Pat Toomey has been been an unusually active freshman member of the Senate.
Last year, he served on the super committee, which worked to find a plan to reduce the deficit by $1.2 triSen. Pat Toomey has made a name for himself in GOP circles in Washington. During a speech Tuesday morning at the Brookings Institute, the freshman Senator explained his proposal to reform the federal tax code. institllion. Despite the committee’s failure, Toomey’s own proposal there was hailed as the serious and compromise-minded — not to mention the only one set down, in detail, on paper.
His budget proposals in 2011 and 2012 earned more Senate votes than any other offered, Democrat or Republican. He was recently named successor to Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) asChair of the Senate Steering Committee, the group of GOP Senators separate from leadership who guide conservative policy in the chamber.
He continued this aggressive trend Tuesday morning during a speech at Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C.
During the half hour speech, Toomey discussed the fiscal cliff, the failure of the Super Committee and outlined his federal tax code reform, identifying the “big problem” as entitlement programs:
“The truth is that our big entitlement programs, Social Security included, but especially the mandatory health care programs, are unsustainable. I think we all know that. They’re driving the medium and long-term fiscal disaster that’s accelerating toward us.”
“This year, 2012, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and other mandatory health programs already constitute 42 percent of federal spending. By 2022, these programs alone, together with interest on our debt, are projected to consume about 90 percent of the portion of GDP that we have historically collected in taxes.”
Toomey outline the broad strokes of his plan, which echoes his previous proposals.
“Let me get into the specifics, the dollar figures. We were proposing $750 billion in spending cuts, $500 billion in revenue, interest savings that would be $200 billion approximately over the course of 10 years, total deficit reduction of $1.5 trillion.”
Critics, like Washington Senator Patty Murray, have accused Toomey of gutting entitlement programs like Medicare at the same time as he gives tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans.
He acknowledged, “I know I’m not going to get my way on everything. The entitlement reform that we do isn’t going to look exactly the way I would write the plan. But we do have to agree on the fundamental problem, we do have to face the facts that these programs need to be reformed.”
Toomey’s active reputation has translated into sustained financial support. Despite not being up for re-election until 2016, he has raised $592,000 in the Q2 and has $1.55 million left on hand.
You can view his full speech and read the transcript here.