Bob Casey http://wesa.fm en Legislation to Shrink VA Backlog Introduced; No Cost Estimate Filed http://wesa.fm/post/legislation-shrink-va-backlog-introduced-no-cost-estimate-filed <p>On average, a veteran in the Pittsburgh areas has to wait one day shy of a year between the time they apply for disability benefits and the day they are approved.</p><p>Though the backlog has been shrinking, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey says it is not falling fast enough, and in an effort to fix the situation, he and bipartisan group of six senators have introduced legislation aimed at fixing the system.</p><p>The Veterans Administration deems a claim to be backlogged after it has been in the system for more than 125 days. By its own admission, there are nearly 400,000 cases on that list.</p> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 13:01:51 +0000 Mark Nootbaar 25447 at http://wesa.fm Casey Pushing For Drug Abuse Legislation http://wesa.fm/post/casey-pushing-drug-abuse-legislation <p>Saying Pennsylvania is in a prescription and drug abuse crisis, Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) is pushing for legislation to study and fight opioid abuse.</p><p>The Prescription Drug Abuse Act would include training for practitioners, state grants for drug abuse education, and the creation of a national registry to track opioid related deaths.</p><p>Pennsylvania has the third highest rate of heroin abuse in the U.S. and ranks 14<sup>th</sup> in drug overdose mortality, according to state Attorney General Kathleen Kane.</p> Thu, 27 Feb 2014 21:41:47 +0000 Michael Lynch 25125 at http://wesa.fm Casey: Coal Chemicals In Pennsylvania a Matter of Homeland Security http://wesa.fm/post/casey-coal-chemicals-pennsylvania-matter-homeland-security <p>Three thousand gallons of the chemical that spilled into the Elk River and contaminated tap water for 300,000 people in nine West Virginia counties has been moved to Armstrong County.</p><p>The January West Virginia contamination continues to have lingering effects on the water supply.</p><p>U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) says ensuring a leak like the one that occurred in West Virginia doesn’t happen here is a matter of holding private industry accountable and government regulation, starting from the top with Homeland Security.</p> Tue, 11 Feb 2014 22:19:35 +0000 Erika Beras 24257 at http://wesa.fm Sen. Casey Hopes to Hear About Income Inequality, Jobs and Early Learning from Obama http://wesa.fm/post/sen-casey-hopes-hear-about-income-inequality-jobs-and-early-learning-obama <p>President Obama will deliver the annual State of the Union Tuesday night and is expected to address, among other things, income inequality and his push to raise the federal minimum wage.</p><p>Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey said that is something he hopes to hear more about.</p><p>“The minimum wage increase, which you all know I support, if we get in enacted it would be the right thing to do for workers,” Casey said, “tens of thousands in our state and millions across the country.”</p><p>He said benefits of raising the minimum wage would extend beyond individual workers.</p> Tue, 28 Jan 2014 22:50:36 +0000 Deanna Garcia 23506 at http://wesa.fm Sen. Casey Hopes to Hear About Income Inequality, Jobs and Early Learning from Obama Sen. Casey Says He Won't Give Up Fighting For 911th Airlift Wing http://wesa.fm/post/sen-casey-says-he-wont-give-fighting-911th-airlift-wing <p>Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) says he won’t give up his fight to save Moon Township’s 911<sup>th</sup> Airlift Wing.</p><p>On Thursday, the senator said he would release a letter to the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force rallying for the Airlift Wing to remain open.</p><p>Casey argues the base is valuable in terms of economics and national security.</p> Thu, 23 Jan 2014 22:20:27 +0000 Michael Lynch 23253 at http://wesa.fm Sen. Casey Releases Report on Income Inequality in PA http://wesa.fm/post/sen-casey-releases-report-income-inequality-pa <p>More than 1.6 million Pennsylvanians, or about 1 in 8 state residents, live in poverty.<br /><br />U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) believes he knows how to lower that number.</p><p>He released a report Tuesday that showed the income inequality among Pennsylvania counties in 2012.</p><p>It revealed that the commonwealth has a poverty level of 13.3 percent, which is below the national rate of 15 percent.</p><p>Philadelphia County had the highest rate of poverty at 26.2 percent while Bucks County had the lowest at 5.8 percent.