HAZLETON U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, PA-11, said Friday his vote in favor of the defense spending bill was based on erroneous information. When the congressman voted in favor of the bill, he based his vote on inaccurate information used by the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee to compose the $606 billion defense bill.
After the defense spending bill was overwhelmingly passed in a bipartisan vote (326-90), it was discovered that the authors of the bill based their recommendations on an accounting error. They wrongly determined that there was sufficient "carryover," or unused funds for the maintenance and funding of the nation's military depots, including Tobyhanna Army Depot.
Barletta stressed that he would not vote for a bill that jeopardizes Tobyhanna, an important installation to the military and a major employer in the 11th District.
"When I voted for the bill, I did so with the understanding that funding for the Tobyhanna Army Depot was not being compromised," Barletta said. "I, along with the other 325 members of Congress who voted in favor of the bill, both Republicans and Democrats, believed the information provided to us was accurate."
Since the Senate passed its own version of the defense appropriations bill, the two bills are headed to conference where Barletta said the issue will be resolved.
On Friday he sent a letter to leaders of both chambers asking them to remedy the situation in conference and to ensure Tobyhanna and the other facilities receive adequate funding for their operations.