Due to the high volume and complexity of its work, the Senate divides its tasks among 20 committees, 68 subcommittees, and 4 joint committees. Although the Senate committee system is similar to that of the House of Representatives, it has its own guidelines, within which each committee adopts its own rules. This creates considerable variation among the panels. Read More
US Senate Caucuses
Informal congressional groups and organizations of Members with shared interests in specific issues or philosophies have been part of the American policymaking process since colonial times. Typically, these groups organize without official recognition by the chamber and are not funded through the appropriation process.
Senator Casey serves on the following Committees:
Senate Committee on Finance »
- Ranking Member- Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness
The Committee concerns itself with matters relating to: taxation and other revenue measures generally, and those relating to the insular possessions; bonded debt of the United States; customs, collection districts, and ports of entry and delivery; reciprocal trade agreements; tariff and import quotas, and related matters thereto; the transportation of dutiable goods; deposit of public moneys; general revenue sharing; health programs under the Social Security Act, including Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and other health and human services programs financed by a specific tax or trust fund; and national social security. Read More
Health, Education, Labor and Pensions »
- Ranking Member- Subcommittee on Children and Families
The committee began in 1869 as the Committee on Education and in 1884 through the mid-1900s it was known as the Education and Labor Committee. In 1999, then Chairman James Jeffords of Vermont, worked to officially name it the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Read More
Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry »
- Ranking Member- Subcommittee on Nutrition, Specialty Crops and Agriculture
Since its creation, the Committee has helped establish, guide, and examine agricultural policies here and abroad. It has had a hand in fashioning the research and teaching of the 1860’s, the price and income support controls of the 1930’s, and the international trade of the 1990’s. The Committee has been active in times of prosperity and peace, as well as in times of depression and war. Present Committee members face many of the same challenges and concerns as past members: commodity price and income supports, trade, research, food safety, nutrition, and conservation. Read More
Special Committee on Aging »
The Senate Special Committee on Aging was first established in 1961 as a temporary committee. It was granted permanent status on February 1, 1977. While special committees have no legislative authority, they can study issues, conduct oversight of programs, and investigate reports of fraud and waste. Read More
Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism Caucus
Perhaps the gravest challenge facing our Nation is the prospect of a terrorist group detonating a crude nuclear weapon in the heart of an American city. Equally dangerous is the scenario of a terrorist group weaponizing a biological agent such as anthrax, smallpox, or a virus not yet known. This caucus is composed of Senators who recognize the urgency and depth of the threat posed to the United States and its citizens by acts of nuclear, biological, and chemical terrorism and who work with leading experts to gain a better understanding of policy proposals to prevent, prepare for, mitigate, and respond to acts of WMD terrorism.
National Security Working Group
In 2011, Senator Casey was appointed to the National Security Working Group (NSWG). This bipartisan group was established in 1985 as a forum for members of the Senate to discuss arms control issues and observe arms control negotiations. It conducts oversight on the Executive Branch as it deliberates on treaty negotiations, pursues action through multilateral forums, and engages with foreign partners on critical national security priorities including arms control, missile defense, terrorism, and cyber security. This body allows the Senate to participate in the deliberative process of Executive Branch negotiations on some of the Nation’s most important security priorities. The NSWG has played an important role in the negotiation of every major nuclear treaty since 1985, including the original START Treaty, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the SORT Treaty and the New START Treaty.
Who wants to run against Bob Casey?
Republicans energized by 2016 victories in the Keystone State hope to keep momentum rolling next year against the Democratic U.S. senator from Scranton. But so far few challengers have stepped forward, and a volatile political environment has built a thicket of uncertainties for anyone considering a bid to unseat one of the most recognizable names in Pennsylvania.
Republican insiders wonder if anyone can replicate President Donald Trump's unexpected win in the state. They are already seeing signs that the president and fellow Republicans might face a fierce backlash — his early moves have inspired a wave of activism on the left, reminiscent of the 2010 tea party fury against President Barack Obama. Top Pennsylvania candidates may opt to run for governor.
And any Casey challenger will have to raise huge sums of money. Last year's Senate race in Pennsylvania cost nearly $180 million.
Still, Republicans say they see a good chance to go after Casey, one of 10 Senate Democrats up for re-election in states that Trump won. The GOP is hoping to expand its two-seat Senate majority — giving it more breathing room to advance Trump's agenda — while Democrats hope to boost their numbers and resistance.
