|U.S. Senate, Pennsylvania|
|January 3, 2017|
|Years in position||4|
|Predecessor||Arlen Specter (R)|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 2, 2010|
|First elected||November 2, 2010|
|Next general||November 8, 2016|
|Representative, United States House of Representatives|
|Bachelor's||Political Science, Harvard University, 1984|
|Date of birth||November 17, 1961|
|Place of birth||Zionsville, PA|
- 1 Career
- 2 Committee assignments
- 3 Issues
- 3.1 Legislative actions
- 3.1.1 113th Congress
- 3.1.2 National security
- 3.1.3 Economy
- 3.1.4 Immigration
- 3.1.5 Social Issues
- 3.1.6 Background checks on gun sales
- 3.1.7 Co-sponsorship of expanded background checks amendment
- 3.1.8 Previous congressional sessions
- 3.1 Legislative actions
- 4 Elections
- 5 Campaign donors
- 6 Analysis
- 7 Personal
- 8 Recent news
- 9 See also
- 10 External links
- 11 References
Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Toomey is one of the most reliable Republican votes, meaning he can be considered a safe vote for the Republican Party in Congress.
Toomey will come up for re-election in 2016. As of May 2013, he has already drawn a challenge from former Rep. Joe Sestak (D), whom Toomey defeated in the 2010 U.S. Senate general election. Sestak has filed his candidacy paperwork with the Federal Election Commission in order to pursue a re-match in 2016.
Below is an abbreviated outline of Toomey's academic, professional and political career:
- 1984: Graduated from Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
- 1999-2005: Served as a Republican to the U.S. Congress
- 2011-Present: U.S Senator from Pennsylvania
Toomey serves on the following Senate committees:
- Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
- Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance and Investment
- Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection Members
- Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development
- The Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight
- The Subcommittee on Healthcare
- Economic Committee
- Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
- Commerce, Science, and Transportation
- Economic Committee
- Deficit Reduction
The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 224 out of the 3215 introduced bills (7 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session. The Senate confirmed 13,949 out of 18,323 executive nominations received (76.1 percent). For more information pertaining to Toomey's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.
American response in Syria
- See also: United States involvement in Syria
Toomey supported President Barack Obama's proposed military strike against Syria. He stated, "I think there is great danger if we do nothing," at an appearance in Columbia on Sept. 4. "Chemical and biological weapons fall into a unique category because of the scale in which they kill people indiscriminately...If we don't act now, what kind of message does that send to Iran and North Korea?" Toomey continued. 
John Brennan CIA nomination
Toomey voted against confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on March 7, 2013, with a vote of 63 - 34. Most Democrats supported the nomination, while Republicans were somewhat divided with roughly one-third supporting the nomination.
On March 6, 2013, Senator Rand Paul (R) led a 13-hour filibuster of President Obama's CIA Director nominee, John Brennan. Paul started the filibuster in order to highlight his concerns about the administration's drone policies. In particular, Paul said he was concerned about whether a drone could be used to kill an American citizen within the United States border without any due process involved. Paul and other civil liberties activists were critical of President Obama for not offering a clear response to the question. A total of 14 senators joined Paul in the filibuster -- 13 Republicans and one Democrat.
The day after the filibuster, Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Paul, responding to the filibuster. Holder wrote, "Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on U.S. soil? The answer to that is no."
On February 4, 2014, the Democratic controlled Senate approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill. It passed the Senate with a vote of 68-32. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that will kick in when prices drop; however, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states. Toomey voted with 22 other Republican senators against the bill.
On January 16, 2014, the Democratic-controlled Senate approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014. The Senate voted 72-26 for the 1,582 page bill, with 17 Republicans and 55 Democrats voting in favor of the bill. The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations. It increased the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel by 1 percent, increased Head Start funding for early childhood education by $1 billion, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency, and left the Affordable Care Act without any drastic cuts.
- See also: United States budget debate, 2013
During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funds the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies. The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Toomey voted with the Republican Party against the bill.
No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013
Toomey voted against H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.
