Murray Wins Debate Against Anti-Abortion Extremist: Focuses on Lower Costs and Stronger Economy, Reproductive Rights, Protecting Democracy

News | October 23, 2022

(Spokane, WA) — In a statewide debate hosted by the Spokesman-Review and League of Women Voters, U.S. Senator Patty Murray made clear to Washington state viewers that there is a clear choice in this election and that she will be the strongest, most effective voice for Washington state voters in the U.S. Senate. 

Murray outlined her work to lower costs and build an economy that works for everyone—not just giant corporations and billionaires, her fight to protect every woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, and her commitment to protecting our democracy. 

“We talked about a lot of really important topics tonight,” said Senator Patty Murray. “But what you didn’t hear is anything from my opponent about: restoring the right to abortion nationwide, protecting our democracy and every American’s right to vote, or even serious solutions for lowering families’ costs or getting illegal guns off our streets.”

“These have been really challenging times. I know what that’s like,” continued Murray. “My family struggled growing up: working class, 6 siblings, dad was a WWII veteran who ran a small store on Main Street in Bothell—so I fight for an economy that puts working families first. In the last year and a half, I’ve passed bills to lower prescription drug costs, deliver the biggest middle class tax cut in generations, lower energy costs and fight climate change, and bring manufacturing jobs back to Washington state.

“My opponent—as you saw tonight—gave you Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump’s talking points,” said Murray in closing. “We don’t need a voice in the other Washington who’s there to work for Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump. We need someone who is looking out for our state, first, foremost, and always. And Washington, if you give me your votes, that is exactly what I will do as your United States Senator.”

Fighting for Lower Costs and a Stronger Economy: Patty Murray’s top priority in Congress right now is lowering everyday costs for people in Washington state. In just the past year and a half, Patty has helped pass the Inflation Reduction Act to lower prescription drug costs, lower health care costs, and lower energy costs. Patty is fighting in Congress to pass her child care plan to save parents thousands of dollars per year on child care. Patty is also focused on getting state and local governments the resources they need to build more housing to drive down rent and mortgage costs for families everywhere.

And she’s passed legislation like the CHIPS and Science Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to lower costs in the long-term, too–investing in our infrastructure and strengthening supply chains so that more goods and services are available to help drive down costs. 

Patty is focused on middle-class tax cuts, not tax breaks for billionaires. That’s why Patty helped push for and pass one of the largest middle-class tax cuts in history through the expanded Child Tax Credit, which cut child poverty nearly in half—and is fighting to make the expanded Child Tax Credit permanent. 

THE DIFFERENCE: Tiffany Smiley  said she supports Rick Scott’s extreme agenda, which would sunset all federal programs after 5 years, potentially ending them permanently  — including Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and the Affordable Care Act. Importantly Smiley wants to extend the Trump tax cuts permanently which: showered benefits on the very wealthiest  – the richest 5 percent of Americans received more than one-quarter of the benefits of the tax, and increased the debt by $2.3 trillion. Tiffany Smiley is trying to scare voters– but she has no serious solutions to bring down inflation or address rising costs—and would just be another rubber stamp for Mitch McConnell. From the Seattle Times: “Smiley has consistently said she will “rein in the out-of-control spending” she says is fueling inflation. But she has consistently declined to say what spending she would cut.”

Murray campaign ads on lowering costs: 

Protecting Our Reproductive Rights: Patty Murray has led the fight in the Senate to protect reproductive rights. That’s why the Washington Post characterized her as, “the single most effective Democratic combatant against Republican attempts to restrict abortion and otherwise roll back reproductive health-care rights on Capitol Hill.” In the Senate, Patty Murray is leading the fight to pass her bill, the Women’s Health Protection Act, to codify Roe and restore every woman’s right to make her own health care decisions. Patty has always stood strong fighting to make contraception more accessible and affordable for women everywhere–beating back countless Republican attempts to defund Planned Parenthood and other family planning services, and is widely credited with forcing the Bush administration to make Plan B available over the counter.

THE DIFFERENCE: Tiffany Smiley is, in her own words, “100 percent pro-life.” Smiley expressed support for a national abortion ban – and even for defunding Planned Parenthood — before she started running for Senate. Smiley cheered the decision that overturned Roe and allowed states to ban abortion with no exceptions. At the start of her campaign, Tiffany Smiley endorsed the Texas abortion ban, one of the most extreme in the nation with no exceptions for rape or incest — even while admitting “there’s a lot of parts of it that make it hard for me in Washington state.” In September, her campaign reiterated her “respect” for the extreme Texas law. Smiley refused to say – after being repeatedly asked – whether she supports abortion exceptions for rape and incest. Tiffany Smiley is raising money fromcampaigning with, and collecting endorsements from anti-abortion politicians who are committed to passing a national abortion ban, including those working to ban abortion in Washington state.  Tiffany Smiley’s first vote would be to make Mitch McConnell Senate majority leader — and Republicans have already introduced and suggested they would bring to the floor legislation to ban abortion nationwide and impose criminal penalties on Americans.

Murray’s campaign ads on reproductive rights:

Protecting Our Democracy: Patty was in the Capitol during the violent insurrection on January 6th and voted to convict former President Trump for working to overturn the peaceful transfer of power. Patty voted to convict former President Trump for his role in inciting violence and attempting to prevent the certification of the 2020 election. She has been unequivocal in holding the perpetrators and instigators of the insurrection fully accountable for their actions. Patty  was one of the first to call for former President Trump’s removal under the 25th Amendment after the January 6th insurrection. Patty is fighting to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the Freedom to Vote Act to protect every American’s right to vote and to end partisan gerrymandering. Patty will never shy away from standing up to election deniers like Donald Trump to preserve our democracy. 

THE DIFFERENCE: Smiley said it would be “awesome” to have Donald Trump’s endorsement and has never once condemned the President for his ongoing and dangerous election denialism. Smiley gained widespread national attention for removing the “ELECTION INTEGRITY” section of her website that said, among other things, that “The 2020 election raised serious questions about the integrity of our elections.” After Washington’s primary election, Smiley replaced that section of her website with a far more sanitized version. Smiley then refused to admit that President Biden was fairly elected, even after being asked three times in a recent CNN interview. Now Smiley is campaigning and raising money alongside one of the most prominent and hateful election deniers in national far-right politics—with her campaign being supported by notable funders of the insurrection like Stephen Schwarzman, Richard Uihlein, Cliff Asness, and Laurel Asness. Uihlein in particular helped fund the March to Save America Rally that preceded the violent insurrection on January 6th. 

Murray campaign ads on protecting democracy: