Democratic congressional candidate Raj Goyle vowed during a debate Thursday to close a tax loophole that he said encourages companies to ship jobs overseas, but Republican nominee Mike Pompeo said jobs are leaving the U.S. because of federal regulations and taxes.


Democratic congressional candidate Raj Goyle vowed during a debate Thursday to close a tax loophole that he said encourages companies to ship jobs overseas, but Republican nominee Mike Pompeo said jobs are leaving the U.S. because of federal regulations and taxes.

The jobs issue dominated the first debate between the two candidates and was held in Wichita, where thousands of good paying aviation jobs have disappeared since late 2008. The issue took on an added urgency this week after Cessna Aircraft announced it planned to layoff another 700 workers.

Goyle and Pompeo are seeking the 4th District seat held by Republican Rep. Todd Tiahrt, who chose not to seek re-election so he could run for the U.S. Senate. Tiahrt lost the primary to fellow Rep. Jerry Moran.

Goyle blamed job outsourcing on a provision in the tax code whereby companies don't pay taxes when they set up foreign subsidiaries. He said he would work to repeal the provision if elected.

He also said the government could help create jobs through public and private partnerships, citing a bill in Kansas that was used two months ago to gave Hawker Beechcraft Corp. incentives that created 300 jobs and protected 300 others at its Wichita plant.

Pompeo repeatedly cited his background as a business owner, saying he had created 400 jobs in the "real world." He said the country cannot grow jobs when there is uncertainty over government regulation, when businesses face added costs for health care reform and where there is one of the worst tax codes among industrial nations.