Schiff, Porter, Lee, Garvey Debate Highlights

( – California’s open senate seat has more than a few contenders vying for it and the top four squared off on stage for a debate on Monday, Jan. 22. The quartet featured three Democrats and one Republican all trying to best each other. The Democrat candidates are all members of the House of Representatives; Adam Schiff, Katie Porter, and Barbara Lee, while the lone Republican was former California baseball star Steve Garvey.

The hopefuls sparred over a number of topics including the situation between Israel and Hamas forces in Gaza. Lee was very strong in her belief a cease-fire must come quickly and be permanent. She said Israel’s current war fighting will “never lead to peace” or a Palestinian state. Schiff argued that Israel’s operations do not necessarily eliminate a two-state solution and that he sees the country as protecting its citizens. Porter was less committed to saying a cease,fire is the solution. She said she would support one but believes attaining it is easier said than done. Garvey said he believes a two state solution is simply unrealistic. He said decades of broken promises and war in the region make such proposals somewhat academic.

They also debated the issue of earmark funding. These are the legislative provisions that set aside funds during the appropriations process for state and local projects. Porter said she’d like to get rid of the process entirely as well as instituting a ban on congressional stock trading. Lee said she believes in earmarks and aims to keep them in place as a means to fund causes she believes in. Schiff sided with Lee and said anyone who wouldn’t keep earmarks will damage California.

The Democrats on stage tried to assail Garvey over his past support of Donald Trump throughout the night. Garvey responded by saying he was the better candidate in each of his election cycles. They pressed him about whether or not he’d vote for Trump this year to which Garvey pivoted to say each person’s vote is a personal decision.

Adam Schiff was one of the main pushers of the “Russia collusion hoax” for which he was censured in the House. When Garvey brought this up, Schiff declared that he was proud of his actions and that he was standing up to Donald Trump who he sees as the true “danger.” Garvey responded by telling Schiff he can’t take back the lies he told to 300 million people.

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