PA-Sen: Dems Target Toomey over Potential Government Shutdown

Pat-ToomeyThe Republicans are divided at the moment, and the Democrats are hoping to take advantage.

Once again, the government is on the verge of a shutdown.

The reason is that a significant number of congressional Republicans want to defund (or at least suspend funding) for Planned Parenthood after a series of videos from last summer ignited the party’s conservative base.

In 2016, however, the GOP has to defend their Senate majority by holding onto to seats in several states that Barack Obama won four years ago. Six Republican incumbents face this situation (there is also an open seat in Florida that is being vacated by Marco Rubio): Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Rob Portman of Ohio and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

These Senators, with the exception of Grassley, are all freshman who were elected in the 2010 GOP wave. Therefore, they are especially vulnerable and don’t want to deal with an issue that could alienate female voters.

According to Ted Barrett of CNN, Sen. Toomey is “a main target of the ads because Democrats believe they have a good chance to knock off the Republican who is seeking a second term.”

The DSCC believes they can even get Toomey and others to flip on the issue.

“As a potential shutdown creeps closer, we will see if Sen. Toomey sticks with his votes to defund Planned Parenthood or if he is so scared about his re-election that he flip-flops in a panic,” said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokeswoman Sadie Weiner. “These ads will highlight that Sen. Toomey and extremists in Congress are playing a dangerous game, and Pennsylvania families deserve better.”

Jaime Fuller of New York Magazine is also reporting that Toomey stated “I don’t think it’s a good idea to shut down the government” over Planned Parenthood.

So far, Toomey has benefited from the chaotic Democratic primary and its three unique candidates. Now, however, he and his colleagues could be forced into a vote that would split moderates and conservatives in his party.

The looming questions are whether that indeed happens and if so, would such an episode remain a major issue into next year.

One Response

  1. I was in an audience when Toomey ignored, just like Trump and unlike McCain,the claim of his undereducated constituent that Obama was born in Kenya and a Muslim. This was well after McCain had corrected his constituent on national television.

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