U.S. Rep. Thomas Marino, R-Cogan Station, has fired back at his Democratic opponent who accused the incumbent of taking jobs away from his 10th Congressional District.
In an interview with the Sun-Gazette earlier this week, Phil Scollo said Marino's vote earlier this year for a Defense Appropriations bill would cut almost $2 billion from the Tobyhanna Army Depot, one of the largest single employers in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Marino, however, sees it another way.
Marino spokesman Ryan Barton said the lawmaker voted in favor of the bill to provide a 1.7 percent pay increase to the armed forces, avoid reduction to Tricare and grant funding for traumatic brain injury research and suicide prevention outreach programs.
He noted that concerns about funding for Army depots were raised during House debate and Marino was assured by members of the House Appropriations Committee that the matter would be rectified before final passage.
Just last week, the House passed a resolution to bring short-term funding for government agencies and programs, including funding for Army depots, through March 2013.
"It is a shame that a handful of individuals chose to use the hard-working employees of Tobyhanna as political pawns for the same old scare tactics," Barton said. "These critics are not looking at all the facts and are misconstruing the situation for their own personal gain."
Marino, who is defending his House seat for the first time after defeating Democrat Chris Carney in 2010, also responded to Scollo's critical remarks regarding his lack of protection for senior citizens.
Scollo said Marino's vote for the Ryan budget bill would end Medicare by replacing it with a voucher system for seniors to buy health insurance on the open market.
Barton charged that President Barack Obama and his "Democratic friends like Nancy Pelosi and Phil Scollo" offer no plans for ensuring the future of Medicare.
"It seems they are quite content to allow Medicare to go bankrupt in 2024. Moreover, this president is continuing to push his unpopular health care law on to the American people," he said. "It is 'Obamacare' that cuts Medicare by $716 billion to fund a new entitlement program and place unelected bureaucrats in control of the program, limiting seniors' access to care."
He added that Marino has voted for responsible reforms that will protect and preserve Medicare.