Patrick Joseph "Pat" Toomey (born November 17, 1961) is an American businessman and politician. He is the junior United States Senator for Pennsylvania, in office since 2011, and a member of the Republican Party. Previously, Toomey served as a United States Representative for three terms, from 1999 to 2005, but he did not seek a fourth term in compliance with a term limits pledge he had made while running for office in 1998.
Toomey attended La Salle Academy in Providence, Rhode Island before earning a B.A. in government from Harvard College. He was employed first by Chemical Bank and subsequently by Morgan, Grenfell & Co. beginning in 1984 and 1986, respectively, until resigning from the latter in 1991. Prior to being elected to the U.S. Senate, Toomey served as the U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district from 1999 to 2005. He narrowly lost the Republican primary for United States Senate in 2004. From 2005 to 2009, he served as president of the Club for Growth. After becoming the Republican nominee for the 2010 U.S. Senate election in Pennsylvania, Toomey was elected to the seat on November 2, 2010, defeating his Democratic opponent, former U.S. Navy Three-star admiral and Congressman Joe Sestak.. He is currently the only Republican holding statewide office in Pennsylvania.
In the U.S. Senate, Toomey serves on the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, the Committee on the Budget, the Committee on Finance, and the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, among others including several subcommittees. In 2011, he also served on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. In April 2012, Toomey was named to succeed South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint as chairman of the United States Senate Steering Committee, a Senate Republican caucus. Toomey was re-elected on November 8, 2016, to his second term as the junior United States Senator from Pennsylvania, defeating Katie McGinty in the general election.
Early life, education, and early career
Toomey was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the third of six children of Catholic parents, Mary Ann (née Andrews) of East Providence, Rhode Island and Patrick Joseph Toomey of Providence, Rhode Island. His father was a union worker who laid cable for the Narragansett Electric Company, and his mother worked as a part-time secretary at St. Martha's Catholic Church.
Toomey was a member of the Boy Scouts of America and attained the organization's highest rank, Eagle Scout. His father was of Irish descent and his mother was of Portuguese ancestry (all of his maternal great-grandparents had been born in the Azores).
Toomey attended La Salle Academy on scholarship where he participated in the Close Up Washington civic education program. He graduated as valedictorian of his high school class. He graduated from Harvard College with an A.B. in government.
Toomey was hired by Chemical Bank in 1984, where he was involved in currency swap transactions. In 1986, Toomey was hired by Morgan, Grenfell & Co., where he dealt in multiple foreign currencies, interest rates, and currency-related derivatives.
In 1991, Toomey resigned from the firm when it was acquired by Deutsche Bank due, he later stated, to his concern that the new corporate owner would impose a less flexible and entrepreneurial work environment. The same year, Toomey and two younger brothers, Steven and Michael, opened Rookie's Restaurant in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
In 1994, 32-year-old Toomey was elected to Allentown's newly established Government Study Commission. During his term, Toomey drafted a new charter for the commission requiring a supermajority for any tax increase. The charter was approved by Allentown voters on April 23, 1996.
U.S. House of Representatives
In 1998, Toomey ran for the Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district, based in the Lehigh Valley region, after Democratic incumbent U.S. Congressman Paul McHale decided to retire. He won the six candidate Republican primary field with 27% of the vote.
In the general election, he faced Roy C. Afflerbach, State Senator and former state representative. During the campaign, Toomey criticized the agenda of the Clinton-Gore administration, specifically plans to modify the Internal Revenue Service. He said the plan did not "address the real fundamental problems plaguing American taxpayers" and said that the IRS should be abolished.
Later in the campaign, Toomey and Democratic opponent Roy C. Afflerbach debated the effectiveness of a flat tax-based system, an issue on which the two sharply disagreed. He promised to only serve six years if he won the election. Toomey defeated Afflerbach by 55%–45%.
Toomey won re-election to a second term by defeating Ed O'Brien, president of the Bethlehem-based United Steelworkers Local 2598, 53%–47%. He won Lehigh County with 54% and Northampton with 51%.
Toomey won re-election to a third term by defeating Ed O'Brien in a rematch 57%–43%. He won Lehigh with 58% and Northampton with 54%.
He did not run for re-election to his House seat in 2004, fulfilling a pledge that he had signed in 1998 to serve only three terms. He decided to challenge incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Arlen Specter in the primary instead.
