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Toomey Issues Challenge to Sestak: Show Me the Independence

Toomey Issues Challenge to Sestak: Show Me the Independence
Allentown – U.S. Senate candidate and former small business owner Pat Toomey issued a challenge to Congressman Joe Sestak to publish a list of examples of his alleged independence and his alleged record of standing up to his party.
For months, Congressman Sestak has told reporters and voters that he “has broken off with his own party many times.” (Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, 10/10/10)  Congressman Sestak is also wont to wax poetically about President Kennedy’s famous saying: ‘Sometimes the party asks too much.”
But the only example Congressman Sestak has offered as proof of his putative independence is his effort to further his own political career by running against the politically vulnerable and newly Democratic Senator Arlen Specter.  Not exactly what John F. Kennedy had in mind.
“I challenge Congressman Sestak to provide a detailed list of substantive examples in which he has demonstrated true independence and taken on his own party leaders to his own political detriment,” Pat Toomey said.  “Congressman Sestak has made a lot of unsubstantiated claims about my record and his own, and it is time for him to tell the truth.”
In contrast to Congressman Sestak, Pat has a long and well-documented record of standing up to his own party leaders in defense of taxpayers even when his party leaders pressured him to cave:
Pat stood up to Republican leaders in 1999 when they wanted to eradicate spending caps they had passed in 1997 (Morning Call, 03/25/99).

In 2000, Pat took on his own leadership and won a guarantee to use a portion of the surplus to pay off the federal debt.The Morning Call wrote: “Just getting debt reduction into the $1.82 trillion budget resolution was a coup.  But to do it knowing it could threaten a $9 billion supplemental appropriations bill supported by House Speaker Dennis Hastert, took moxie.” (Morning Call, 03/26/00)

Pat was instrumental in convincing Republican leaders to maintain rules mandating term limits for committee chairs, originally passed in 1995 (Morning Call, 11/17/00).  The Morning Call wrote: “Constituents of the 15th and 8th Congressional Districts can feel a measure of pride in their Republican representatives for the leadership and wisdom they demonstrated in Washington this week.  U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey was instrumental in convincing his Republican colleagues Wednesday to keep a three-term limit on committee and subcommittee chairmen.” (Morning Call, 11/17/00)

Toomey voted against the $869 billion 2002 Farm Bill (RC #123, 05/02/02).

Pat and other congressmen led a “filibuster” against his own Republican leadership in order to force House leaders to restrain spending.  They offered a series of amendments on the $19.8 billion Interior Department bill, nearly $900 million more than the President’s request. (Associated Press, 07/17/02)

Pat supported the importation of prescription drugs even though the Bush administration and the Republican leadership opposed it (RC #445, 07/25/03). 

Toomey voted against the $460 billion Medicare Part D Program (RC #669, 11/22/03).  He was 1 of only 25 Republicans to do so.  He even spearheaded a letter, signed by 23 other Republicans, to Speaker Denny Hastert, saying he won’t vote for the final bill unless it holds down costs, guarantees competition, and prohibits price controls (Morning Call, 11/19/03).
Pat voted for a more fiscally responsible budget every year one was offered as an alternative to President Bush’s budget because he thought it spent too much money (RC #73, 03/23/00) (RC #68, 03/28/01) (RC #79, 03/20/03) (RC #90, 03/25/04).
And what about Joe Sestak?  He supported every single major piece of President Obama and Nancy Pelosi’s liberal agenda:
The continuation of the Wall Street bailout (RC #27, 01/22/09).
The auto bailout (RC #690, 12/10/08)
The stimulus (RC #70, 02/13/09)
A second stimulus (RC #991, 12/16/09)
Cash for clunkers (RC #314, 06/09/09) (RC #682, 07/31/10)
Government-run health care (RC #165, 3/21/10)
The cap-and-trade energy tax (RC #477, 06/26/09)
Raising the debt limit to $14.3 trillion (RC #46, 02/04/10)
The FY 2009 Omnibus bill (RC #86, 02/25/09)
The FY 2010 Omnibus bill (RC #949, 12/10/09)
President Obama’s FY 2010 budget (RC #192, 04/02/09)
Card Check (, 03/10/09)
The only time Congressman Sestak disagreed with his Democratic leaders is when he thought the stimulus, the health care bill, and the cap-and-trade-energy tax did not go far enough – and he still voted for the bills!  Where’s the independence, Joe?

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