PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When the new Congress is sworn in this January, U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican, will be in the majority party for his first time as senator.
On Friday, at KDKA studios for a taping of the KD/PG Sunday Edition, Toomey sat down with KDKA political editor Jon Delano.
Delano: “What does it mean for Pennsylvania to have a Republican Senate majority?”
Toomey: “Well, for the last several years, Jon, the Senate has not functioned. Sen. Reid had a very conscious deliberate strategy to shut down the Senate, to allow almost no legislation and when he did allow legislation to allow no amendments. So the many things that I want to do for Pennsylvania I just never had a chance because procedurally Sen. Reid blocked everything.”
Toomey says now the Republican Senate will allow up and down votes on more bills, including his own.
“We can approve the Keystone pipeline and send it to the president. We can repeal the medical device tax and send that to the president. We should approve exporting liquid natural gas — both Houses can do that — send it to the president. Do the ordinary funding bills,” listed Toomey.
Because it will take Democrats to reach the 60-vote filibuster-proof threshold, Toomey predicts more bi-partisan work.
“In my office, I’ve already instructed my staff to reach out to Democrats to see where there is support on things that are important to us,” he said.
That bi-partisan approach may be important to Toomey as he seeks reelection in 2016 amidst claims by some that he is a too conservative.
Delano: “Are you too extreme for Pennsylvania?”
Toomey: “Again, I’d let my record speak for itself. I’ve been working on making progress from day one.”
Already, Admiral Joe Sestak, who came within 80,000 votes out of four million cast of defeating Toomey in 2010, is running again.
Delano: “Are you ready for a rematch with Admiral Sestak?”
Toomey: “I have no idea who my opponent’s going to be, and I am not focused on that at all, Jon.”
In fact, Toomey dodged the question of whether he’s running for reelection, although everyone knows he is.
With his party in control, he’s in a better position than ever to create a positive legislative record to take to voters in two years.
We’ll see if he does that.
Toomey’s appearance on the KD/PG Sunday Edition can be seen this Sunday at 8:30 a.m.
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