"We start out thinking that Sen. Casey is vulnerable, especially thinking of the way the state went both for the president" and for Sen. Pat Toomey, said newly elected Republican state chairman Val DiGiorgio. "His record is far too left-wing for Pennsylvania."
Casey allies believe he's in a strong position, especially because of his historical support from the kind of blue-collar Democrats who chose Trump last year over Hillary Clinton. The senator seems to be banking on the traditional midterm repudiation of the sitting president, visibly and vocally opposing Trump at every opportunity.
Only one well-known challenger, state Rep. Rick Saccone of Allegheny County, has filed federal paperwork to run. The outspoken conservative pledged to help advance Trump's agenda.
"We've elected a new president who I think is going to put [the country] on the right track, but he needs a lot of help," Saccone said in a telephone interview.
The names of other potential candidates also emerged in conversations with Pennsylvania GOP insiders, though few had made plans, and in some cases it was unclear if the individuals were actually interested or if party leaders were simply hoping to persuade them to consider a bid.
One, Jeff Bartos, a Montgomery County real estate developer, political fundraiser and GOP committeeman, is said to have met with national party officials to talk about what could be his first run for public office.
"We all deserve better from Washington," Bartos said in an email. "I am seriously taking a look at whether I can help get things moving in the right direction again."
Others have encouraged state House Majority Leader Dave Reed of Indiana County to run, said longtime party power broker Bob Asher.
Reed has created a slick campaign-style website, without specifying its purpose. He "wants to run statewide," DiGiorgio said. But Reed has not indicated he'll jump into the Senate race.
Steve Miskin, a spokesman for Pennsylvania House Republicans, said Reed has been approached by "a number of people gauging his interest about a number of different positions, including the U.S. Senate, but right now he is totally focused on this legislative session."
He declined, however, to rule out a future run for another office.
Ambitious Republicans have two options, because Gov. Wolf is up for re-election, too, and considered vulnerable. Jockeying for the Senate contest may have to wait for the governor's race to shake out.
Party insiders also said Jim Cawley, the Corbett administration lieutenant governor from Bucks County, remains popular within the establishment and is seen as a potential statewide candidate.
The state's 13-strong House delegation might seem a likely place for recruiting, but they also have incentives to stay put. With the GOP controlling Congress and the White House, sitting representatives have a chance to play roles in major legislation without the risk of giving up their seats to run against an incumbent with a deep history in Pennsylvania.
Rep. Pat Meehan of Delaware County floated the idea of running but passed, saying he felt he had a better chance to get something done on the House's powerful Ways and Means Committee.
Several major variables weigh on anyone considering a run.
Republicans may be hard-pressed to duplicate the support Trump drew with his distinct style and message.
"It went that way because of a number of factors that might not be there again," including the intense disdain toward Clinton, said Manny Stamatakis, a top Republican fundraiser.
He and others said the mild-mannered Casey has not engendered anywhere near that level of opposition.
Money is another obstacle.
Last year's race between Toomey and Democrat Katie McGinty produced more than $177 million in campaign spending, including from independent political groups and during a competitive Democratic primary. Toomey raised and spent nearly $31 million.
"It's a daunting task to take two years out of your life and spend it raising money, but the rewards are tremendous," said Rob Gleason, the recently retired state GOP chairman.
Casey, though, is not a prolific fundraiser. He had $1.6 million in campaign funds as of Dec. 31. At the same stage in his reelection cycle, Toomey had $5.8 million.
In addition, GOP challengers might not have the same level of outside support McGinty enjoyed last year, when Pennsylvania was one of the four premier Senate races in the country. Republicans may have more tempting 2018 targets in conservative states such as North Dakota, Montana, West Virginia, and Indiana.
At least one third-party candidate says he's running: Libertarian Dale Kerns of Delaware County, who has set up a website and declared his intentions, though he has not filed federal paperwork.
A Williamsport resident, Paul DeLong, has also filed to run in the Republican primary. He also filed as a candidate for the 2004 Senate race, but there is little evidence he did any serious campaigning.
Casey, for his part, has mapped out a clear strategy with his aggressive posture against Trump. He appears to be banking on running against the president — no matter whose name winds up on the actual ballot.