Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R) and former state Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown (D) sharply clashed over issues ranging from health care and tax reform, the farm bill, the special counsel investigation, and "dark money" in campaigns. While McMorris Rodgers highlighted her success in passing bills into law in 2018, noting that more than half were bipartisan bills, Brown decried Congress as "paralyzed by special interests and dark money" and forced to stumble from government shutdown to government shutdown.
On health care, McMorris Rodgers expressed concern over "double-digit premium increases" and families worried about how to afford their health coverage. Brown said that she has a record of actually supporting programs like Medicaid, as she did in the statehouse, whereas McMorris Rodgers did not. But Brown declined to endorse a Medicare for All program, instead proposing a Medicare X for All solution, which would be equivalent to a public insurance option distinct from the existing Medicare program.
McMorris Rodgers also defended President Trump's tariffs as a necessary measure to punish China for intellectual property theft, and she supported work requirements for food stamps. Additionally, the Republican received a negative response from Brown and the crowd at the debate when she appeared to peg her participation in further debates on whether Sen. Maria Cantwell (D) would do more debates. (Spokane Spokesman-Review)