Received this e-mail today from Joe Sestak's (D. PA) U.S. Senate campaign:
Sen. Pat Toomey said, “You don’t have to look just at what I say, you can look at what I did.” We need to, because Pennsylvanians were harmed by what Toomey did with his votes in Washington, D.C., last week.
1. Toomey’s Harmful Votes Against Pennsylvanian Seniors:
Cut Medicare by $700 million
Voted to take $700 million out of Medicare, which the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare called “a terrible precedent.”
Dismantle Operation Chokepoint, the Justice Department’s anti-fraud Task Force established two years ago to protect Pennsylvanian seniors from bank-abetted scam artists.
After accepting campaign contributions from one of his top 10 donors -- the American Bankers Association -- and $52,250 from payday lenders that prey on senior citizens, Toomey was one of just three Senators last year to co-sponsor a bill to defund Operation Chokepoint. Unsuccessful, Toomey voted last week to deny financial regulators from participating in Operation Chokepoint – even though the initiative has forced banks to report fraudsters who prey on senior citizens’ bank accounts and has already returned millions to our seniors.
2. Toomey’s Harmful Votes Against Pennsylvanian Jobs
Allowed China and other nations to manipulate their currency to sell cheap, manufactured goods to America
Toomey voted against a bipartisan amendment that made currency manipulation by foreign countries a principal element of the ongoing trade negotiations. Foreign countries like China use currency manipulation to artificially decrease the cost of their manufactured goods, hurting PA workers.
Earlier this month, Toomey was one of just 20 Senators who voted against a bipartisan bill to penalize imports from countries that manipulate their currency.
3. Toomey’s Harmful Failure to Protect Pennsylvanian Workers
Did nothing to help workers laid off due to trade agreements
Toomey abstained from voting for an amendment which would have reversed the $125 million cut in Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) funding to help retrain workers laid off by unfair foreign trade practices.
4. Toomey’s Harmful Vote Against Pennsylvanian Consumers…and For His Wall Street Friends
Voted for his own amendment increasing the threshold for institutions subject to examination by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from $10 billion to $50 billion.
If Toomey's amendment becomes law, 99 percent of all banks in the nation would have no federal regulator ensuring the bank follows consumer financial protection laws. For example, IndyMac, one of the worst violators of consumer protections in the lead-up to the financial crisis, had $32 billion in total assets.
Toomey, who used to be a currency-related derivatives trader on Wall Street, was willing to extend a helping hand to the banking industry that supports him by voting for his own amendment for banking deregulation that drove us into financial crisis – while voting against Pennsylvanian consumers who would have been protected from fraud and harmful practices by some banks.
5. Toomey’s Harmful Hypocrisy on “Support” for Victims of Human Trafficking
Toomey mentioned on social media his vote to increase fines against convicted human traffickers by $5,000. However, he failed to mention his votes to defund the programs that help victims of human trafficking, including:
Ending the U.S. Attorney Led Task Force on Human Trafficking.
Defunding the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, which investigates and prosecutes human trafficking cases in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security.
Stopping the program that provides services to victims of human trafficking such as crisis intervention, counseling, emergency shelter, criminal justice advocacy and emergency transportation.
Toomey also failed to co-sponsor the International Violence Against Women Act of 2014, which would have permitted U.S. leadership to have regional cooperative arrangements with other countries to help prevent human trafficking.
6. Toomey’s Harmful Hypocrisy on “Support” for First Responders
Toomey mentioned his vote for establishing a national Blue Alert communications network within the Department of Justice but the bill does not provide any funding for it. Furthermore, Toomey failed to mention he has voted to:
End $1 billion in state and local law enforcement grants, contracts and cooperative agreements that help our first responders through training programs and new equipment.
Cut off funding that goes toward law enforcement armor vests.
Defund evidence-based programs that help police officers reduce gun crime and gang violence.
Stop funding the Interoperable Communications Grants, which help local police, firefighters and emergency responders talk to each other during a crisis.
Similarly, Toomey wrote a letter this week that he cares about our police having “defensive equipment like riot helmets and riot shields” when he has voted three times against funding for law enforcement equipment, including riot helmets, riot shields and armored vests.
People are taking notice of how Toomey’s tactics of saying one thing in Pennsylvania and the voting and acting a different way in Washington, D.C., are becoming increasingly evident in their harm to Pennsylvanians.
The Center for American Progress found that Toomey “has been slow in delivering nominee suggestions to the White House” and noted that since 2014 when one of Toomey’s desired judicial candidates was not nominated by the President, judicial nominations “became stalled” and the situation has since gotten worse.
In fact, Pennsylvania now has the second most federal judicial vacancies in the nation, creating a backlog of justice denied to law-abiding Pennsylvanian citizens.
And after the recent Amtrak train tragedy – which a Transportation Board member said would have been prevented if the installation of Positive Train Control (PTC) systems had not been delayed – an article noted Toomey’s actions in Washington, D.C, observing that, “Over the years, he’s written letters to regulators, complaining about the system’s high costs, sponsored legislation to delay it and testified at committee hearings that it’s a misplaced priority.”
Pennsylvanians need a new Senator who supports them here in our state and in D.C.
For more information, contact:
If you would like to donate or get involved with Sestak's campaign, you can do so here: