Rep. Stephen Lynch, Joe Selvaggi square off in debate - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Rep. Stephen Lynch, Joe Selvaggi square off in Congressional mini-debate

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FOX 25 continued their mini-debate series on Friday with the candidates from the Eighth Congressional District.

Democratic incumbent Stephen Lynch was an iron worker for 18 years before becoming a Congressman in 2001 after the sudden passing of Rep. John Joseph Moakley. He resides in South Boston.

Republican candidate Joe Selvaggi is also a Boston resident and a U.S. Navy veteran of the first Gulf War. He owns "Plaster Funtime," a chain of children's activity shops.

Lynch and Selvaggi engaged in a heated debate over everything from health care to the War in Afghanistan.

The conversation became heated just moments in when Selvaggi, who has been one of Lynch's constituents, explained why he is running against him.

"I think I have an idea why jobs are created and why they're not created reason they aren't created is because Congressman Lynch's policies have gone the long way to make my job as a small business owner harder," said Selvaggi. "He's made our tax code more complex; he's increased our regulation, and ultimately the health care costs, which are strangling businesses like mine which create two out of every three jobs here in America."

Lynch responded by defending his stance on health care reform.

"Obviously I didn't vote for the Affordable Care Act. I do agree that it has put a special burden and an increasing burden between now and 2018 on small business, but what I've tried to do is to fix that. I actually voted in reconciliation to lower the taxes that the bill contains in it and I have committed to repairing the flaws in the bill," said Lynch.

Selvaggi fired back at Lynch by pointing out Lynch has voted against repealing the Affordable Care Act 33 times.

Lynch called out Republicans for their role in health care reform, saying that they "talk about repeal and replace," but have never detailed how they plan to fix health care.

Both Lynch and Selvaggi agreed that there need to be more compromise between parties.

In discussing an exit plan for the War in Afghanistan, both candidates agreed that the U.S. needs to get out.

Lynch stood by his previous statements calling for an exit by 2013 instead of 2014. The Congressman, who has been to the nation several times, feels that if all the U.S. troops are doing is training Afghan troops, then a massive presence isn't necessary. He says that exiting earlier would prevent a full year of casualties.

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