HARRISBURG (AP) – Four-term Republican Congressman Lou Barletta is seeking to unseat second-term Democrat U.S. Sen. Bob Casey. Casey is backed by labor unions, LGBT organizations, and environmental advocacy groups. He voted against President Trump’s tax-cutting legislation that became law last December. Casey says he opposes abortion, but is against proposals to stop taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood. Barletta is backed by business and trade associations and pro life groups. He voted for the tax-cutting legislation signed by President Trump. Barletta opposes abortion and voted to end taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood.
On immigration, Casey backed a bipartisan immigration reform bill that passed the Senate in 2013 that would establish a path toward citizenship for an estimated 11 million immigrants living illegally in the United States and double aid for border security. Casey opposed GOP legislation barring federal funds from sanctuary cities and opposed President Trump’s decision to rescind an Obama-era policy called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA, which has protected from deportation some 700,000 people, called “dreamers.” Barletta opposes “amnesty” for immigrants living in the country illegally and supported Trump’s decision to rescind DACA. Barletta introduced legislation to cut off all federal funding to sanctuary cities and to fund the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
On health care, Casey supports the 2010 federal health care law, known as the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare,” and has opposed efforts to repeal it. Casey supports legislation to allow people 55 and over to buy into Medicare. Barletta voted multiple times to repeal all or parts of the Affordable Care Act before 2017. In 2017, Barletta supported a bill known as the American Health Care Act, which would let states get federal waivers to permit insurers to ignore the standard set of benefits required by the 2010 law. The bill stalled in the Senate.