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Pat Toomey: Pa.'s hardline conservative will have big say on debt

The freshman senator from western Pennsylvania given coveted seat on Congress' "super" debt committee.

Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey made waves these last few months by taking the hard stance against raising the debt ceiling without substantial cuts to the federal government's growing deficit, going so far as to say "I'm not going to go along with some deal that raises the debt limit without making the real cuts in spending we need and the real process reform."

He then didn't vote for the debt ceiling increase last Monday.

Now, he'll have a real chance to weigh in on cutting $1 trillion or so in the next year after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, appointed him to respresent Senate Republicans on the super committee that will adopt what the whole Congress — presumably — will then pass to lower short-term deficit problems for the country.

Here's a statement he just released:


I am deeply honored for the opportunity to serve on this bipartisan committee and to be part of the important work we will be doing. In light of last week’s events, with the nation’s credit downgrade and the deep drop in the markets, it is all the more imperative that this committee do its job effectively and come up with a product that both tackles our debt crisis and can help revive our failing economy.



Despite the difficulties ahead, I am committed to tackling this challenge and am hopeful that we can produce a proposal that seriously reduces our nation’s deficits and grows our economy. Throughout the debate over the debt ceiling, I stressed that we need a solution that achieves the dual goals of putting our government on a path toward a balance budget, and maximizing economic growth and enabling us to create the jobs we badly need. I remain committed to both of these vital goals.




In the same release McConnell said the following:




From his first day in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Toomey has demonstrated a deep understanding of fiscal matters and is a leader on budget and deficit issues. He drafted a budget proposal that was widely supported by the Republican caucus and was actively involved in the recent debt limit debate. His years of experience in the financial sector and on the House Budget Committee will also serve him well in his new role, along with an unwavering commitment to the principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility. The American people know that we cannot dig ourselves out of this situation by nibbling around the edges, and I am confident that the Senate Republican appointments to the joint committee can be counted on to propose solutions that put the interests of all Americans ahead of any one political party.

 
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