Golnik also cast doubt over the economic viability of green energy. In contrast, Tsongas said continued development of the clean energy industry will help increase America’s energy independence and directly benefit the local economy in the 3rd District, home to one of largest green business clusters in all of New England, she said.
“It’s an important, important way to move forward,” said Tsongas. “We need to look at alternative energy sources.”
Tsongas said she will help “re-energize” manufacturing in the Merrimack Valley by ensuring job training programs are made available to the local workforce and research and development opportunities continue for area small businesses.
Golnik said businesses aren’t hiring because they have no “clear vision” of future tax and regulation policy. Repealing health care reform and reducing the corporate tax rate from 35 to 25 percent would help provide the clarity needed to create jobs, he said.
One rare area of agreement between the candidates came regarding the tax code. Both Tsongas and Golnik said changes are necessary to promote American job growth and dissuade businesses from moving jobs overseas.
When the topic of bipartisanship came up, Golnik criticized Tsongas for voting in lockstep with the Democratic party “95 percent of the time.” Golnik said good ideas must be embraced from both parties.
“My bosses aren’t the leaders of my party,” Golnik told the crowd. “My bosses are you.”
Tsongas said she has reached across the aisle to propose $900 billion in budget cuts over the next decade, as well as to provide safer and lighter body armor for U.S. troops and greater protections for military sexual assault victims.
“No one ever tells me what to do or how to vote,” said Tsongas.