Don Bolduc, the Republican who is challenging Senator Maggie Hassan, said he supported raising the cap on income that is taxed to fund Social Security, a move Republicans widely oppose.
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Senator Maggie Hassan, left, and Don Bolduc had their first debate on Tuesday night.
New Hampshire’s first Senate debate on Tuesday featured many jabs and parries that have been partisan staples of debates this year across the country, with Senator Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, and her Republican opponent, Don Bolduc, trading accusations about abortion, energy, inflation and more.
But the debate also produced a surprising zone of consensus: Both candidates agreed that the cap on income that is taxed to fund Social Security should be raised. The tax currently applies to the first $147,000 of income and is withdrawn from workers’ paychecks.
“Take that cap off and millions of dollars will flow in,” Mr. Bolduc said.
Ms. Hassan agreed: “You can ask the wealthiest Americans to pay a little bit more into the system,” she said.
While Democrats in Congress have long favored lifting the cap for certain high earners, Republicans have widely opposed the idea, a third rail for many in the party.
“If you think taxing the wealthy is going to save Social Security, you’re wrong,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said at a June hearing, after a report that Social Security would be unable to pay full benefits starting in 2035.
Republicans have favored cutting benefits or raising the retirement age to keep the hugely popular benefit solvent. Mr. Bolduc, who is on the hard right on some issues, appeared to align with the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party on Social Security — at least regarding taxes.