U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski expressed confidence that she and her general election opponent, Lynn Coleman, can work out details for a campaign debate.
The two-term 2nd District Representative has been criticized by Coleman for a lack of access to voters and has pressed Walorski to agree to a debate.
She brushed aside Coleman’s suggestions that she is not accessible enough.
“The needs of this district and surviving the Obama administration are full time,” Walorski said. “I am all over the district, laser focused on the needs of the district.”
Walorski was in Warsaw Friday afternoon for a ribbon cutting at the Kosciusko County GOP headquarters at 103 E. Center St.,
She said she and her staff will soon compare her Congressional schedule and campaign schedule to find a time for a debate.
She said she looks forward to debating various issues with her opponent “and will inform debate sponsors of her participation in September.” “We’ll know by September,” Walorski said.
Walorski has also been criticized for hosting very few town hall meetings that are open to the public. Her office offered a reply to that topic: “In addition to regularly meeting with constituents and visiting businesses throughout the 2nd District, Jackie has held district-wide tours that are open to the public since she was elected,” Walorski said in a prepared statement issued by her campaign Friday afternoon.
One of her top tasks, she said, once Congress returns from its August break, is her ongoing legislative work aimed at preventing President Barack Obama from emptying the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay.
Obama has been working for almost eight years to close the detention center, but slowed by overwhelming opposition from Republicans. As a result, the president has focused on releasing detainees over the years.
Walorski said she will seek to establish a moratorium on any more releases from Gitmo until the next president takes office.
Guantanamo has held as many as 684 detainees since President George W. Bush began housing them there in 2002. Earlier this summer, Obama had 15 inmates shipped to the United Arab Emirates, bringing the current number of inmates down to 61.
“More than 30 percent of those terrorists have entered back into the fight to kill Americans and I think it’s reprehensible,” Walorski said.
Previous amendments touted by Walorski have put parameters on where the detainees can be sent.
Obama had made it clear he wants to empty Gitmo before the end of his presidency and Walorski has previously talked about the worry that he’ll try to make a move before his term ends.
“I think it’s fair and I think it’s common sense,” Walorski said of her proposed moratorium.
Walorski scoffs at the idea of housing he detainees in federal prisons and contends the security at federal prisons is not up to par with those at Gitmo.
“These are some of the worst of the worst,” she said.