By Elyse Clonan, Contributing Writer
United States Senator Pat Toomey was selected Thursday to be the next chairman of the Senate Steering Committee, according to a press release distributed by his office. He will take the post in early September.
The Steering Committee is a caucus comprised of the majority of Republican Senators who work together to advance conservative legislation and policies.
“I’m honored to lead the historic Steering Committee,” Sen. Toomey said Thursday. “It is a privilege to be entrusted with this position. [Current Chairman] Senator DeMint has been a courageous leader, and I look forward to building on the great work he has done.”
“Sen. Pat Toomey is a proven and trusted conservative, and I’m very glad he’s taking on this new role,” said outgoing chairman Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who held the post since 2006. “I’ve fought hard over the last few years to help elect new conservatives to the Senate, and it’s very rewarding to see them step into positions of leadership…I look forward to working closely with Pat and the other Steering members to advance conservative principles at this critical time when our country needs them the most.”
DeMint, who had previously expressed his desire to hand off the chairmanship to a member of GOP’s 2010 Senate class, raised the ire of moderate Republicans in 2009 when he endorsed Toomey over former United States Senator Arlen Specter, who had yet to announce his defection to the Democratic Party.