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Lou Barletta: Fighting for bold solutions

November 18, 2018

In the race for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, voters have a clear choice between two visions for our country.

Throughout my life, I’ve stood strong for my beliefs. I’ve lived and worked side-by-side with Pennsylvanians, as a construction worker, a small-business owner, a small-town mayor and a member of Congress. I’ve fought the tough fights and rolled up my sleeves to find solutions to the challenges facing our communities.

My wife, Mary Grace, and I started a line-painting business with $29.95 and a dream. Through hard work, we built that family business into the largest of its kind in Pennsylvania.

As mayor of Hazleton, I inherited a $1.2 million deficit. Through tough decisions and bipartisan solutions, in two years, we turned that deficit into a $500,000 surplus.

While Washington created the problem of illegal immigration and did nothing to stop it, I took a stand for the people I represent. During my time as mayor, Hazleton’s population increased by 50 percent, but our tax revenue stayed the same. Illegal immigration weighed heavily on Hazleton’s taxpayers and budget, making it impossible to provide services to residents. When Washington refused to help Hazleton, I passed the first local ordinance in the nation cracking down on illegal immigration. I never backed down.

I’ve taken my common-sense approach to Congress. I implemented a policy to shrink the size of federal real estate and eliminate government waste that has saved taxpayers $4.4 billion. I also negotiated the landmark Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act, which authorized historic funding to address the opioid crisis. That legislation included my bill to protect babies born addicted to opioids.

Sen. Bob Casey no longer represents Pennsylvania values. Unlike my opponent, I support Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry, which has brought hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs for our workers. Sen. Casey has sponsored legislation that would threaten those jobs and supported President Obama’s war on coal.

Sen. Casey voted against middle-class tax cuts. He defends dangerous sanctuary cities for illegal aliens. And he said he would vote “no” for any nominee President Trump picked for the Supreme Court, giving life to one of the most despicable nomination processes in the history of the U.S. Senate.

In his effort to hold onto power, Sen. Casey launched an attack ad against my family, suggesting I would deny my own 18-month-old cancer-stricken grandson health care while he goes through chemotherapy. Sen. Casey has issued phony apologies while continuing to run his cruel ad statewide. The senator’s conduct represents the worst of politics.

Pennsylvania needs a senator who has a record of supporting their interests and acting with dignity and respect. While I once respected Sen. Casey, his actions in this campaign are shameful.

Our country faces challenges that require strong leaders who are unafraid to fight for bold solutions. For 12 years, Sen. Casey has fought for the D.C. swamp, not Pennsylvania. I believe in term limits, and Sen. Casey’s 12 years are up.

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