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Newsletter Archived Entry

Friday, Nov 2
Pat Toomey | U.S. Senator For Pennsylvania
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012
Hurricane Sandy Recovery
Working together to help those in need

Sen. Toomey visits PPL

I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all of the utility workers, first responders, volunteers, and emergency response professionals dedicated to helping those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

I visited PPL Electric Utilities' Emergency Command Center in Allentown earlier this week and received an update on the utility's hurricane response efforts from PPL Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer William Spence (pictured above).

I was joined by Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley (R), U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), and U.S. Representative Charlie Dent (R-Pa.).

I appreciate the work of Lt. Gov. Cawley and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to respond quickly to the needs of Pennsylvanians during this storm. I have offered my assistance to PEMA and FEMA as cleanup continues, and I stand ready to help in the recovery effort.

 

Speaking out for Pennsylvania's jobs
Cover of Taxing Manufacturing report

I released a report in October detailing how President Obama's proposed tax policies will hurt America's manufacturing industry.

The report looks at 10 Pennsylvania manufacturers, finding that President Obama's plan to raise marginal income tax rates will put these and other manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage with their foreign counterparts, hindering economic growth and job creation. According to a 2012 Ernst & Young report, the president's onerous tax policies will cost Pennsylvania nearly 31,000 jobs.

American manufacturers already pay the highest business tax rate in the world at 35 percent. Under President Obama's tax plan, Pennsylvania companies will see their marginal tax rate jump from 35 percent to 41 percent.

The president's plan will only exacerbate the competitive disadvantage our manufacturers face, forcing them to compete with foreign companies paying rates as low as 15 percent in Canada, 22 percent in South Korea and 25 percent in China.

A one-page summary of the report is available here, while a full copy of the report is available here.

 

Equipping PA to prosecute tax fraud
Sen. Toomey with Montgomery County DA Risa Vetri Ferman

The IRS has responded to a request I made by announcing an expansion of a pilot program to allow local law enforcement in eight states, including Pennsylvania, to go after perpetrators of tax fraud.

I contacted the IRS in August after Pennsylvania law enforcement officials notified me of a new trend in tax fraud where fraudulent tax returns were filed using legitimate Social Security numbers to generate improper tax refunds. In a letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, I asked him to explain how the department is addressing this form of tax fraud in Pennsylvania.

Under the current system, the IRS could not work with local law enforcement officials since taxpayer information is confidential. The IRS's pilot program, however, will ask tax fraud victims to fill out a form giving the IRS permission to work with local law enforcement and share a limited amount of taxpayer data in order to target identity thieves.

I am pleased the IRS will now be able to coordinate with local law enforcement officials to more aggressively pursue perpetrators of tax fraud. Clearly, any kind of tax fraud is a waste of taxpayer dollars and must be stopped. I am grateful to local officials for bringing this critical issue to my attention, and I hope the IRS will use this step forward to crack down on all forms of tax fraud.

I visited Berks and Montgomery counties in October to meet with local district attorneys and highlight this new IRS program. I'm pictured above with Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.

 

Ensuring deployed troops can vote

Soldier casting a voteI have asked Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to ensure members of the military are able to vote via absentee ballot.

In recent weeks, I have received substantial constituent correspondence expressing great concern about this issue. These constituents believe that the Defense Department is not fulfilling its obligation to provide those who defend our freedom adequate access to state voting systems so that they can vote.

In the letter, I outlined concerns I've heard from Pennsylvanians serving overseas. Among other concerns, some deployed service members are encountering problems accessing state absentee ballot websites. A U.S. Army major from Adams County currently stationed at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan said she was unable to access the state's portal for absentee ballots. Adams County officials have informed me that they have received a number of such complaints from service members.

To read my letter to Secretary Panetta, please click here.
 

Working to reduce VA claims backlog
American flag

I've asked Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki how the department plans to address its disability claims backlog.

I am deeply concerned about the backlog of veterans' disabilities claims. The department's annual claims are expected to reach 1,250,000 in 2013, an increase of almost 60 percent since 2005.

Claims are also becoming more complex, with a higher number of disabling conditions claimed. I am informed that to address the mounting workload, the department has set as a strategic goal that no claim will be more than 125 days old in 2015.

In a letter, I asked Secretary Shinseki for more information about how the department will reduce the backlog and meet its strategic goal.

To read my letter to Secretary Shinseki, please click here.


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PLEASE CONTACT SENATOR TOOMEY AT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING OFFICES:
ALLENTOWN, PA
PH: (610) 434-1444
ERIE, PA
PH: (814) 453-3010
HARRISBURG, PA
PH: (717) 782-3951
JOHNSTOWN, PA
PH: (814) 266-5970
PHILADELPHIA, PA
PH: (215) 241-1090
PITTSBURGH, PA
PH: (412) 803-3501
SCRANTON, PA
PH: (570) 941-3540
WASHINGTON, D.C.
PH: (202) 224-4254

For more information, news, and contact details, please visit us at http://toomey.senate.gov
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Allentown/Lehigh Valley
1150 S. Cedar Crest Blvd Suite 101
Allentown, PA 18103
Phone: (610) 434-1444
Toll-free phone (for callers in PA): 1-855-552-1831
Fax:
(610) 434-1844
Map: Get Directions

Erie
United States Federal Building
17 South Park Row
Suite B-120
Erie, PA 16501
Phone: (814) 453-3010
Fax: (814) 455-9925
Map: Get Directions

Harrisburg
United States Federal Building
228 Walnut St.
Suite 1104
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Phone: (717) 782-3951
Fax: (717) 782-4920
Map: Get Directions

Johnstown
Richland Square III, Suite 302
1397 Eisenhower Blvd
Johnstown, PA 15904
Phone: (814) 266-5970
Fax: (814) 266-5973
Map: Get Directions

Please call for an appointment before visiting our Johnstown office.

Philadelphia
8 Penn Center
1628 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
Suite 1702
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215) 241-1090
Fax: (215) 241-1095
Map: Get Directions

Pittsburgh
100 W. Station Square Dr.
Suite 225
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: (412) 803-3501
Fax: (412) 803-3504
Map: Get Directions

Scranton
538 Spruce Street
Suite 302
Scranton, PA 18503
Phone: (570) 941-3540
Fax: (570) 941-3544
Map: Get Directions

Washington, D.C.
248 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4254
Fax: (202) 228-0284
Map: Get Directions

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