A former three-term Republican congressman from Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey was elected to the U.S. Senate during the 2010 midterm elections.
Since moving to the north side of the Capitol, the former Club for Growth president has made his presence known, particularly on financial and economic issues. He was even placed by Republican Senate leadership on the debt “super committee” that failed this fall to come to an agreement on major deficit reduction.
Before Christmas, The Daily Caller’s Ginni Thomas talked to Sen. Toomey about his super committee experience, Washington’s lack of boldness in cutting spending, the Senate’s overall dysfunction, and the tea party’s contribution to the political scene.
From being on the “super committee,” did you see any evidence that Democrats are willing to cut spending, as opposed to increasing revenues, to solve our deficit problem?
“By their standards, the liberal Democrats have had a remarkably successful first half of Obama’s presidency. … So they have had this huge expansion of government, and what do they want to do now? They just want to lock in the funds to pay for it all.”
Why isn’t Washington able to come up with bolder spending reductions to address our fiscal crisis?
“It’s very frustrating to me that the political class seems to lag behind the American public in understanding what the country needs.”
How does the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law inhibit job-creation and the economy?
“The Dodd-Frank bill is pretty unprecedented, at least to my knowledge, with the amount of discretion it has handed over to regulators.”
What are Republicans doing to ensure the European economic crisis does not impact America’s economy?
“I think people should realize how much more precarious the situation is than the way it appears.”
What is your take on the frustrations between the tea party movement and the Republican establishment?
“I think the establishment is coming around. What I hope is that the tea party simply infuses and captures the Republican Party and makes it the Republican Party that it can be, the party of limited government and personal freedom.”
What was your biggest surprise becoming a U.S. senator after the 2010 election?
“I guess the biggest surprise since getting here is the dysfunctional nature of this body.”
Are you drinking Potomac Fever “kool-aid” after being on the “super committee,” and now with your website now featuring a bipartisan bill with New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer?
“I don’t think there’s anything to worry about with regards to me drinking the kool-aid. I don’t like the kool-aid down here.”
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