Democrat Spratt in the fight of his life against Mulvaney in SC - | WBTV Charlotte

Democrat Spratt in the fight of his life against Mulvaney in SC 5th District

By Tom Roussey - bio l email

LAKE WYLIE, SC (WBTV) - U.S. House Budget Chairman John Spratt first won election in South Carolina's 5th District back in 1982.

He's managed to win every two years since then, even as the district has grown increasingly Republican with time.

Spratt survived for many years in part due to a well-liked persona and a moderate voting record.

But after supporting every major controversial bill the last two years pushed by liberal House speaker Nancy Pelosi, Spratt is facing his toughest battle yet.

As budget chairman, Spratt took a leading role on the controversial health care bill, and also supported the $800 billion stimulus bill, plus the so-called "bank bailouts."

Republican challenger Mick Mulvaney is very critical of what Spratt and the Democrats have done.

"What they should have been doing the last two years is focusing on creating jobs," Mulvaney told WBTV during a visit to T-Bones Restaurant in Lake Wylie this week.  "What they've spent time on instead is cap and trade, bailouts, and most especially the health care bill.  They were worried about what Washington was worried about instead of what folks back home were worried about."

But Spratt defends his and his fellow Democrats record on votes like the stimulus bill.

"It's not the recovery that we wanted to see and planned to see," Spratt said during a Democratic dinner at the Catawba Fish Camp in Fort Lawn.  "But, but for the recovery act, we wouldn't be where we are.  We wouldn't have the job retainage much less the job creation...but it was not all visible because a lot of it was keeping the worst from actually coming to pass."

Mulvaney disagrees with that, but what he seems to disagree with Spratt on the most is the health care bill.  Mulvaney says it's a job killer.

"The best thing we can do to keep the jobs we've got is get rid of the health care bill," Mulvaney said.  "You talk to small business people, and they are scared to death of what it's going to cost, what the regulations are going to be.  They're simply afraid of the government and afraid to invest."

Spratt says the bill wasn't perfect and needs some tweaking before most of it goes into effect, but says overall it's a great thing for health care.

"Every week we get a call from someone with a pre-existing condition problem, someone who wants to get in the insurance pool," he said.  "As more and more people find out what's provided realistically in this bill, I think there will be greater support for it."

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