Trump gives Barletta a boost.
Congressman running for Senate
FROM STAFF REPORTS They weren’t “boo”-ing. They were “Lou”ing — and the president of the United States joined in.
The “Lou” is Lou Barletta, whose name made it to a national television audience Wednesday night when fellow Republican Donald Trump squeezed in a short stump speech for the congressman from Hazleton during an appearance with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
“We need more Republican senators to be honest with you,” Trump said to Hannity, eliciting the drawnout “Lou” chant from the crowd at the National Guard hangar at Harrisburg International Airport, where the president had just touted his federal tax reform plan. “And you have a good one running — Lou.”
Barletta, R-11, who is aiming to unseat Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, attended Wednesday night’s event and had earlier joined Trump on Air Force One.
“Lou Barletta, great guy. He’s running,” Trump told Hannity. “He was an incredible congressman, and I think ... I think you’re going to have an incredible surge for Lou Barletta. I think he is going to do a fantastic job.”
Trump also mentioned Barletta during his speech to the gathered crowd, though he initially said Barletta is running for governor before correcting himself.
Barletta, who shares similar views with Trump on key subjects like immigration, is also behind Trump on his tax reform plan, which among other things would establish four tax brackets — 0 percent, 12 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent — simplify tax-filing to one page for most Americans and cut business taxes that Trump says are more burdensome than in all other developed countries.
According to the congressman’s office, “Barletta thinks the rally in the economy, after over a decade of stagnation, could expand to even more Americans should Congress get behind President Trump and pass the proposed tax cuts and reform, saying, ‘This will help hard-working Pennsylvanians as they struggle to find money for car payments or their children’s education. All Americans will see opportunity and prosperity thrive in this country once again.’”
Casey opposes Trump’s plan and is critical of Barletta’s support for it, saying congressional Republicans are not pursuing tax reform but a massive tax giveaway to the super-rich at the expense of the middle class, according to a statement from his office.
“Under this plan, middleclass families in Pennsylvania may see their taxes go up, through the elimination of deductions, while the wealthiest will get an annual $146,400 windfall,” Casey said. “And if that wasn’t bad enough, the Republican plan cuts $1.5 trillion from Medicare and Medicaid and uses those funds for tax giveaways to the super-rich and big corporations.
“It’s time for the Administration and Congress to ... focus on raising wages and creating good-paying jobs for our families in Pennsylvania. Let’s pass a real tax reform bill that actually helps the middle class and our communities that are still struggling; let’s invest in rebuilding our infrastructure and let’s fix our broken trade deals that stack the deck against workers.”