Casey Proposals Now Move Forward In Budget Process
Washington DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that several amendments he introduced passed the U.S. Senate as part of its budget. This week, Senator Casey offered several amendments to the budget that were critical to Pennsylvania. Early this morning, the Senate passed its budget 50-49. Among the Casey amendments passed were a provision to boost law enforcement funding, repeal a tax on medical devices and express concern over Iran’s continued access to the Euro.
“I’m pleased that the Senate was able to pass this budget that contains provisions which will help Pennsylvania,” Senator Casey said. “During the budget process I had the opportunity to work in a bipartisan fashion to make improvements to the Job Corps program, repeal a tax on medical devices and add increased funds to our state’s law enforcement among other important priorities for the state. I’ll fight to ensure these critical measures remain part of the budget as this process moves forward.”
The following Casey amendments passed into the budget:
JOBS CORPS (With Senator Collins)
- Background: The Casey-Collins Job Corps Budget amendment will protect the disadvantaged youth of America and prevent additional government waste by the Job Corps program by requiring any reauthorization related to Job Corps to include appropriate financial management and program integrity controls.
- Senator Casey said: “Jobs Corps plays a critical role in helping at risk youth to be competitive in the workforce, said Senator Casey. “It is imperative that we help qualified young people get the training they need to obtain good jobs and contribute to the economy.”
- Background: The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants (JAG) Program supports crime fighting innovation and has helped local law enforcement agencies across Pennsylvania ensure immediate and thorough responses to crimes.
- Senator Casey said: “Funding these law enforcement programs will put more cops on the beat and ensure that our officers have the equipment they need to keep Pennsylvanians safe,” said Senator Casey. “It is critical that we provide our law enforcement officers resources to do their jobs.”
LOCKS AND DAMS (With Senator Toomey)
- Background: This amendment would create a deficit-neutral reserve fund to increase funding for the inland waterways system. This amendment compliments Senator Casey’s RIVER Act, which makes cost-share reforms and provides more money for operations and maintenance for locks and dams on our nation’s rivers. This amendment is sponsored by Senators Toomey and Casey.
- Senator Casey said: “Our region’s locks and dams play a vital role in the moving of commerce, creating and sustaining jobs, and supporting economic growth throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania, said Senator Casey. “It’s critical that we maintain and upgrade these waterways.”
- Background: The Senate’s budget also included a Casey amendment to bolster that nation’s preparedness for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats. The BioShield Special Reserve Fund (BioShield) was established to encourage the development of medical countermeasures (MCMs) to identify chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats by providing assurances that the federal government was committed to purchasing the MCMs necessary to protect the American people. The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) was established through the bipartisan Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) to expedite the development of MCMs against deadly threats, such as the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. BARDA and BioShield are essential to ensure that the measures necessary to respond rapidly, efficiently, and effectively to threats, whether natural or man-made, are available when needed.
- Senator Casey said: “BARDA and BioShield are critical components of our nation’s medical countermeasure enterprise. These two programs work together to ensure that we have the medical countermeasures, which are medical products to combat threats to public health, which are necessary to protect the American people.”
MEDICAL DEVICE TAX (CO-SPONSOR)
- Background: Under PPACA, manufacturers of medical devices ranging from surgical tools to bed pans are required to pay a 2.3 percent excise tax hike that will raise nearly $30 billion in revenue over 10 years and that will hinder industry innovation, job creation and the overall delivery of quality patient care. The tax, which took effect in January, is expected to cost device manufacturers roughly $194 million per month putting 43,000 American jobs at risk, according to the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed).
- Senator Casey said: “I have talked to small businesses and manufacturers throughout Pennsylvania that have been unfairly burdened by medical device tax,” said Senator Casey. “We have tens of thousands of jobs connected to the medical device industry. This is a common sense measure to improve current law and ensure we are doing everything we can to encourage innovation and job creation.”