</p> Tue, 21 Jan 2014 20:27:21 +0000 Jessica Nath 23126 at http://wesa.fm Sen. Casey Hopeful a Long-Term Farm Bill Within Reach http://wesa.fm/post/sen-casey-hopeful-long-term-farm-bill-within-reach <p>Pennsylvania’s Democratic U.S. senator is hoping the next few months bring a long-term farm bill to fruition in Congress.<br /><br />Bob Casey is optimistic about the legislation, which sets the nation’s food and agriculture policy.<br /><br />Last year, Congress passed a short-term extension of the farm bill, which expires every five years.<br /><br />During a visit to the 98th annual Farm Show in Harrisburg, Casey said the House appears to be more amenable to approving a longer-term fix in the next few months.<br /> Mon, 06 Jan 2014 21:08:55 +0000 Mary Wilson 22415 at http://wesa.fm Casey Announces Proposal Supporting Universal Pre-K http://wesa.fm/post/casey-announces-proposal-supporting-universal-pre-k <p>One in six of Pennsylvania’s 3- and 4-year-olds were enrolled in publicly funded pre-K programs during the 2011-12 school-year. That’s according to PA Partnerships for Children.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Now U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced a new proposal for universal pre-K Wednesday.</span></p><p>“Children in every state need to learn at an early age and need to learn how to read at an early age,” Casey said. “And the accident, the circumstance of your birth should not determine whether or not you can read or whether you can learn.”</p> Wed, 13 Nov 2013 23:03:34 +0000 Jessica Nath 19771 at http://wesa.fm Sen. Casey To Help Grill Sebelius Over Affordable Care Act Launch http://wesa.fm/post/sen-casey-help-grill-sebelius-over-affordable-care-act-launch <p>Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will be back on Capitol Hill Wednesday. This time she will be fielding questions from members of the Senate Finance Committee about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the failure of the launch of the website HealthCare.gov.</p><p>Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) is a member of the committee. He thinks the session will start with a look at why the website used to sign up for new healthcare insurance collapsed on the first day and has never fully recovered. However, he hopes it will not end there.</p> Tue, 05 Nov 2013 13:00:54 +0000 Mark Nootbaar 19263 at http://wesa.fm Sen. Casey To Help Grill Sebelius Over Affordable Care Act Launch Sen. Casey Calls On Congress To End Sequestration http://wesa.fm/post/sen-casey-calls-congress-end-sequestration <p></p><p>Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) is calling on Congress to prevent the latest round of sequester cuts that could impede medical research.</p><p>A bipartisan conference committee, created in the agreement to end the government shutdown, has until December to decide whether to keep or reduce cuts to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).</p><p>Last year the Pittsburgh region received 1,132 NIH awards totaling more than $503 million. As a whole, Pennsylvania was given 3,369 grants worth more than $1.4 billion.</p><p>The commonwealth ranked fourth in federal research funding in 2012.</p> Fri, 25 Oct 2013 18:27:50 +0000 Michael Lynch 18749 at http://wesa.fm Sen. Casey Calls On Congress To End Sequestration Sen. Casey Calls For Lower Taxes For Small Breweries http://wesa.fm/post/sen-casey-calls-lower-taxes-small-breweries <p>Lower taxes may be brewing for small beer makers if the state’s Democratic U.S. senator has any pull.<br /><br />Bob Casey is calling for a reduction in taxes for the breweries.<br /><br />He says the same legislation would also increase how much beer companies can sell and still be considered “small.” &nbsp;<br /><br />"Taxes as it relates to breweries have really not changed since the mid-1970s," Casey said. "Since that timeframe, breweries have grown substantially in size."<br /><br />Casey visited Troeg’s Brewing Company in Hershey, Dauphin County to tout the proposal.<br /> Wed, 23 Oct 2013 19:42:29 +0000 Mary Wilson 18629 at http://wesa.fm Sen. Casey: Debt Deal Good but not Great http://wesa.fm/post/sen-casey-debt-deal-good-not-great <p>While Senate leaders were announcing details of a last-minute agreement Wednesday to avert a threatened Treasury default and reopen the government after 16-day partial shutdown, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) was saying the deal is just a starting point.</p><p>Casey said he is pleased that the proposal called for the Treasury to have authority to continue borrowing through Feb. 7, and the government would be open through Jan. 15, but he would prefer that the deadline be pushed back through the end of 2014 as had been included in an earlier proposal.