Lawmakers hope final presidential debate has more meaning

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — With Election Day less than two weeks away, all eyes will be on the presidential debate Thursday as President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden face off for the final time.

“I hope we will have a substantive debate,” Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say they hope the final presidential debate delivers more than an argument.

“What happened in the previous debate, unacceptable. American people deserve better,” Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, said. “They want to see a discussion on the policy.”

Axne says voters want a discussion focused on solutions.

“It’s always kitchen table issues in states like Iowa, it’s putting money in people’s pockets, it’s addressing health care,” Axne said.

Michigan Democrat Debbie Dingell says after a failed plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, civility is more important than ever.

“Dial down the temperature,” Dingell said. “Leaders need to help bring us together not tear us apart.”

In an effort to limit interruptions, the commission on presidential debates will mute mics during the first two minutes of each candidate’s response.

Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley says he expects Trump to be more focused.

“I think you’re going to see a whole different approach in this one. He’s going to do very well,” Grassley said. “Short sentences about things he’s accomplished in his first four years.”

Hawley calls the debate itself outdated.

“The structure of this debate hasn’t been changed in 60 years, it’s crazy,” Hawley said.

He just hopes moderators don’t interfere.

“Let the candidates actually debate,” Hawley said. “These debates have become more and more and more about the panelists or the moderators and less and less about discussing any substance.”

The final debate will be held in Nashville, Tennessee and will be moderated by NBC’s Kristen Welker.

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