|United States Senator
January 3, 2011
Serving with Bob Casey
|Preceded by||Arlen Specter|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 15th district
January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2005
|Preceded by||Paul McHale|
|Succeeded by||Charlie Dent|
|Born||Patrick Joseph Toomey
November 17, 1961
Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
|Alma mater||Harvard University (A.B.)|
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 pledge he had made while running for office in 1998.
Toomey attended school at 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 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, retired Admiral and Congressman Joe Sestak.
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.
- 1 Early life, education, and early career
- 2 U.S. House of Representatives
- 3 U.S. Senate
- 4 Political positions
- 5 Electoral history
- 6 Personal life
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
- 9 External links
Early life, education, and early career
Toomey was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Mary Ann (née Andrews), of Hartford, CT and Patrick Joseph Toomey, of Brockton, MA. He was raised by Catholic parents, and was the third of six children. 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, a 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. Toomey 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 in order to avoid the decreased flexibility and entrepreneurship that the acquisition would have caused. The same year, Toomey and two younger brothers, Steven and Michael, opened Rookie's Restaurant in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
In 1994, at 32, 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 criticized the plan by claiming that it did not "address the real fundamental problems plaguing American taxpayers", arguing 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. Toomey defeated Afflerbach 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 proposed a budget that would cut taxes worth $2.2 trillion over ten years, exceeding Bush's $1.6 trillion plan. He 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." Toomey 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 2004, Toomey 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. However, most of the state's Republican establishment supported Specter, including Pennsylvania's other U.S. Senator, Rick Santorum and by President George W. Bush. Specter defeated Toomey narrowly 51%-49%, a margin of 1.6 and a difference of about 17,000 votes.
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 May 18.
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. Toomey spent $13 million, Sestak spent $10 million, and Toomey defeated Sestak 51.0%-49.0%. Sestak won just seven of Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including 4 of the 5 most-populous: Philadelphia (84%), Lackawanna (60%), Delaware (56%), Erie (55%), Allegheny (55%), Montgomery (54%), and Luzerne (51%).
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
- Committee on the Budget
- Committee on Finance
- Joint Economic Committee
- Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction
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.
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 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, Toomey said: "The one major redeeming aspect of this bill is that it reopens the government," he said in a statement. "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."
Toomey has strongly advocated deregulation of the financial services industry: "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,” he stated in the spring of 1999.
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 strong 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. Toomey 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.
Toomey advocates reducing gun regulations, but in 2013, he worked with Democratic Senator Joe Manchin to introduce legislation that would require a background check for most gun sales. Toomey has expressed opposition to further gun controls, such as a gun registry or assault weapons ban. While serving in Congress, Toomey supported bills that would prohibit suing gun makers and sellers for gun misuse and would decrease the waiting period due to background checks from three days to one for purchases made at gun shows.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns ran ads praising him for his stance on gun regulation and background checks.
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." Toomey voted in 2004 to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
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'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.
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. Doctors who work in the transplant system said that this decision privileged Murnaghan and another child over other recipients, and privileged them above a national policy of allocating organs fairly according to well-established rules.
Toomey has taken a stance against both SOPA and PIPA citing "flaws" in the Bills 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. Toomey opposed farm subsidies and called farm subsidies in a 2009 article in U.S.A Today "Moscow on the Mississippi"
In March 2015, Toomey voted for an amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to allow employees to earn paid sick time.
|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%|
|United States Senate Republican primary election in Pennsylvania, 2004|
|United States Senate Republican primary election in Pennsylvania, 2010|
|United States Senate election in Pennsylvania, 2010|
|Republican gain from Democratic||Swing|
In November 1997, Toomey married Kris Ann Duncan, a childhood friend of Toomey's sister. Duncan is a full-time homemaker. The Toomeys have three children: Bridget, Patrick and Duncan.
- Memoli, Michael A. (November 2, 2010). "Pat Toomey holds off Joe Sestak for Senate seat in Pennsylvania". Los Angeles Times.
- Raju, Manu (10 December 2008). "Specter's future rests with Toomey". Politico.com. Retrieved 3 May 2009.
- Hunter, Robert (May 1999). "Patrick Toomey: From Wall Street to Capitol Hill". Derivatives Strategy.
- "Club for Growth website". Clubforgrowth.org. Retrieved 2010-06-13.
- Clonan, Elyse. "Toomey Named Chair of Senate Steering Committee". Politics PA. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
- Kim, Mallie Jane (November 15, 2010). "10 Things You Didn't Know About Pat Toomey". U.S.News & World Report. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- Nelson, Ben (14 February 2011). "Soaring with the Eagles". McCook Daily Gazette. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- "The Congressional Portuguese-American Caucus". National Organization of Portuguese-Americans. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- Keith Herbert Only change in 15th District: Stakes higher ** Toomey, O'Brien debating same issues as two years ago. [SECOND Edition] Morning Call - Allentown, Pa Oct 29, 2002 Page: B.1
- Kerkstra, Patrick (26 July 2012). "Pat Toomey Is Surprisingly Moderate". Philadelphia Magazine. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- Micek, John L.; Kraus, Scott; Isherwood, Darryl R. (30 April 2009). "Pat Toomey's time has come". The Morning Call.
- City of Allentown City Clerk's Office (2009). City of Allentown Home Rule Charter. City of Allentown.
