Defense Cuts take center stage for California's newly drawn 52nd Congressional District, which has been targeted with some of the most campaign cash and coverage nationwide.
Congressman Brian Bilbray, a Republican who's represented the 50th District since 2006 and the former 49th District for three terms ending in 2001 will face Port Commissioner Scott Peters. Peters is a Democrat who represented District 1 on the San Diego City Council for two terms, serving as Council president in his second.
The two made it through a competitive primary race and now face a relatively even partisan divide in the district.
During an exclusive debate with Gene Cubbison that will air on this weekend’s episode of Politically Speaking, the two discussed the role of a member of Congress and how one another’s partisan beliefs will affect the job at hand.
In particular, the two addressed the impending automatic spending cuts in Congress, which will affect the defense budget throughout the country and in San Diego.
Bilbray voted for the automatic cuts, and said this was an example of how he worked with both parties in agreement.
“Sequestering was basically the agreement that the President put together with the Speaker,” Bilbray said. “It was one of the few agreements that we saw there, and it actually was a tough decision to make. Those of us that were in the middle of the spectrum in Washington agreed that this wasn’t the best answer but it was the best one available. Extremists voted against it. So we did move forward to finally force congress to work together.”
Peters disagreed that the cuts would be an acceptable solution to the national deficit.
“We face the loss of 30,000 jobs just in the defense sector in our county and the average tax increase of $3,500 per family,” Peters said. “That is not working. When someone from Congress tells you that’s a solution, that’s when we have to make a change.”
To watch the full debate, tune in Sunday at 9 a.m. on NBC 7 to watch Politically Speaking. The show will be posted on NBC7.com as well, just search Politically Speaking.