HOUSTON (FOX 26) - In the only face-to-face clash in the high stakes struggle to represent much of Houston's west side in Congress, Democratic challenger Lizzie Fletcher quickly pointed a finger of blame, accusing 18-year incumbent John Culberson of neglecting flood protection and leaving scores of neighborhoods vulnerable to storms like Hurricane Harvey.
"The projects that the Army Corps of Engineers has identified for this community have gone unfunded for 18 years. It shouldn't take a Hurricane Harvey to get our member of Congress to act," said Fletcher.
But Culberson fought back, citing his key role in securing $141 billion federal dollars for relief of past destruction and protection from future floods.
"I immediately got the Florida and Texas delegations together in a bi-partisan way and organized the largest hurricane recovery package in the history of the United States," said Culberson.
The candidates also clashed on money with Culberson claiming Fletcher would join Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi in rolling back the landmark $2 trillion Republican tax cut.
"I will always support tax cuts where as my opponent has said she would have opposed that tax cut. In fact, the first thing a Democratic Congress would do would be to reverse that tax cut and raise taxes on the entire country which would be a disaster," said Culberson.
Fletcher responded by warning of the immense cost, citing potential Republican led efforts to fill the monster deficit by cutting Social Security and Medicare.
"Is that your position and how do you square it with your statements that tax cuts would not increase the deficit?" asked Fletcher.
Culberson denied he would support reductions in Social Security and Medicare benefits to fund the tax cut.
After months of campaigning and millions of outside dollars, the battle for District 7 remains a "toss up" with the very latest poll showing Culberson and Fletcher just three points apart.