Toomey served as the U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district from 1999 to 2005. While serving in the United States House of Representatives he distinguished himself as a fiscal expert. He pushed to decrease spending by the federal government and to set aside money for debt reduction.
In 2001, he proposed a budget that would cut taxes worth $2.2 trillion over ten years, exceeding Bush's $1.6 trillion plan.
In 2002, Toomey voted in favor of the Iraq Resolution, which authorized military action against Iraq.
Toomey strongly opposed Bush's plan for illegal immigration saying "I think it's a slap in the face for the millions of people throughout the world who decide to take the effort to legally enter our country." He was a longtime supporter of creating Medicare Part D, but said he wouldn't vote for it unless it brings down costs and guarantees competition between government and private insurers. In keeping with his pledge to limit his term in the House to six years, Toomey elected to run for the Senate in 2004.
- House Budget Committee
- ^ Raju, Manu (December 10, 2008). "Specter's future rests with Toomey". Politico.com. Retrieved May 3, 2009.
- Our Campaigns – PA District 15 – R Primary Race date=May 19, 1998
- Frassinelli, Mike (March 19, 1998). "Toomey Plan Says IRS Should Be Abolished". The Morning Call. Retrieved August 16, 2011.
- Pflieger, Martin (September 24, 1998). "Afflerbach, Toomey Disagree on Flat Tax". The Morning Call. Retrieved August 16, 2011.
- ^ Almanac of American Politics 2014, p. 1406.
- Our Campaigns – PA District 15 Race, November 3, 1998; accessed November 10, 2016.
- Steelworkers union hall heavy on history, mcall.com; accessed November 9, 2016.
- Our Campaigns – PA District 15 Race, November 7, 2000.
- Our Campaigns – PA District 15 Race, November 5, 2002.
- Miller, Jeff (March 31, 2001). "Toomey's Happy About Tax Cut Performance ** His Proposal Topping Bush's Got Only 81 House Votes, But, He Says, Had Impact". Morning Call.
- "Pat Toomey on War & Peace". OnTheIssues. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
- "Toomey: Bill aiding illegal immigrants is "a slap in the face' ** U.S. House approves measure allowing status to be legalized". Morning Call. March 14, 2002.
- Miller, Jeff (September 18, 2003). "Toomey, 12 others put conditions on votes for Medicare prescription drug bill ** They want it to contain costs, guarantee competition between government, insurers". Morning Call.
- Leffler, Pete (March 25, 1999). "Proud Toomey Praises 'Responsible Budget' ... Freshman Congressman Says Protecting Social Security A Top Priority". Morning Call.
In 2004, Toomey, aged 42, challenged longtime incumbent Senator Arlen Specter in the Republican primary election. Aided by $2 million of advertising from the Club for Growth, Toomey's election campaign theme was that Specter was not a conservative, especially on fiscal issues. Most of the state's Republican establishment supported Specter, including Pennsylvania's other U.S. Senator, Rick Santorum, and President George W. Bush. Specter defeated Toomey narrowly, 51%–49%, a margin of 1.6 points and a difference of about 17,000 votes out of over 1 million votes cast.
On April 15, 2009, Toomey announced his intention to once again challenge Specter in the Republican senatorial primary.
On April 28, 2009, Specter announced that he was switching parties and would run as a Democrat, after polls showed him losing to Toomey in the primary. Specter's withdrawal left Toomey as the front runner for the 2010 Republican nomination. Both primaries were held on May 18, 2010.
Toomey defeated Peg Luksik in the Republican primary 81%–19%, and Specter was eliminated when he lost the Democratic primary 54%–46% to U.S. Congressman Joe Sestak of Delaware County. The general election became ugly, and ultimately cost over $50 million, including spending by the candidates, political parties, and outside groups. Toomey prevailed, 51%-49%, carrying most of the state's counties.
Toomey successfully ran for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2016. He was endorsed by the Club for Growth. He ran unopposed in the Republican primary and defeated Democratic candidate Kathleen McGinty in the general election. Toomey won his re-election with 48.9% of the vote, compared to Democratic challenger Katie McGinty's 47.2% and Libertarian challenger Ed Clifford's 3.85%.
