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Susan Wild and Lisa Scheller Participate in LVEDC-Hosted Congressional Forum

By Colin McEvoy on October 9, 2020

Republican candidate Lisa Scheller (left) and Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Susan Wild (right) participated in a congressional forum hosted by LVEDC on Oct. 8.

U.S. Rep. Susan Wild and her challenger Lisa Scheller each made their cases to the public for why they should represent Pennsylvania’s 7th district in Congress during an Oct. 8 forum hosted by the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC).

The one-hour forum was held at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks in Bethlehem before a limited in-person audience due to COVID-19 restrictions. The entire discussion was broadcast live on LVEDC’s Facebook page, and an archived video can be found here.

Wild (D), of South Whitehall Township, was elected to the House in 2018, becoming the first woman to represent Lehigh Valley in Congress. She serves on the U.S. House Committees on Education and Labor, Ethics, and Foreign Affairs.

The forum was held at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks in Bethlehem before a limited in-person audience due to COVID-19 restrictions, and was broadcast online on LVEDC’s Facebook page.

Scheller (R), an Allentown resident, is the President and Chair of Silberline Manufacturing Co., a maker of a key ingredient in paints and coatings. She previously served on the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners, spending two years as board chair

Scheller highlighted her business experience and record of creating jobs, noting that Silberline Manufacturing employs 150 workers. She also pointed to her record in county government, where she said she lowered taxes without cutting essential services.

“The way to rebuild our economy is through low taxes, reasonable regulation, good infrastructure, low energy costs, and a good, educated workforce,” Scheller said. “As your congresswoman, I am going to fight to get Pennsylvania back to work safely and quickly, and to rebuild our economy.”

Wild said she has a proven record of working with colleagues from both parties and finding common ground with those with different views than her, with a particular focus this year on delivering direct COVID-19 assistance to small businesses and those in need.

“I’m very proud of my bipartisan record, working with my Republican colleagues on a number of important issues, including support for small businesses, child care, and on ensuring we have an equitable distribution plan for the anticipated COVID-19 vaccine,” Wild said.

Scheller contested Wild’s claims of bipartisanship, saying she has voted with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi the majority of the time. In turn, Wild cited Department of Labor data to claim Scheller outsources Silberline jobs outside the U.S., which Scheller denied.

Wild said she has fulfilled a campaign pledge of establishing a “first-rate constituent services operation,” holding regular town hall meetings throughout the district and holding weekly constituency call times and working group telephone conference calls.

Scheller said Democratic politicians seek to make citizens overly dependent on the government, and criticized the Affordable Care Act as a catalyst for “skyrocketing” health care costs. She called for making health care more affordable, while stressing the importance of maintaining coverage for preexisting conditions.

Wild called for more trade deals so Lehigh Valley companies can export their goods to more markets, and said Trump’s “retaliatory tariffs” have been costly for businesses. Scheller said she believes in free markets, but that “fair and level playing fields” are necessary, and that Democrats have been far too accommodating of countries like China.

Both candidates voiced support for universal broadband access, increased investment in roads and infrastructure, and more support for career and technical schools. Scheller cited her personal contribution to Lehigh-Carbon Community College, while Wild noted her support for legislation that would provide free community college education.

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