U.S. Sen. Bob Casey met with St. Luke's Hospital President Richard Anderson and other administrators this afternoon and briefly toured Anderson's namesake campus in Bethlehem Township, Pa.
Casey took a few questions after the tour, lightly jabbing at his fellow lawmakers who sit on the so-called supercommittee charged with drafting a path to reduce the nation's debt.
The supercommittee, on which Casey's fellow senator from Pennsylvania, Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, wields great influence, had to reach an agreement before Thanksgiving to avoid mandated cuts to defense, Medicare and many other spending programs.
The supercommittee announced tonight that an agreement could not be made.
"If what we hear is true ... it will be to everyone's disappointment," Casey said.
He said there needed to be a nonpartisan solution and an agreement on both sides of the aisle for it to work. He said the American people expect Congress to act, but that hasn't happened.
Mandated cuts, that add up to almost $1 trillion, strike mostly at defense and discretionary nondefense programs such as health, education, national parks and other agencies with other, much smaller cuts in Medicare and other areas.
Casey said the mandated cuts are not what anyone wants.
"I don't think many people look forward to that," Casey said.
He said he hopes Congress can get back to figuring out ways to strengthen the economy and create jobs.
Casey and St. Luke's administrators declined to say what was discussed at their meeting. The St. Luke's Hospital - Anderson Campus opened Nov. 7.