2013 Senate Budget Proposal
Toomey voted against the 2013 Senate Budget Proposal. On March 23, after an all-night debate that ended just before 5 a.m., by a 50 to 49 vote the Democratically controlled Senate approved its first budget in four years. No Republicans voted for the Senate plan, and four Democrats opposed it. All four are from red states and are up for re-election in 2014. Toomey was one of the four Democrats who voted against the budget proposal.
The approved plan is a $3.7 trillion budget for 2014 and would provide a fast track for passage of tax increases, trim spending modestly and leave the government still deeply in the red for the next decade.
The approval of a budget in the Senate began the process of setting up contentious, and potentially fruitless, negotiations with the Republican-controlled House starting in April to reconcile two vastly different plans for dealing with the nation’s economic and budgetary problems.
The House plan would have brought the government’s taxes and spending into balance by 2023 with cuts to domestic spending even below the levels of automatic across-the-board cuts for federal programs now, and it orders up dramatic and controversial changes to Medicare and the tax code.
The Senate plan differed greatly, and included $100 billion in upfront infrastructure spending to bolster the economy and calls for special fast-track rules to overhaul the tax code and raise $975 billion over 10 years in legislation that could not be filibustered. Even with that tax increase and prescribed spending cuts, the plan approved by the Senate would leave the government with a $566 billion annual deficit in 10 years, and $5.2 trillion in additional debt over that window.
Toomey voted for Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.
Background checks on gun sales
On April 17, 2013, the U.S. Senate took a vote on and defeated a measure that would have expanded federal background checks for firearms purchases. The vote was 54-46, with supporters falling six votes short of the required 60-vote threshold. Toomey was one of the 4 Republican Senators who voted in favor of the measure.
Co-sponsorship of expanded background checks amendment
Following Toomey's April 2013 co-sponsorship of a Senate Bill aimed at strengthening the federal background check policy for prospective gun owners, Quinnipiac University Polling Institute surveyed registered Pennsylvania voters on Toomey's Senate performance. Although the firearm control legislation was ultimately unsuccessful, the poll showed Toomey's job approval rating soaring to a record high level of 48 percent, with 30 percent of voters expressing disapproval. This is compared to Toomey's 11 point approval to disapproval differential (43-32) rating from the prior month. Furthermore, voters from both major parties said they thought more favorably of him as a result of his bipartisan efforts on the issue of gun control by a margin of 54-12 percent. The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 1,235 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.
Violence Against Women (2013)
Toomey voted for S.47 -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, with a vote of 78 - 22. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.
Previous congressional sessions
Toomey voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.
Toomey will next come up for re-election in 2016. The race drew an early challenger in May 2013 when former Rep. Joe Sestak (D), whom Toomey defeated in the 2010 U.S. Senate general election, announced he would pursue a re-match in 2016.
|U.S. Senate race 2016 - Hypothetical match-up poll|
|Poll||Pat Toomey (R)||Joe Sestak (D)||Kathleen Kane (D)||Undecided||Margin of Error||Sample Size|
|Quinnipiac University Poll|
May 30-June 4, 2013
|Public Policy Polling|
November 22-25, 2013
|Public Policy Polling|
November 22-25, 2013
|Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to|
|U.S. Senate, Pennsylvania General Election, 2010|
Comprehensive donor information for Toomey is available dating back to 2002. Based on available campaign finance records, Toomey raised a total of $19,860,138 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 22, 2013.
|Pat Toomey's Campaign Contribution History|
|2010||US Senate (Pennsylvania)||$17,155,694|
|2002||US House (Pennsylvania, District 15)||$1,631,237|
|2000||US House (Pennsylvania, District 15)||$1,073,207|
|Grand Total Raised||$19,860,138|
Toomey won election to the U.S. Senate in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Toomey's campaign committee raised a total of $17,155,694 and spent $16,958,449.
|U.S. Senate, Pennsylvania, 2010 - Pat Toomey Campaign Contributions|
|Total Raised by General Election Opponent||$8,590,124|
|Total Spent by General Election Opponent||$7,524,257|
|Top contributors to Pat Toomey's campaign committee|
|Club for Growth||$837,641|
|Senate Conservatives Fund||$61,723|
|SAC Capital Advisors||$46,100|
|Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee|
|Securities & Investment||$889,179|
Ideology and leadership
The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.
