President Trump signed Congress’ latest spending plan into law Friday.
With the stroke of the presidential pen, it seems that a nearly two-decades-long wait is over. A federal courthouse in Harrisburg is likely now a “done deal,” according to statements from both Republican Congressman Lou Barletta and Democratic Senator Bob Casey. Both took credit for years of fighting to make the facility a reality.
The courthouse had been “authorized” for years, but on Friday the funding was officially “appropriated” to build at North Sixth and Reilly streets.
The $137 million earmark is no doubt being cheered across the Midstate, but the congressman whose district is getting the money, and the courthouse, voted no on it.
“Sure I want it,” U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pennsylvania) said Friday just before Trump signed off. “I’ve advocated for the courthouse to be built. It’s languished for too many years, but that doesn’t mean I want to help bankrupt the country.”
Perry said the plan spends $1.3 trillion to fund government only through September and pushes the national debt from $21 trillion to $22 trillion. Perry complained about the debt when Barack Obama was president and is now continuing the complaint under Trump.
Courthouse in his district or not, Perry says Congress is still guilty of spending too much.
“Who ran for elective office, whether Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal and said this is what they were going to do, increase spending at 13 percent? Name me one person.”
Perry also said not one of his colleagues actually read the entire plan before approving it. He says he was given 18 hours to read more than 2,200 pages.
“It is a concern,” Perry said. “You’re voting on something, you don’t know what’s in it. How can you go and defend that?”
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) echoed Perry’