Bob Casey

Pennsylvania’s Democratic U.S. senator is hoping the next few months bring a long-term farm bill to fruition in Congress.

Bob Casey is optimistic about the legislation, which sets the nation’s food and agriculture policy.

Last year, Congress passed a short-term extension of the farm bill, which expires every five years.

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.

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.

Now U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced a new proposal for universal pre-K Wednesday.

“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.” &

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

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.

Michael Lynch / 90.5 WESA

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) is calling on Congress to prevent the latest round of sequester cuts that could impede medical research.

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).

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.

The commonwealth ranked fourth in federal research funding in 2012.

Lower taxes may be brewing for small beer makers if the state’s Democratic U.S. senator has any pull.

Bob Casey is calling for a reduction in taxes for the breweries.

He says the same legislation would also increase how much beer companies can sell and still be considered “small.”  

"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."

Casey visited Troeg’s Brewing Company in Hershey, Dauphin County to tout the proposal.

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.

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. 

Sen. Casey on Looming Government Shutdown

Sep 30, 2013

In the early hours of Sunday morning, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would continue to fund the federal government.

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.

Sen. Casey Says Shutdown is 'More Likely Than Not'

Sep 30, 2013

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.

Pennsylvania's Democratic U.S. Senator is warning the threatened federal government shutdown would be felt in Pennsylvania.

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.

The stakes: a federal government shutdown beginning next month.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) is co-sponsoring a bill to help more than 4,000 retired Pennsylvania veterans keep their health care plans.

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.

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.

Pennsylvania has 5,543 structurally deficient bridges; 86 percent are owned by the state.

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.

Casey said all bridges in the commonwealth average 54 years old, and only 10 percent of them receive federal funds.

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.

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.

"I think he should act," Casey said.

Senator Casey Says US Needs To Take Action in Syria

Sep 3, 2013
Senator Bob Casey

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.

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.

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. 

The Democrat has sent a letter to House and Senate leaders calling for the restoration of more than $80 million in the NETL budget. 

Casey said the funding is important to not only the region’s economy, but also the future of the nation's energy supply.

Small brewers across the U.S. will have reason to hoist their mugs if legislation giving them a tax cut passes.

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.

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.

Flickr user a440

The Senate is expected to vote this week on a budget bill that could rehabilitate aging bridges across Pennsylvania and around the country.

Pennsylvania leads the nation with 5,543 structurally deficient bridges, 86 percent of which are state-owned.

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.

Pennsylvania’s senior U.S. Senator is criticizing a House budget plan that would cut Community Development Block Grants nearly in half.

While the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee put forward $3.15 billion in grants,  the House proposal is $1.67 billion.

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.”

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.

In some instances it takes more than two years for the government to process those claims.

“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.”

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has announced a plan he says would spur growth of alternative fuel vehicle infrastructure.

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.

“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.

Larkin Page-Jacobs / 90.5 WESA

Western Pennsylvania's canal system of locks and dams is an economic generator in the region and beyond, and on Friday, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) emphasized that it is a resource worth funding.

On the deck of a Gateway Clipper ship at Pittsburgh's Station Square, Casey congratulated river transportation officials for helping push for the River Act, which passed the Senate as part of the Water Resources Development Act. But he also reminded the crowd that there is still a ways to go.

According to the latest numbers from the Federal Trade Commission, 26 percent of all securities fraud is perpetrated against seniors, but seniors only represent 14 percent of the nation’s population.

Pennsylvania's Democratic U.S. senator is taking another whack at knocking down the unemployment rate among military veterans with a proposed tax credit.

Sen. Bob Casey said Wednesday the tax credit would help veterans or their spouses purchase franchises. They would be able to write off 25 percent of the franchise fee, or up to $100,000.

In a conference call with reporters, Casey likened the tax credit to the GI bill funding veterans' college education, saying it's another way to help veterans establish themselves as civilians.

Bob Casy on the Sequester and Fixing Air Traffic Delays

May 2, 2013
Senator Bob Casey

  If you've been doing any air travel lately, you're probably well aware of the frustrating delays Americans have been experiencing at airports across the country. A week ago the U.S. Senate approved a plan to end furloughs of air traffic controllers in order to decrease the intensifying flight delays. The day after that the house voted to provide more flexibility over where to make cuts required by the government sequester. Senator Bob Casey talks about where we stand with sequestration.

Southwestern Pennsylvania officials are expressing outrage after learning the details of a Veterans Affairs investigation into the deadly Legionnaires' disease outbreak at the VA’s Pittsburgh facilities.

According to VA Office of Inspector General, the VA Pittsburgh Health System failed to follow its own rules during an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease that left five veterans dead from early 2011 to late 2012.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey is calling on the federal government to get regional offices that assist military veterans into shape.

The Democrat says the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs have been too slow in responding to the concerns of the VA’s own inspector general, as well as veterans who have had to wait for months to receive disability benefits.  

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) is introducing a bill that would require any Veterans Affairs health system to report an incident of Legionnaires ’ disease and detection of the Legionella bacteria within 24 hours.

“To be blunt about this, we shouldn’t have to legislate this,” Casey said. “This should be standard practice at the VA, but it isn’t. Therefore we have to legislate and provide a measure of accountability.”

Senator Casey on the Budget All-Nighter

Mar 25, 2013
Senator Bob Casey

Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Bob Casey discusses the 3.7 trillion dollar budget passed by the Senate in the wee hours of the morning Saturday. It's the first budget the senate has passed in four years. We also discuss proposed changes to the electoral voting process.

“Not a priority.”

That’s what you’ll hear most often when knocking around the Capitol asking about a controversial state Senate proposal to change the way Pennsylvania awards its electoral votes.