“I hope we can close the deal,” as Thanksgiving deadline looms
Pat Toomey, the white stallion-riding Pennsylvania Republican who picked off iffy Sen. Arlen Specter’s senate seat last year appears to be riding off the ranch. As a member of the congressional super committee on deficit reduction his unexpected deal-making includes…a tax increase.
Sen. Toomey has disappointingly been attempting to broker a deal with committee Democrats, most notably Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry. Toomey has now put tax revenues on the table, which liberal Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, is praising as a “breakthrough.”
Toomey, long a conservative icon, presents a disappointing caricature as he crosses the line by supporting this tax increase. He is a former president of the Club for Growth, which supports lowering — not raising — taxes and believes that prosperity and opportunity come through economic freedom. This new stance is stunning, since he has kept his word on issues during his terms as a House member. Although winning by wide margins, he respectably chose not to seek reelection to his House seat in 2004, honoring his 1998 pledge to serve only three terms.
There are six Republicans on the super committee: Senators Jon Kyl (AZ), Rob Portman (OH) and Pat Toomey (PA) and Congressmen David Camp (MI), Jeb Henserling (TX) and Fred Upton (MI).
They can all be reached via the Congressional switchboard: (202) 225-3121.
Here is Sen. Toomey struggling to defend what he calls “a tough decision” to Chris Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday. That decision includes offering a plan that breaks with his own Republican pledge not to raise taxes. “I didn’t invent this,” he says.” This is an idea that’s been suggested by the Simpson-Bowles commission, the Rivlin-Domenici….now it’s true that they want to raise taxes more.”.
“I hope we can close the deal,” Toomey says.