Here’s Bob Casey and Pat Toomey on that government funding bill – and Trump’s looming end-run

    U.S. Sens. Bob Casey (D) and Pat Toomey (R) of Pennsylvania (Capital-Star file)

    Pennsylvania’s two United States senators have weighed in on the funding package that cleared the Senate on Thursday. President Donald Trump has said he plans to sign the bill – and then declare a national emergency anyway to get funding for his border wall.

    Here’s Democratic U.S. Sen Bob Casey:

    “This bipartisan agreement will keep the government open and invest in effective border security, instead of funding President Trump’s wall, which security experts say will not work,” Casey said in a statement released by his office. “President Trump’s national emergency declaration is a complete abuse of power. No President can be allowed to spend taxpayer dollars without authorization from Congress.”

    Here’s Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey:

    “I have said repeatedly throughout this impasse that the sensible outcome would be a compromise on border security that funded physical barriers where Customs and Border Protection deemed it necessary. While the amount is lower than I think optimal, $1.4 billion for physical barriers on the southern border is such a compromise,” Toomey said in a statement.

    “I’m pleased there won’t be another partial government shutdown, but it was irresponsible for Congress to pass, without scrutiny, or opportunity for amendments, 1,700-plus pages of spending including hundreds of millions on wasteful and ineffective programs.

    “Excessive spending in the bill includes $10 million for environmental programming at the UN, billions for ‘economic development’ projects that have historically gone to things like sidewalks and swimming pools, and nearly $200 million for government land purchases despite the government’s neglect of hundreds of millions of acres in its possession.

    “Clearly there was no serious attempt to curb Washington’s addiction to overspending. Instead, this bill adds to our mounting debt, and I could not support it.

    “The responsible way to fund the government is to do each appropriations bill individually, giving members the opportunity to scrutinize and amend each bill. In 2018, we made progress toward this goal with the enactment of five individual appropriations bills well before the end of the fiscal year. This year, Congress should do this for the entire government. I will continue fighting for a normal appropriations process and urge my colleagues to join me in restoring fiscal sanity to the federal funding process.”

    An award-winning political journalist with more than 25 years' experience in the news business, John L. Micek is The Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. Before joining The Capital-Star, Micek spent six years as Opinion Editor at PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., where he helped shape and lead a multiple-award-winning Opinion section for one of Pennsylvania's most-visited news websites. Prior to that, he spent 13 years covering Pennsylvania government and politics for The Morning Call of Allentown, Pa. His career has also included stints covering Congress, Chicago City Hall and more municipal meetings than he could ever count, Micek contributes regular analysis and commentary to a host of broadcast outlets, including CTV-News in Canada and talkRadio in London, U.K., as well as "Face the State" on CBS-21 in Harrisburg, Pa.; "Pennsylvania Newsmakers" on WGAL-8 in Lancaster, Pa., and the Pennsylvania Cable Network. His weekly column on American politics is syndicated nationwide to more than 800 newspapers by Cagle Syndicate.

    2 COMMENTS

      • We were hoping you would notice that. The Capital-Star’s Washington reporter is trying to reach the senator to get him to clarify his comments.

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