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Maffei vs. Katko: A debate over the Ryan budget gets personal

Campbell Conversations
Republican John Katko, left, and Rep. Dan Maffei, center, speak with Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher

The race for the 24th Congressional District has been characterized by its negative tone. WRVO's Grant Reeher moderated the first debate between Democrat incumbent Dan Maffei and Republican challenger John Katko. In the second part of the debate to be broadcast this Sunday on "The Campbell Conversations," the disagreement this time began with whether or not Katko would support the controversial budget plan designed by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan -- a question he has declined to answer in the past.

Grant Reeher: So you are not for the Ryan Budget?

John Katko: No.

Grant Reeher: Okay, you don’t support the Ryan Budget?

JK: Absolutely not.

DM: So you would vote no on that budget?

GR: Sounds like that is what I am hearing.

JK: I would vote no on principles on that budget which included, I would have the courage to stand against my party. Let me finish Mr. Maffei and calm down. I am going to vote no against any budget that has cuts to Medicare or Social Security, period.

DM: You have criticized me for voting against budgets that have had those things. You’ve said Dan won’t support a budget. Of course I did support the bipartisan budget bill but I didn’t support any of those budgets because they all weren’t adequate. But with you, you are going to do exactly the same thing, you are going to vote no on all of them too because they either do those things, violate  those principles or they have a lot of spending in them and I don’t think you are going to support the Democratic budget.

JK: I think one – if I may just follow-up with that briefly.  I apologize. You got to have the courage to stand up for things. And when you are not worried about your job more than your constituents like Mr. Maffei is, I’ll do that. I’m more worried about my constituent’s jobs than my own. And that’s why I would have voted against Obama Care because a medical device tax, which you knew is a killer for this area, he knew it was going to be a killer and he still voted for it. He succumbed to the pressure from his party and that’s not what I’m going to do because you know what, I have a career and I have a life outside of politics; he does not.