterfield. “The next president of the united states should be the one making the selection.”

Both congressmen say Tuesday’s debate should be a great opportunity for the country to see the two nominees for what they represent. But only if the debate sticks to the issues.

“Joe Biden being the seasoned policy-maker and one that is very familiar with these issues, I’m sure that he is going to call Donald Trump to task and debate the issues that confront the American people,” said Butterfield.

“More importantly, who’s the one that people feel best about to help restore the economy,” said Murphy. “We had the best economy in the nation’s history in February. So, the president has a very good record of restoring economies.”

As Joe Biden and Donald Trump meet on the debate stage for the first time, both nominees' taxes could take center stage. A New York Times report stated President Trump paid no federal income tax in ten of the last 15 years.

“Showing the tax returns is the best evidence of whether or not a president has any conflict of interest, particularly with a foreign power,” said Butterfield.

“Sure, I mean, on first inspection, it does raise eyebrows,” said Murphy. “But, to put it in perspective, it’s all entirely what we have in our tax code.”

The Biden-Harris ticket released their tax returns Tuesday, showing the Biden’s had paid nearly $300,000 in income taxes last year. President Trump has not released his tax returns citing a federal tax audit.

Copyright 2020 WITN. All rights reserved.

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