Republican congressional candidate Rich Iott Friday blasted Democratic opponent U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) for votes he said will be bad for a Sandusky space agency facility and for businesses looking for tax certainty.
The Kaptur campaign defended Miss Kaptur's vote on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration reauthorization, saying she had assurances that the NASA Plum Brook station near Sandusky wouldn't be harmed. And a campaign spokesman said Miss Kaptur continues to be committed to a middle-class tax cut.
The House Wednesday passed a $58 billion bill reauthorizing NASA. The vote was 304-118.
Reps. Dennis Kucinich (D., Cleveland) and Steve LaTourette (R., Geauga County) circulated a letter opposing the bill that they said would cost 250 contractor jobs and would mean that 250 civil servants "will not be used to their capacity."
"This particular bill would not only be the death knell for U.S. manned space travel, but would also hurt NASA Glenn Research Center [in Cleveland] and Plum Brook Station right here in Ohio," Mr. Iott said at a news conference in his Oregon headquarters.
Miss Kaptur said the union representing NASA Glenn research engineers and scientists had urged support of the bill because it included a three-year moratorium on layoffs at NASA.
She also said she had personal assurances from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Jr., that the Glenn Research Center and Plum Brook would not be negatively affected by the bill.
The Kaptur office said the Plum Brook station stands to gain work in the authorization bill.
Mr. Iott also criticized Miss Kaptur's vote Wednesday night to adjourn until after the elections, which passed by a one-vote margin, rather than stay and vote on a renewal of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, as urged by GOP leader John Boehner (R., West Chester). Mr. Iott said her vote conflicted with her vows on the campaign trail to support a middle-class tax cut.
"Representative Kaptur says she's concerned about the thousands of unemployed in her district, but her action in not addressing the coming tax increase proves her words are hollow. Her own inaction is causing unemployment to continue," Mr. Iott said.
Miss Kaptur has said she supports renewing tax cuts, which expire Dec. 31, for family incomes up to $250,000 a year, but not above that level. Republicans say they want all the tax cuts renewed because they believe higher taxes will hurt small businesses.
"Marcy Kaptur is for a tax cut for the middle class, and she is against what Rich is for, which is tax breaks for the rich," spokesman Mary Chris Skeldon said. She said Congress wasn't able to pass a budget before adjournment because "the Republicans are being obstructionists," but will return after the election to pass a budget during a lame-duck session.
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