WILLIAMSPORT –Pennsylvania’s senators were in our area on Monday before going back to Washington, to deal with the sequester deadline.
The two worked together to have a new federal judge appointed by the President to serve in Williamsport, but when it came to striking a deal on deep cuts to the federal budget, Bob Casey and Pat Toomey were at odds.
During a ceremony, Pennsylvania’s Senior Senator Bob Casey, A democrat, sat just one seat away from Republican Senator, Pat Toomey.
The men worked together to see a new federal judge appointed to serve at the US District Court in Williamsport, but on a solution for sequestration, the automatic budget cuts the country faces, the two stand far apart.
“We have some fundamental issues that people see differently, fundamental questions about the role of government, size of government,” said Pat Toomey, Republican Senator of Pennsylvania.
Toomey said Washington needs to do some belt tightening. Lawmakers faced a looming financial deadline at the end of the February that, if not dealt with, could lead to harsh cuts to numerous programs.
“I’m not supportive of still more tax increases to pay for more spending, I think we need to reign in spending,” said Toomey.
Senator Casey said democratic leaders are pushing a proposal to cut about $50 billion in spending, while raising taxes about the same amount.
That way, Casey said, everyone would pay their fair share.
“If the other side doesn’t like that, I hope they have a counter proposal that makes sense that would lead to a bipartisan agreement,” said Casey.
Casey expects congress to vote on some version of a deal that would avert any major cuts, but sais it will have to be a compromise between both parties.
“We need more people in both parties to work in a bipartisan fashion,” said Casey.
Neither senator gave any indication that if sequestration is averted, congress would not have to revisit another similar crisis in the near future.