INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana’s candidates for U.S. Senate met on the debate stage for the first and only time before the midterm elections. The debate covered a wide range of topics revolving around both foreign and domestic policy.

High prices around the country

The nearly hour-long debate began with rising prices and what needs to be done to slow it down. Incumbent Sen. Todd Young (R) says it comes down to reducing government spending.

“We need to stop spending trillions dollars we don’t have on things we don’t need,” Sen. Young said.

But his opponents, Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott (D) and James Sceniak (L), also blamed Sen. Young for high prices nationwide.

“When [Sen. Young] talks about the CHIPS Act, which he worked side-by-side with Joe Biden to help pass: it’s inflationary, it adds to our nation’s debt…” Mayor McDermott said.

Libertarian candidate James Sceniak agreed with the sentiment.

“Inflation is an issue, but unlike the incumbent I just don’t disagree with spending if it’s the other side,” Sceniak said.

Immigration and the southern border

While the candidates agreed on several points relating to the ongoing war in Ukraine, immigration was a particular dividing line. Mayor McDermott criticized Sen. Young’s record throughout the debate, accusing him of inaction at the border.

“Our immigration system is broken,” Mayor McDermott said. “And we gave Senator Young twelve years to fix this problem.”

Sen. Young pushed back, accusing the Biden administration of the nation’s border crisis.

“He eliminated Title 42, the public health protections,” Sen. Young “He stopped funding a border wall. Yes, we do indeed need some actual fencing to secure the border.”

Sceniak criticized both sides on the issue, arguing both sides haven’t done enough on immigration.

“We have to look at a process that vets them so we are secure, but allows for more fluid immigrants to be able to come to America,” Sceniak said.

IN Focus: Senate Race 2022

Monday night, join us for IN Focus: Senate Race 2022. We’re sitting down with Sen. Todd Young and Mayor Todd McDermott to get your questions answered. You can submit one now right here.

Watch more from Indiana’s one and only Senate debate in the video above.