Toomey most often votes with:
Toomey least often votes with:
Lifetime voting record
According to the website GovTrack, Toomey missed 11 of 582 roll call votes between January 2011 and April 2013. This amounts to 1.9%, which is worse than the median of 1.7% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving as of March 2013.
Congressional staff salaries
The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Toomey paid his congressional staff a total of $1,927,174 in 2011. He ranks 12th on the list of the lowest paid Republican senatorial staff salaries and ranks 14th overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Pennsylvania ranks 5th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.
Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Toomey's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $1,722,050 to $4,232,000. That averages to $2,977,025, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican Senate members in 2012 of $6,956,438.47. Toomey ranked as the 46th most wealthy senator in 2012.
|Pat Toomey Yearly Net Worth|
|Year||Avg. Net Worth||% Difference from previous year|
National Journal vote ratings
- See also: National Journal vote ratings
Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Click the link above for the full ratings of all members of Congress.
Toomey ranked 4th in the conservative rankings in 2012.
Toomey ranked 18th in the conservative rankings in 2011.
Voting with party
Toomey voted with the Republican Party 92.0% of the time, which ranked 10th among the 46 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.
Toomey and his wife, Kris, have three children.
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- United States Senate
- U.S. Senate delegation from Pennsylvania
- United States Senate elections, 2014
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- Works by or about:
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Cite error: Invalid
- Biographical Director of the United States Congress "Pat Toomey," accessed October 24, 2011
- Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" accessed January 22, 2013
- Pat Toomey Vote Smart profile
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
- The Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era, "Sen. Toomey supports military strike against Syria," September 5, 2013
- Project Votesmart, "Pat Toomey Key Votes," accessed October 17, 2013
- CNN, "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
- USA Today, "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
- ABC News, "Rand Paul Wins Applause From GOP and Liberals," March 7, 2013
- The Blaze, "Here Are All the GOP Senators That Participated in Rand Paul’s 12+ Hour Filibuster… and the Ones Who Didn’t," March 7, 2013
- Los Angeles Times, "Sen. Rand Paul ends marathon filibuster of John Brennan," March 7, 2013
- Breitbart, "AWOL: Meet The GOP Senators Who Refused to Stand With Rand," March 7, 2013
- Politico, "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
- Washington Post, "Eric Holder responds to Rand Paul with ‘no’," March 7, 2013
- Senate.gov, "H.R. 2642 (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013)," accessed February 12, 2014
- New York Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
- Politico, "Senate approves $1.1 trillion spending bill," accessed January 20, 2014
- U.S. Senate, "January 16 Vote," accessed January 20, 2014
- Roll Call, "House Passes $1.1 Trillion Omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
- The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
- Senate.gov, "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
- NPR "Senate Rejects Expanded Background Checks For Gun Sales" accessed April 19, 2013
- Fox News "Background check plan defeated in Senate, Obama rips gun bill opponents" accessed April 19, 2013
- NPR "Historically Speaking, No Surprise In Senate Gun Control Vote" accessed April 19, 2013
- Quinnipiac University, "April 26, 2013 - Pennsylvania Voters Say Run Pittsburgh Marathon, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Many Voters Angry At U.S. Senate Gun-Control Vote," April 26, 2013
- Politico, "Poll: Pat Toomey poll numbers rise," April 26, 2013
- U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998," accessed March 28, 2013
- Open Secrets "Career Fundraising for Pat Toomey," accessed April 22, 2013
- Open Secrets "Pat Toomey 2010 Election Cycle," accessed October 24 2011
- Gov Track, "Patrick Toomey," accessed July 5, 2013
- OpenCongress, "Sen. Pat Toomey," accessed August 22, 2013
- GovTrack, "Pat Toomey," accessed April 17, 2013
- LegiStorm, "Pat Toomey," accessed August 6, 2012
- OpenSecrets.org, "Toomey, 2012," accessed January 14, 2014
- National Journal, "TABLE: Senate Conservative Scores by Issue Area," February 21, 2013
- National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
- OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
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