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 16 Oct 2013 17:48:33 +0000 Mark Nootbaar 18239 at http://wesa.fm Sen. Casey on Looming Government Shutdown http://wesa.fm/post/sen-casey-looming-government-shutdown <p>In the early hours of Sunday morning, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would continue to fund the federal government.</p><p>Essentially this bill does three things: it temporarily keeps government operations funded through the middle of December, delays the affordable care act for a year and it repeals a tax on medical devices as part of the health care law. Mon, 30 Sep 2013 21:33:02 +0000 Katie Martin 17382 at http://wesa.fm Sen. Casey on Looming Government Shutdown Sen. Casey Says Shutdown is 'More Likely Than Not' http://wesa.fm/post/sen-casey-says-shutdown-more-likely-not-0 <script src="//www.gmodules.com/ig/ifr?url=http://seanregan.com/countdown/countdown.xml&amp;up_event=Federal%20Government%20Shutdown&amp;up_event_year=2013&amp;up_event_month=9&amp;up_event_day=1&amp;up_event_hour=0&amp;up_event_minute=0&amp;up_font=Georgia&amp;up_showWeeks=0&amp;synd=open&amp;w=575&amp;h=60&amp;title=Federal+Government+Shutdown&amp;border=%23ffffff%7C3px%2C1px+solid+%23999999&amp;output=js"></script><p>As a possible government shutdown inches closer to reality, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) is hoping a last-minute resolution can avert the crisis.</p> Mon, 30 Sep 2013 19:14:51 +0000 Tim Camerato 17381 at http://wesa.fm Sen. Casey: Government Shutdown Would Affect PA http://wesa.fm/post/sen-casey-government-shutdown-would-affect-pa <p>Pennsylvania&#39;s Democratic U.S. Senator is warning the threatened federal government shutdown would be felt in Pennsylvania.<br /><br />Sen. Bob Casey is denouncing the move by House Republicans to send to the Senate a resolution that would fund the federal government past October first, but only if the Affordable Care Act is defunded.<br /><br />The stakes: a federal government shutdown beginning next month.<br /> Fri, 27 Sep 2013 13:35:43 +0000 Mary Wilson 17252 at http://wesa.fm Sen. Casey Pushes Health Care Bill For Retired Veterans http://wesa.fm/post/sen-casey-pushes-health-care-bill-retired-veterans <p>Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) is co-sponsoring a bill to help more than 4,000 retired Pennsylvania veterans keep their health care plans.</p><p>On Oct. 1, a new policy from the Department of Defense will force some retired veterans off of TRICARE Prime, the most affordable option in the Military Health System for people under 65.</p><p>According to the new policy, only veterans living within 100 miles of a Military Treatment Facility or a BRAC site will be able to stay on TRICARE Prime. Now, more than 171,000 people nationally are at risk of losing the military health care.</p> Fri, 20 Sep 2013 20:13:35 +0000 Michael Lynch 16905 at http://wesa.fm Casey Works to Close Gap in Bridge Funding http://wesa.fm/post/casey-works-close-gap-bridge-funding <p>Pennsylvania has 5,543 structurally deficient bridges; 86 percent are owned by the state.</p><p>Now U.S. Sen. Bob Casey has unveiled a bipartisan proposal to increase funding by 10 percent for “off-system” bridges — bridges that are owned by a county or municipality and are not part of the federal highway system.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Casey said all bridges in the commonwealth average 54 years old, and only 10 percent of them receive federal funds.</span></p> Thu, 12 Sep 2013 21:31:09 +0000 Jessica Nath 16447 at http://wesa.fm US Senator Casey Weighs In on Syria Debate http://wesa.fm/post/us-sen-casey-weighs-syria-debate <p>As President Obama seeks congressional authorization for a limited military strike in Syria, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) lauded the administration's move to debate the issue with other lawmakers.</p><p>But Casey also said that he believed the president has the legal authority to conduct a strike without getting the go-ahead from Congress. He also said he thinks Obama should take action, regardless of what happens in Washington, D.C.</p><p>"I think he should act," Casey said.</p> Tue, 03 Sep 2013 20:40:45 +0000 Larkin Page-Jacobs 15893 at http://wesa.fm Senator Casey Says US Needs To Take Action in Syria http://wesa.fm/post/senator-casey-says-us-needs-take-action-syria <p>As classified congressional briefings continue today, Pennsylvania US Senator Bob Casey says he has no doubt that Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against Syrian citizens.</p><p>Casey is a member of the National Security Working Group and thinks the United States needs to take an aggressive approach with Assad, by targeting the assets which allow Syria to maintain its military superiority in the region. Tue, 03 Sep 2013 19:33:27 +0000 Heather McClain 15907 at http://wesa.fm Senator Casey Says US Needs To Take Action in Syria Sen. Casey: More Money for Energy Research Needed http://wesa.fm/post/sen-casey-more-money-energy-research-needed <p>Funding for the National Energy Technology Laboratory is set to be cut by 20 percent in the upcoming federal budget, and that has U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania upset.&nbsp;</p><p>The Democrat has sent a letter to House and Senate leaders calling for the restoration of more than $80 million in the NETL budget.&nbsp;</p><p>Casey said the funding is important to not only the region’s economy, but also the future of the nation's energy supply.</p> Wed, 21 Aug 2013 19:21:07 +0000 Mark Nootbaar 15221 at http://wesa.fm Senator Casey Pushes Bill to Cut Taxes for Small Breweries http://wesa.fm/post/senator-casey-pushes-bill-cut-taxes-small-breweries <p>Small brewers across the U.S. will have reason to hoist their mugs if legislation giving them a tax cut passes.</p><p>Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) is pushing to pass the Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act, which would cut excise taxes for small breweries — those that produce fewer than 2 million barrels of beer per year.</p><p>Small breweries currently pay an excise tax of $7 per barrel for the first 60,000 barrels of beer they brew each year, and $18 per barrel above that.</p> Thu, 15 Aug 2013 19:37:27 +0000 Jessica Nath 14936 at http://wesa.fm With PA Leading Nation in Deficient Bridges, Senate Mulls Bill to Make Repairs http://wesa.fm/post/pa-leading-nation-deficient-bridges-senate-mulls-bill-make-repairs <p>The Senate is expected to vote this week on a budget bill that could rehabilitate aging bridges across Pennsylvania and around the country.</p><p>Pennsylvania leads the nation with 5,543 structurally deficient bridges, 86 percent of which are state-owned.</p><p>Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) says the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill contains several provisions to directly address bridge repairs and broader transportation priorities that are vital to the commonwealth.</p> Wed, 31 Jul 2013 11:20:37 +0000 Kevin Gavin 14020 at http://wesa.fm With PA Leading Nation in Deficient Bridges, Senate Mulls Bill to Make Repairs Sen. Casey Opposes House Budget Plan http://wesa.fm/post/sen-casey-opposes-house-budget-plan <p>Pennsylvania’s senior U.S. Senator is criticizing a House budget plan that would cut Community Development Block Grants nearly in half.</p><p>While the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee put forward $3.15 billion in grants, &nbsp;the House proposal is $1.67 billion.</p><p>In a letter to the committee, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) said, “The CDBG program is a smart investment that directly helps cities and municipalities catalyze economic development and create jobs. As this bill comes to the floor I will continue to advocate for a strong funding level for the CDBG program.”</p> Thu, 18 Jul 2013 19:09:53 +0000 Michael Lynch 13349 at http://wesa.fm VA Backlog Still Too Long for Sen. Casey http://wesa.fm/post/va-backlog-still-too-long-sen-casey <p>A pair of U.S. senators is hoping their staffs will have more success than the Department of Veterans Affairs has had in its efforts to reduce the backlog the VA faces in processing disability claims.</p><p>In some instances it takes more than two years for the government to process those claims.</p><p>“We (in Washington) all hope that we are working every day to pay tribute to our veterans and their families,” said Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA). “How can we be true to that promise when you have this kind of a backlog.”</p> Thu, 11 Jul 2013 20:21:21 +0000 Mark Nootbaar 12955 at http://wesa.fm Bill Aims to Spur Growth in Alternative Fueling Stations Along Nation’s Highways http://wesa.fm/post/bill-aims-spur-growth-alternative-fueling-stations-along-nation-s-highways <p>U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has announced a plan he says would spur growth of alternative fuel vehicle infrastructure.</p><p>The so-called Clean Vehicles Corridors Act would result in more fueling stations across interstate highways, thereby making it easier for alternative fuel vehicles to travel longer distances.</p><p>“The way it will work is the U.S. Transportation Department, in consultation with the Energy Department as well as other federal agencies, will designate highway routes where the development of an alternative fuel support system will succeed,” Casey said.</p> Fri, 28 Jun 2013 16:09:47 +0000 Deanna Garcia 12251 at http://wesa.fm