Toomey, the first Lehigh Valley resident to serve as United States Senator from Pennsylvania since Richard Brodhead in the mid-19th century, was elected to the United States Senate on November 2, 2010. His term began on January 3, 2011. He joined the Congressional Hispanic Conference, a caucus which he was an original member of in his days in the House.
On August 11, 2011, Toomey was named to the United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction by Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell. The committee's duties included composing a package of spending cuts for submission to both Houses of Congress.
On April 26, 2012, Toomey was selected to succeed Jim DeMint of South Carolina as chairman of the United States Senate Steering Committee, a caucus consisting of several Republican Senators who collaborate on legislation. DeMint had previously expressed his intention of transferring the committee's chairmanship to a member of the Republican 2010 Senate class.
- Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
- Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection
- Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development
- Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment
- Committee on the Budget
- Committee on Finance
- Joint Economic Committee
- Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction
- Our Campaigns – PA US Senate – R Primary Race, April 27, 2004.
- Turner, Trish (April 15, 2009). "Specter Faces Conservative Challenge From Familiar Foe". Fox News.
- Hornick, Ed; Walsh, Deirdre (April 28, 2009). "Longtime GOP Sen. Arlen Specter becomes Democrat". CNN. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
- Dale, Maryclaire (August 4, 2009). "Rep. Sestak will try to unseat Sen. Specter of Pa.". Associated Press. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
- PA US Senate – R Primary Race, ourcampaigns.com, May 18, 2010; accessed November 10, 2016.
- "Toomey/Sestak Race Starts Ugly". Time.com. May 20, 2010.
- "2010 General Election". Elections Information. Pennsylvania Department of State. November 2, 2010. Retrieved November 18, 2010.
- Cahn, Emily. "Club for Growth Endorses 6 Senators for 2016". Roll Call. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
- Levy, Marc (April 26, 2016). "Pennsylvania Democrats pick establishment's Senate candidate". Charlotte Observer. Associated Press. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
- Stolberg, Sheryl Gay (November 9, 2016). "Patrick Toomey Wins Re-election in Pennsylvania Senate Race". The New York Times. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
- "Pennsylvania Election Results 2016". Retrieved 2016-11-25.
- "Toomey Triumphs". Retrieved August 15, 2011.
- "Toomey Named to Debt Super Committee". Politics PA. Retrieved August 15, 2011.
- Clonan, Elyse (April 26, 2012). "Toomey Named Chair of Senate Steering Committee". PoliticsPA. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
Toomey has strongly supported increased school choice and charter schools.
During Toomey's tenure in Congress, he supported legislation that would speed up approval of forest thinning projects in areas at high risk of wildfire, disease, or pest infestation in 2003, supported opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling and development, opposed implementing the Kyoto Protocol, and opposed legislation that would mandate increased vehicle fuel efficiency standards and provide incentives for alternative fuels.
In 2010, Toomey said, "I think it's clear that [climate change] has happened. The extent to which that has been caused by human activity I think is not as clear. I think that is still very much disputed and has been debated". In 2011, he voted to limit the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2013, he voted for a point of order opposing a carbon tax or a fee on carbon emissions. In 2015, he voted against the Clean Power Plan. In a series of roll call votes attached to debate about Keystone on January 21, 2015, he voted against amendments by John Hoeven and Brian Schatz to express the sense of Congress regarding climate change
In 2013, Toomey was one of 18 Senators who voted against the bill to reopen the government during the United States government shutdown of 2013. Regarding the vote, he said: "The one major redeeming aspect of this bill is that it reopens the government ... But I cannot support piling hundreds of billions of dollars of debt on current and future generations of Americans without even a sliver of reform to start putting our fiscal house in order."
Regarding deregulation of the financial services industry, Toomey said in 1999: "The trend in deregulation, beginning in the early 1980s, is one of the biggest reasons for the sustained economic expansion. I would like to see us continue to deregulate on many fronts, including the financial services industry."
While serving on the House Banking Committee, Toomey, in 1999, helped write House Resolution 10, which led to the repeal of parts of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act. The repeal of the Act, which had regulated the separation of banks and investment firms, allowed for companies that combined banking and investment operations.
Toomey was also a supporter of the deregulation of the derivatives market, an area in which he had professional experience, stating that he believed the market to be adequately regulated by banking supervisors and state-level regulators. He pressed the House to pass the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 because it would "eliminate most of the cloud of legal and regulatory uncertainty that has shadowed" derivatives since their invention. He stated that he hoped that the Senate would modify the bill to "allow greater flexibility in the electronic trading" of over-the-counter derivatives.
