Senator Patrick Toomey (R), Pennsylvania….held a virtual town hall meeting, Thursday. He answered pre-screened questions and didn’t really offer any viable arguments for his support of Trump’s picks and policies.
Toomey said that the Democrats were, “…insisting on stretching out and delaying the hearings and votes as much as they can.” This statement implies that Democrats delayed just to delay. Toomey never addressed the concept that Democrats may actually be trying to get Cabinet members who are competent, have experience in their particular Cabinet positions and do NOT have vested interests that will allow them to decimate a particular Cabinet’s responsibilities. NOTE: Toomey actually parroted the words of Donald Trump in his discussion of the nominees.
Meanwhile, Toomey has backed and voted for the nominations of Betsy DeVos, Jeff Sessions, Tom Price, and most recently, Scott Pruitt. Backbone and conviction are not words I would apply to the Senator from Pennsylvania.
Lack of Responsiveness to Constituents
Toomey said that, “…organized efforts to block the phone system are blocking phone calls from his constituents.” That was his excuse for phones ringing and ringing and no one answering. That was his excuse for voice mail boxes that were full…for days. Toomey did not consider that instead of some nameless, outside, organized group phone bombing his office, it was thousands of his constituents who tried to tell him that he is not representing them when he follows Trump and the Republican party line.
Repeal of Obamacare
Toomey also parroted Trump’s comments that, “…Obamacare is in a free fall, failing, and failed badly.” Toomey pointed out that only 40% of those in Pennsylvania who need insurance only have one company to choose from — his reason for the “failure” of the system and, according to another source, not actually true. What Toomey failed to say was that the insurance industry could not make as much money as they thought they would and bailed out of the Pennsylvania marketplace without sanctions.
The Senator also failed to say that more than a million people in Pennsylvania are now potentially vulnerable given the GOP’s push to repeal the ACA. That’s 1 million people who Toomey is supposed to be representing. So, why isn’t he?
While insurance companies weren’t the biggest contributors to Toomey’s political campaign(s), they put their money where their interests were and Toomey was one of their recipients.
Want to see just where Toomey gets his money? Just follow the prompts and you will get a complete and unbiased accounting of the dollars – more than $46,000,000 (yep, that’s million) of them that have helped fund Toomey’s career.
Executive Orders Out Of The White House
Tax Reform – Toomey’s response to the fact that there is money in business but it is not filtering down to the American workers is that we need, “…very strong economic growth, growth yields more jobs and higher wages.” Reforming tax code allows business investment which leads to strong economic growth. Toomey also said he wants to roll back regulations that prevent economic growth.
Huh. watch your wallets, folks, as Robert Reich says. The plan will favor the rich and hurt the rest of us. What should scare every single one of us who actually has to work for a living is that one of the bedrock underpinnings of the Republican tax “reform” will take more money out of our pockets and put more money in the pockets of business owners and wealthy people.
Travel Ban/Immigration – Toomey did agree that the order was too broad, poorly explained and rolled out broadly. The order should not have excluded green card holders and those who are working with the US military. But Toomey also said he agreed with the fundamental idea of limiting immigrants. When I spoke with Toomey’s office about this issue, his staffer said it was about homeland security and safety but when I mentioned that not one terrorist act had been committed by anyone from any of the 7 countries listed in the ban, there was no plausible response — just the same line that it was for our safety. Does Toomey realize that people read and think and can discern fact from fiction?
Sanctuary Cities – Toomey point-blank said that sanctuary cities prohibit local police from cooperating with Immigration officials when protecting, “…violent criminals” from deportation. Toomey claims that the city of Philadelphia is guilty of releasing violent criminals who are illegal immigrants into the streets of the city where they imperil US citizens. Toomey, however, offered no names, no incidents and no cases in which a violent illegal immigrant committed a crime in the city of Brotherly Love. In fact, a recent Mother Jones article notes that sanctuary cities are actually safer for residents.
Needless to say, I was not impressed by the Republican Senator from Pennsylvania. Pat Toomey needs to hold a face-to-face meeting with his constituents. He should actually take questions from audience members, not questions screened by his staffers. And Pat Toomey needs to answer questions, not reframe them into the PR speak that allows him to act not in our interests but in the special interests he works for.
Finally, in my opinion, Pat Toomey needs to start thinking for himself, stop parroting the party line and take into consideration the opinions and points of view of the people who pay his salary, his constituents.