- Our Campaigns - PA District 15 - R Primary Race - May 19, 1998
- Frassinelli, Mike (19 March 1998). "Toomey Plan Says IRS Should Be Abolished". The Morning Call. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
- Pflieger, Martin (24 September 1998). "Afflerbach, Toomey Disagree on Flat Tax". The Morning Call. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
- Our Campaigns - PA District 15 Race - Nov 03, 1998
- Steelworkers union hall heavy on history - mcall.com
- Our Campaigns - PA District 15 Race - Nov 07, 2000
- Our Campaigns - PA District 15 Race - Nov 05, 2002
- "Pat Toomey on War & Peace". OnTheIssues. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
- Miller, Jeff (31 March 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.
- Pentn, Kevin (14 March 2002). "Toomey: Bill aiding illegal immigrants is "a slap in the face' ** U.S. House approves measure allowing status to be legalized". Morning Call.
- Miller, Jeff (18 September 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 (25 March 1999). "Proud Toomey Praises 'Responsible Budget' * Freshman Congressman Says Protecting Social Security A Top Priority". Morning Call.
- Our Campaigns - PA US Senate - R Primary Race - Apr 27, 2004
- Turner, Trish (April 15, 2009). "Specter Faces Conservative Challenge From Familiar Foe". Fox News.
- Hornick, Ed; Walsh, Deirdre (28 April 2009). "Longtime GOP Sen. Arlen Specter becomes Democrat". CNN.
- Dale, Maryclaire (4 August 2009). "Rep. Sestak will try to unseat Sen. Specter of Pa.". Associated Press.
- Our Campaigns - PA US Senate - R Primary Race - May 18, 2010
- "Toomey/Sestak Race Starts Ugly – TIME.com". Time. 20 May 2010.
- "2010 General Election". Elections Information. Pennsylvania Department of State. November 2, 2010. Retrieved November 18, 2010.
- Our Campaigns - PA US Senate Race - Nov 02, 2010
- "Toomey Triumphs". Retrieved 15 August 2011.
- "Toomey Named to Debt Super Committee". Politics PA. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
- Clonan, Elyse (26 April 2012). "Toomey Named Chair of Senate Steering Committee". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "Hardball with Chris Matthews". "MATTHEWS: Would you put people in jail for performing abortions? TOOMEY: At some point, doctors performing abortions, I think, would - would be subject to that sort of penalty.". 4 Aug 2009. msnbc. Missing or empty
- Itkowitz, Call Washington Bureau, Colby. "Toomey releases list of earmarks". The Morning Call. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
- "Sens. Toomey, McCaskill Launch Latest Effort To End Earmarks". www.toomey.senate.gov. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
- Press Release - Toomey Praises Obama Administration for Supporting Charter Schools | The Official Campaign Website for Pat Toomey for U.S. Senate
- "Pat Toomey on the Issues". OnTheIssues.org. January 2005. Retrieved 2 May 2009.
- Votes to end the government shutdown http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/congress-votes-to-end-shutdown/house.html. Toomey votes against deal to end shutdown. http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20131017_Region_s_GOP_congressmen_vow_to_back_deal_to_end_shutdown.html
- Baumann, Nick (5 Oct 2010). "Pat Toomey: The Wall Street Years How the front-runner in Pennsylvania's Senate race was at the forefront of the type of risky deals that have put American towns and school districts on the brink of fiscal ruin.". Mother Jones. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
- "On Tape: Toomey Pushes De-Regulation of Derivatives in Congress". Philly.com. 17 Aug 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
- Jim Abrams (22 March 2012). "JOBS Act: Senate Passes Small Business Investment Bill". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
- Micek, John L. "Pat Toomey backs amendment to ban same-sex marriage". The Morning Call. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- "Pat Toomey on Gay Marriage". PoliGu - the political guide. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- Tamari,, Jonathan. "Toomey amendment would exempt more faith groups from ENDA". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- "ENDA Prevails in the Senate, 61-30". Sate. November 4, 2013.
- "Toomey backs ban on sex bias in workplace". Philly.com. November 7, 2013.
- "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 669". clerk.house.gov. Retrieved 2010-09-04.
- Horney, James R. "Toomey Budget Even More Radical, and Potentially More Damaging, Than Ryan Budget". Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
- Toomey, Pat (21 Aug 2013). "Letter from Sen. Toomey". Sen. Pat Toomey to Citizen: why defunding ObamaCare won’t work. Watchdog Wire: Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
Since the law’s unfortunate adoption, I have made it perfectly clear that I want to completely repeal ObamaCare. I am in favor of defunding it to the extent we can and have consistently voted in favor of efforts to undo the law. I also am an original cosponsor of legislation, including one introduced by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), that would achieve this goal.
- Sen. Toomey's Statement On Organ Network Policy Changes, Press Release, Jun 11, 2013
- Turning Wrong Into Right: The 2013 Lung Allocation Controversy, Scott D. Halpern, Annals of Internal Medicine, 3 September 2013
- Thomas Fitzgerald (23 March 2009). "For Toomey, Specter vote was stimulus". Philly.com. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
- Thomas Fitzgerald (1 April 2011). "GOP senators all back Toomey balanced budget bill". Philly.com. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
- "Senate roll vote on Violence Against Women Act". Yahoo News. February 12, 2013. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
- "Senate passes budget after lengthy, politically charged ‘Vote-a-rama’". Washington Post. March 27, 2015. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
- "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Retrieved 2008-01-10.
- "2010 General Election". Elections Information. Pennsylvania Department of State. November 2, 2010. Retrieved November 18, 2010.
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pat Toomey.|
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district
|Non-profit organization positions|
|President of the Club for Growth
|Party political offices|
|Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania
|United States Senate|
|U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Pennsylvania
Served alongside: Bob Casey
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Senators by seniority