Hanna and Lamb Debate

By Matt Porter

October 1, 2012 Updated Oct 1, 2012 at 11:25 AM EDT

Cortland, NY (WBNG Binghamton) With just 38 days until the election, the fight for New York's 22nd Congressional District is heating up.

In a debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters, the two candidates blamed each other for causing America's problems by being unwilling to compromise.

"People know that this most partisan, least productive Congress has got to stop," said Democratic candidate Dan Lamb, "We've got to find a better way of doing things."

"Mr. Lamb speaks as one of the most partisan people I've ever heard," responded Republican incumbent Richard Hanna.

Lamb linked Hanna to the controversial plan put out by Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan that would privatize parts of Medicare using a voucher system.

"The Paul Ryan budget which Richard Hanna has voted for, not once but twice," said Lamb, "Once could have been an accident, but twice, that's where his heart is."

Hanna said he doesn't support Ryan's voucher plan.

He said he does want to start a conversation as tough decisions need to be made to fix Medicare.

"18, soon to be 20 percent of our economy is wrapped up in health care," said Hanna. "Twice what the rest of the worlds are."

On hydraulic fracturing, Lamb said Hanna favors gas companies over people.

"We can't have an industry dictating the future of this region and impacting our environment and public health," Lamb said.

Hanna said the decision belongs to states, not overreaching federal regulators like the EPA.

The candidates did agree on some issues including women's health. Hanna said his record shows his ability to act independently.

"You think it's easy to go to Washington and vote against everybody in your party against women's health care," said Hanna, "I do it, and it's easy for me."

Both said after the debate, they have the personality fit for the job.

"I've gotten more done in Congress than any of the freshman members of Congress because I do get along. I don't go along with this mindless diatribe of good versus evil" said Hanna.

"My background looks more like the background of people in this district," said Lamb, "I'm a middle class guy, with middle class values. I'm not a multimillionaire."

The next scheduled debate between the candidates will be in Binghamton on October 21.