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Party Pat Puts Washington Politics Ahead of PA, Voting with GOP 94% of the Time

As Congress returns from recess, vulnerable Senators and Senate candidates are back at work trying to cover up their problematic voting records, We took a look at how often they’ve actually put their party and the special interests ahead of the people they were elected to represent. Similar press releases targeted Republican Senators and Senate Candidates in New Hampshire, Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Arizona and Missouri.

Over the course of his time in Washington, Senator Pat Toomey has voted with the Republican Party 94 percent of the time – a partisan record that he won’t be able to erase in the face of a tough reelection this fall.  Party Pat’s allegiance to the GOP has come at the expense of Pennsylvanians, whose interests he ignored as he opposed measures to make college more affordable for students and families while preserving tax breaks for Wall Street billionaires.

“Senator Toomey likes to talk about bipartisanship, but a closer look at his voting record shows he puts his own party ahead of Pennsylvania a whopping 94 percent of the time,” said DSCC National Press Secretary Lauren Passalacqua. “Party Pat will have to explain to thousands of Pennsylvania families why he put Washington special interests ahead of the families in his state.”

BACKGROUND

Toomey Voted With Republican Party 94% Of The Time. According to CQ vote studies of party unity, Toomey voted with the Republican Party 94% of the time during his congressional tenure. [CQ Vote Studies]

Toomey Voted For The FY 2012 Ryan Budget. In May 2011, Toomey supported a “yes” vote on a: “Reid, D-Nev., motion to proceed to the concurrent resolution that would allow $2.859 trillion in new budget authority for fiscal 2012.” The motion was rejected 40-57. [H.Con.Res. 34, Vote 77, 5/25/11]

  • FY 2012 Ryan Budget Contained Largest Reduction In Pell Grants In History. “The budget lays out little in terms of cuts to specific programs, instead simply decreeing caps on levels of spending. But one cut is explicitly proposed in the document — a cut to the Pell Grant program, which provides college tuition assistance to low-income students. […] If implemented, this would be the largest reduction in Pell Grants in history, more than eight times higher than the previous record, which was a $100 reduction in the maximum award in 1994. These cuts ‘will reduce the number of low income students receiving Bachelor’s degrees each year by about 61,000.’” [ThinkProgress, 4/5/11]
  • Headline: “House GOP Budget Slashes Billions From Pell Grants, Bumps Millions Of Students Out Of The Program”[ThinkProgress, 4/5/11]

Toomey Voted Against Legislation To Allow Students To Refinance Federal Student Loans Paid For By Taxes On Millionaires That Was Opposed By A Koch Front Group. In June 2014, Toomey voted against legislation to allow students to refinance their Federal student loans that, according to CQ, was offset “by requiring millionaires to pay a federal tax rate of at least a 30 percent.” A spokesperson for Generation Opportunity said that the proposal “misses the point” and “was shortsighted” because it raised taxes. [Rocky Mountain Collegian, 6/18/14; CQ, 6/11/14; S. 2432, Vote 185, 6/11/14]

  • More Than 1.2 Million Pennsylvania Student Loan Borrowers Would Benefit From Student Loan Refinancing Proposal. According to the Department of Education, 1,223,000 Pennsylvania student loan borrowers would benefit from legislation that let them refinance their student loans at lower rates. [U.S. Department of Education, 2014]
  • CNN: Generation Opportunity Was “The Youth Engagement Arm Of The Koch Brothers’ Political Network.” “Evan Feinberg, who since 2013 was the executive director of Generation Opportunity, the youth engagement arm of the Koch Brothers’ political network, departed the organization in June. He will now lead a new group to be called Stand Together for America. Feinberg’s move is the most high-profile loss in what people familiar with Generation Opportunity describe as a string of senior level departures that are roiling the nonprofit group.” [CNN, 9/1/15]

Average Debt For Pennsylvania Class Of 2014 Graduates Was Nearly $35,000, The Third Highest In The Nation.According to TICAS, the average debt for Pennsylvania class of 2014 graduates was $33,264, the third highest in the nation. [TICAS, Accessed11/16/15]

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