Toomey was a leading sponsor of the JOBS Act, which passed the Senate in March 2012. The Act would reduce costs for businesses that go public by phasing in SEC regulations for "emerging growth companies" over a five-year period. It would also help startup companies raise capital by reducing some SEC regulations.
In 2013, in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Toomey and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin introduced legislation that would require a background check for most gun sales. The legislation did not pass when it was originally introduced, or when it was re-introduced in 2015. According to Politico, "Toomey's advocacy for expanded background checks has hurt his standing among gun-rights groups but bolstered his bipartisan bona fides in the swing state of Pennsylvania." Toomey does not support presidential executive orders on gun control, but believes that background checks should be passed in Congress.
In 2004, Toomey stated that he believes society should only give special benefits to couples which meet the "traditional" definition of marriage as "one man, one woman." He voted in 2004 to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
In 2010, Toomey supported the repeal of Don't ask, don't tell, a policy which banned openly gay or bisexual persons from serving in the military, in a statement made while he was Senator-elect.
In November 2013, Toomey proposed an amendment exempting private religious entities from following the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. The amendment failed. After the bill received the sixty votes required for cloture, Toomey cast his vote in support.
Following the cloture vote, Toomey stated that he has long believed that more legal protections are appropriate to prevent employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, but plans to modify the bill to offer more "leeway" to religious groups.
Toomey opposed the passage of the Medicare Prescription Drug Act which he argued was fiscally irresponsible.
Toomey's 2012 budget proposal called for turning Medicaid into a block grant to states and cutting federal funding for the program by half by 2021. He opposes the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, and has supported multiple efforts to dismantle, repeal or defund the law.
Toomey intervened to have Sarah Murnaghan, a 10-year-old girl dying of cystic fibrosis at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, moved ahead of other recipients in obtaining a lung transplant, on the grounds that the existing policy reduced access for children. As a 10-year-old, Murnaghan was only eligible for transplants from other children, and not from adults, leading to a longer waiting time than adult patients.
Some doctors said this decision privileged Murnaghan and another child over other recipients, and privileged them above a national policy of allocating organs according to well-established rules. Murnaghan's case resulted in a permanent organ transplant policy change for pediatric patients.
Toomey has taken a stance against both SOPA and PIPA and has vowed to work together with other Senators to establish a more appropriate way of combating online piracy in the United States.
Taxes and government spending
Toomey has been a consistent advocate of reducing and eliminating taxes. While in Congress he voted to reduce the capital gains tax, to eliminate the estate tax, to cut small business taxes, to eliminate the "marriage penalty", to first cut federal income taxes and other taxes by $958B over 10 years (the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001) and later to make these cuts permanent, to reduce capital gains and income taxes by nearly $100 billion (the Economic Security and Recovery Act of 2002), and to expand and extend multiple tax credits to individuals and businesses.
Toomey publicly opposed the 2009 federal stimulus package. He opposes government-run or subsidized healthcare, and farm subsidies.
In 2011, he sponsored a federal balanced budget amendment. He supported extending unemployment benefits and offsetting the cost with reduced government spending in other areas.
In his first term as a congressman, Toomey won $12 million overall in earmark funding to his district. In successive terms in Congress, he swore off earmarks and signed the "No Pork" pledge as a senate candidate.
In December 2011, Toomey partnered with Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) to introduce the Earmark Elimination Act of 2011. The bill, which did not pass, was reintroduced by the pair in 2014.
Toomey identifies himself as pro-life. He has stated that he would support penalties for doctors who perform illegal abortions.
When he first ran for Congress in 1998, Toomey said that he personally opposes abortion and believes it should only be legal in the first trimester. Toomey voted for reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in 2013.
In March 2015, Toomey voted for an amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to allow employees to earn paid sick time.
In November 1997, Toomey married Kris Ann Duncan. The couple has three children.
|1998||Roy C. Afflerbach||66,930||45%||Patrick J. Toomey||81,755||55%|
|2000||Edward O'Brien||103,864||47%||Patrick J. Toomey||118,307||53%|
|2002||Edward O'Brien||73,212||43%||Patrick J. Toomey||98,493||57%|
|Republican gain from Democratic||Swing|