Risch countered, "The gridlock in Washington, D.C. is caused by the two very different philosophies of the parties and the people who are elected to the United States Senate. They reflect a very different view of what America is and should be. That is what has caused the gridlock today. When you stand up and start talking about spending less in Washington, D.C., they look at you like you've got three heads."
Mitchell has pledged if elected to serve just one six-year term, while Risch says he'd like to serve for "a long, long time" in the Senate. Mitchell was asked in the debate why he'd volunteer to start right out as a "lame duck."
"Six years is a long time," he responded. "You can accomplish a lot," he said, particularly if there's no need to focus on fundraising or the next election.
Risch said, "Everything in the U.S. Senate is based on seniority. I'm very fortunate to have gotten there when I did," saying his seniority in the 100-member Senate already is nearing "the low 60s or actually into the 50s now."
"They conceived of a Senate in which citizen legislators would step forward to serve their country for a limited time before returning to their private lives." Mitchell said. "For that reason, I will run for one term and one term only."
"I am not a politician. I have had a successful career, and it is now my turn to step up," Mitchell said. "Six years is a long time. During that time, I will work as hard as I possibly can to represent Idaho and its people. I will be beholden to nobody but the people of Idaho."
Mitchell said the gridlock in Washington can be addressed. "I do not believe, as Sen. Risch does, that it's impossible to accomplish anything in the Senate," he said. "If that's the case, why do we pay him? I commit to you that I won't make excuses and I won't take junkets. No excuses, no junkets, period."
Q: Should Congress regulate indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
Q: Do you support removing all contribution limits on federal campaigns?
Q: Should candidates for federal office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
Q: Do you support the line item veto?
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