U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci invited U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton this week to hold a joint town hall meeting on what promises to be one of the most contentious issues in their battle to represent the 16th congressional district this fall: health care.
Renacci opposed the federal health care legislation, which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld as constitutional in a landmark decision last week, while Sutton supported it.
"While we clearly disagree on the health care law as a matter of public policy, it is beyond question that both the public debate over this law and the obligation of lawmakers to participate in that debate is anything but over," Renacci wrote in his two-page letter.
He suggested five possible dates between now and early August and said he secured a venue in Strongsville, which is in Sutton's 13th district, to hold the event.
Sutton's campaign told the Canton Repository, though, that she's willing to debate Renacci, but closer to the election.
Renacci said in his letter that "countless constitutent groups and media outlets in Ohio have publicly clamored for a policy-based debate of the issues between their congressional leaders as we head into the fall election."
The Beacon Journal, in collaboration with several other groups, is among those leading the effort for more constructive public discourse through a year-long project focused on civility. Promoting Healthy Democracy, a non-profit group, plans to use a citizens-jury process to evaluate the most important issues in the 16th District race and how well Renacci and Sutton do in addressing them.
Renacci, R-Wadsworth, and Sutton, D-Copley, will battle for the 16th District after a redrawing of the Congressional boundaries put them in the same district.