Meehan, Brady back federal budget deal now headed to the Senate

Dec 17, 2013 Issues: Economy and Jobs

Pennsylvania’s two U.S. senators have different views about the latest budget deal.

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., is one of the Republicans who has said he will vote against it; Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., will vote in favor of it.

"I have maintained that any budget deal alternative to current law must preserve the taxpayer savings of existing law," Toomey said in a prepared statement. "The budget agreement does not accomplish this basic goal.

"Instead, this deal establishes new, higher budget caps to increase spending. The deal purports to offset those increases. But it does so, in some cases, with gimmicks and to a large degree with higher revenues.

"It is also unfortunate that this deal does not contain a provision that I have been calling for which would permanently end shutdowns and government by manufactured crisis."

Casey stated in an email sent by his spokesman John Rizzo, "Republican and Democratic negotiators reached a deal on the budget that will prevent further damage to our economy from the indiscriminate cuts of the sequester and prevent another government shutdown. Neither side is happy with everything in the proposal but, in a year filled with far too much partisan fighting, this compromise is certainly a step in the right direction.

"Important programs that help create jobs, start and grow small businesses, strengthen early childhood education and bolster medical research will face fewer cuts under this deal. It will help grow the Pennsylvania economy and provide two years of budget certainty, reducing partisan fights that only lead to short-term agreements."

The House passed the budget bill in a 332-94 vote last Thursday. Delaware County’s two congressmen — Rep. Pat Meehan, R-7, of Upper Darby, and Rep. Bob Brady, D-1, of Philadelphia — voted in favor of the pact.

"The bipartisan budget agreement passed by the House was not perfect, but it is a step in the right direction," Meehan stated in an email sent by his spokesman John Elizandro. "It reduces our deficit, even beyond what sequestration called for, and it does so without tax increases. That’s progress.

"Importantly, this budget replaces the stop-gap measures that have undermined our ability to scrutinize federal spending and cut waste. Now with a long-term budget, Congress can get to work exercising its power of the purse to make sure our government and the administration are held accountable to the taxpayers who pay for it."

December 17, 2011, By Danielle Lynch, The Delaware County Daily Times