2018 Election Guide: U.S. Senate, Lou Barletta vs. Bob Casey | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper
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2018 Election Guide: U.S. Senate, Lou Barletta vs. Bob Casey 

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Incumbent Democrat Sen. Bob Casey has been polling comfortably ahead of Republican challenger Lou Barletta all year. Casey’s messaging has been consistent with previous U.S. Senate runs: heavy on supporting blue-collar Pennsylvanians and union workers. Barletta is touting his record of hard-line stances on immigration and being an ally of President Donald Trump. 

Lou Barletta

Biography:

Born in Hazleton, Pa., Barletta attended Luzerne County Community College and Bloomsburg University. He founded a pavement marking company which he sold in 2000. He previously served on Hazleton mayor, and currently represents Pennsylvania’s 11th U.S. House District.

Taxes:

Barletta supports a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution and supports cutting federal spending to save taxpayer money. He voted for the tax-cut bill which is projected to add more than $1 trillion to the national debt. 

Immigration:

Opposes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and refers to that as “amnesty.” Barletta introduced legislation to make overstaying a visa a criminal offense. As mayor of Hazelton, criminalized renting homes to undocumented immigrants, which was ruled unconstitutional and cost Hazelton taxpayers $1.4 million. Supports Trump’s plan for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Health Care:

Has repeatedly voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Supported the House GOP’s effort to replace Obamacare, which failed in the Senate. Says the problem with healthcare is “not access, it is affordability.” Over the last two years, the uninsured rate in America rose from 12.7 percent to 15.5 percent.  

Endorsements:

CatholicVote.org, National Federation of Independent Business, National Rifle Association, National Right to Life Committee, President Donald Trump

Bob Casey

Biography:

Born in Scranton, Pa., Casey is an attorney and previously served as Pennsylvania Auditor General and state Treasurer. Holds a Bachelor’s from the College of the Holy Cross and a Juris Doctor from the Catholic University of America. Casey’s father, Bob Sr., served as Pennsylvania governor for two terms. 

Taxes:

Casey voted against the tax-cut bill, and introduced a failed amendment that would have required corporations to increase worker’s wages at same rate as executive earnings from stock buybacks. Opposes eliminating the inheritance tax. Casey has called the tax-cut bill a handout for the wealthy.

Immigration:

Casey opposed Trump’s family-separation policy, and supports comprehensive immigration reform, including DREAM act. Supports a pathway to citizenship for law-abiding immigrants. Called for doubling of border patrol agents. In 2017, advocated to stop a deportation of a Honduran mother and her daughter, which ultimately failed. 

Health Care:

Supports the Affordable Care Act but is one of the few Pennsylvania Democrats that do not support a Medicare-for-all program. Co-sponsored a bill that would prevent increases to some Medicare premiums.

Endorsements:

Allegheny-Fayette Labor Council, United Mine Workers of America, PA AFL-CIO, Sierra Club, Everytown for Gun Safety, End Citizens United, Steel City Stonewall Democrats, Equality PA, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Unionville Times.

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