Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Funding for the Tobyhanna Army Depot

Republican freshman Congressman Lou Barletta and Tom Marino are taking heat for voting for a Defense appropriation bill that will cut funding for the Tobyhanna Army Depot which is the largest employer in the area. Barletta spokesperson Renita Fenick says he voted for the bill but later discovered an accounting error.

Their Democratic opponents are having a field day with this.

From Phil Scollo: How could he have possibly voted for a bill that does so much damage to his own district? How could he have voted to cut hundreds of jobs in his own district when we are already struggling to reduce unemployment?
Rep. Marino either doesn't care about local jobs or is just plain clueless. 

Gene Stilp:
“This is a huge bill and a major bill, and for Mr. Barletta to not understand, at least, how it would affect people in the newly redrawn 11th District shows he still has a lot to learn about how Congress works. He certainly could have proposed an amendment to the bill that would have held it up and protected a leading employer like Tobyhanna. With an economy like this, you have to be aware of things like this.”
Meanwhile, Marino could not be reached for comment.
 I don't think that Barletta and Marino would knowingly vote to cut funding for Tobyhanna but that's the problem, they voted for a bill not knowing what was in it. I remember some Tea Party types demanding that members of Congress should read every bill that is voted on. These guys didn't read the bill but they should have staffers that should spot a problem for their constituencies.
 But don't panic, Senator Bob Casey will get this fixed in the conference committee.
It is understandable that Barletta missed the details of the possible disaster because he is busy with other issues.
He is working for a coal miner stamp that I support but doesn't say anything about the Postal Service near term funding problem.
I agree that gassing animals  is bad. 
A Post Office was renamed.
And illegal immigration!
He should have another Telephone Town Hall soon. Lou blasted Kanjo for hiding from the voters but he has not had an in person town hall  for a while.

 Vote was an error

Defense vote haunts GOP incumbents




Anonymous said...

I agree that Lou is stupid on this, but I dont think Gene Stilp is the right person to go after him.

I like Stilp for going after Pay Raises and WAMs in the state house and fuinding for Tobyhanna is essentially the same thing. The federal governemnt needs to cut spending, including defense. If they concvlude that they cna be justv as effective by closing tobyhanna and moving facilities to another depot, then they should. Effeicnet defense spending is more importnat than NEPA jonbs

Anonymous said...

It's a good place to start discussion about the regional economy in general. Whose fault is it that the economy within the MSA is so heavily dependent upon Tobyhanna and other government jobs/funding in the first place? What's left of the regional health care system will really take a beating once Medicare reimbursements are slashed through PPACA implementation.

Anonymous said...

@213pm- It would take pages to explain how Tobyhanna(TYAD) is funded, it's impact to the area & the political pressure it's under, so in a nutshell- TYAD does not get money to operate directly from congress. It takes it's workforce (direct & indirect) & base real estate/infrastructure and comes up with an hourly bid rate that it uses to compete with not only other govt depots but private industry. Our bid rate is very competivite, and our reputation is outstanding for the quality of work & also the knowledge of our people. TYAD has modernized over the last 10-20 years, and has world-class facilities that are right up there with private industry. The problem the depot has is because weapon system development, as well as other types of equipment, is in a down cycle with very little being approved for production. The big GOVT contractors are now going after the refurbishment work that they stayed away from in the past(building new equipment is much easier then refurbishing it), and using their "buddies" in congress to move that work away from the GOVT depots into their hands. TYAD could beat these contractors in a head-to-head contest, but politics speak louder than facts......

Anonymous said...

How could Lou barletta miss something this big thousands of people are at risk of losing there high paying goverment jobs this will result in disaster to northeast pennslyvania economy hundreds will lose there homes and go bankrupt and thousands will be standing on the unemployment line. Good job lou Barrett's and the others that voted to ruin the economy even more then it is now