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Farmington Hills Candidate Forum: 14th Congressional District

The face-off between current 9th District Congressman Gary Peters and Republican challenger John Hauler was the liveliest during the three-hour event.

This is one in a series of articles on a three-hour candidate forum held Tuesday at Farmington Hills city hall. The event was hosted by the Council of Homeowners Associations, the League of Women Voters Oakland Area (LWVOA) and the City of Farmington Hills Committee to Increase Voter Participation.

The most lively discussion of Tuesday night's candidate forum at Farmington Hills city hall involved candidates for the newly drawn 14th Congressional District. Republican John Hauler of Grosse Pointe Woods and current 9th District Congressman Gary Peters, a Democrat from Bloomfield Township, were in opposite corners on most issues raised by panelists. 

Here are their responses to a few of the topics raised:

Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA)

Peters said the AHCA will slow the growth of health care costs. The new law, he said, will be helpful to small business owners who might otherwise not be able to afford to insure their employees. The ACHA will also incentivize healthy patients, as opposed to the current "fee for service" system, Peters added.

Hauler said the AHCA needs to be repealed, because "we cannot afford to pay for everybody's health care, period." He said Congress should focus on bringing back manufacturing jobs that will provide health care for workers, and that the AHCA will only increase the nation's debt. 

National Energy Plan

Both candidates agreed there is a need for a plan, but have decidedly different approaches to it. Peters said the country should diversify more when it comes to energy, increasing use of natural gas and renewable energy sources, including nuclear energy. Hauler said the U.S. can reduce its dependence on foreign oil by opening up federal lands and drilling.

Reducing the deficit

While Peters said he supports a three-part approach – making budget cuts, spurring economic growth and adding new revenue – Hauler said he would not raise taxes on anyone. He added the government needs to be more accountable for eliminating fraud and waste. Hauler said as far as entitlement programs go, "We can't afford to be handing money down from cradle to grave." Peters said there is no way to reduce debt without raising revenues, and "it's irresponsible to say we can do it without all three." 

The forum will be rebroadcast on City of Farmington Hills channel 8 for Bright House cable customers. Learn more and watch on-line at swoccstudios.com.

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