Pat Toomey: Conservative, but principled

Toomey takes a hard, conservative stance on fiscal policy.

Pennsylvania’s new U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey has a simple message for Pennsylvanians who may expect their politicians in Washington D.C. to get federal cash for local projects: “I am not bringing home the pork.”

The fiscal conservative now in the fourth month of his six-year term has jumped right into the nation’s fiscal battles — those frays include the federal debt ceiling, budget deficits and entitlement reform — and he’s sticking to the position he says got him elected.

“I campaigned and won on a platform of fiscal responsibility. If the voters do not like that, they can vote me out in six years. Until then, I will fight to balance the budget,” Toomey said in a recent interview. “Every day, people who represent government agencies visit my office and ask for my support. I tell them all, without exception, that we must slash their agency’s budget.”

While freshmen senators usually keep a low profile in the first year, Toomey has ridden his stance on “putting the government’s house in order” to national prominence. With the support of numerous Republican colleagues, Toomey introduced legislation for a balanced budget amendment to the constitution called the Balanced Budget Act.  

He believes the amendment’s goal of “limiting government to 18 percent of GDP is realistic.”

“In 2007, government spending was 19 percent of GDP. My amendment only asks for a reduction of 1 percent from that level,” Toomey said. “I am not asking for it right away but in five years.”

Opposing the White House

With his Full and Faith Credit Act, Toomey has raised the ire of no less than President Barack Obama’s treasury secretary. Toomey’s proposal prioritizes the payments to bondholders of the U.S. government over other payments such as social security payments and military salaries. Secretary Timothy Geithner has called his ideas “harmful” in a recent letter to the senator.

Toomey is also standing firm in opposing raising the debt limit, which Geithner said this weekend Congress will do.

“If there is short term pain, it is worth it to get our debt under control,” Toomey said.


Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."


Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.


Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.


Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…


FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.


'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…


TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.


5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.


College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)


Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.


Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.


Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.


Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.


London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.


Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."