Loeffler vs. Warnock on the economy: Where the Georgia Senate candidates stand

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Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., and her Democratic opponent Raphael Warnock are locked in a battle for her seat that will culminate in a critical runoff race next month.

Loeffler, a career businesswoman, has thrown her support behind President Trump's America First action plan, fighting to shift supply chains for many goods from China back to the U.S. to boost post-coronavirus economic recovery.

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Loeffler has used the pandemic to further single out China, blaming the country for the spread of COVID-19, which originated in Wuhan and ravaged the U.S. economy with widespread job losses, business closings and more deaths than in any other nation.

Lockdowns aimed at slowing the spread of the disease resulted in more than 60 million Americans at least temporarily losing their jobs.

Loeffler has sponsored the BEAT China Act, which rewards American businesses that bring important manufacturing, including pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, back to the U.S. with incentives such as lower taxes, accelerated depreciation and other sweeteners for job creation.

The result could be a “virtuous cycle” that creates millions of jobs, Loeffler said in October, noting that the expansion of automotive manufacturing jobs in Georgia created thousands of positions in other sectors.

The senator is also a co-sponsor of the EMPIL-DOC Act, which establishes a new grant program that would allow the U.S. more opportunities to partner with Israel on the discovery of pharmaceuticals, thereby reducing American reliance on China.

The U.S. currently receives about 80% of key drug ingredients from overseas, mostly China, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Putting America first in manufacturing, a longtime mantra of Trump, isn’t the only way Loeffler proposes holding China accountable for its actions. She voted in favor of enforcing tighter restrictions on Chinese companies listed on U.S. capital markets and introduced a resolution to punish Beijing for human rights abuses.

Meanwhile, Warnock has pledged to reach across the aisle for bipartisan legislation aimed at supporting working families impacted by the pandemic.

Warnock, the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta -- where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once served -- has emphasized the need to expand COVID-19 unemployment benefits and reinforce the government's Paycheck Protection Program to make sure it reaches small business owners and doesn't inadvertently benefit only larger corporations.

He has also said he is focused on "supporting made-in-America incentives" and said he'd work to revoke tax breaks for companies that offshore jobs.

"Fighting for workers also means he will oppose Washington tax breaks that benefit the richest of the rich while leaving behind the poor and working families that need help the most," Warnock's campaign said.

In addition, his economic agenda includes refocused funding for police departments, with more oversight to promote officer accountability, which his opponent has tried to paint as a leftist agenda.

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Georgia has two Senate runoffs that will be decided Jan. 5.

The balance of power for the next Senate coming out of last month’s elections is 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats. That means Democrats must win both of the Georgia races to make it a 50-50 Senate. If that occurs, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would be the tie-breaking vote.

Fox Business' Jonathan Garber contributed to this report.

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