On top of this, Sestak has continued to hit Toomey's on his doublespeak:
Toomey Votes Against LGBT Americans and Small Businesses
Just Another Week in Washington for Sen. Toomey
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2015
Washington, D.C. — 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., in recent weeks.
1. Toomey’s Harmful Votes Against LGBT Americans, Including Gay Veterans:
June is LGBT Pride Month and Toomey voted on June 4 against an amendment that would have ensured gay veterans and their families receive the same benefits as heterosexual veterans.
Although the amendment received a majority of votes in the Senate – including eight moderate Republicans – it fell short of the 60-vote threshold to block a filibuster by Toomey and GOP hardliners.
This was the second time this session of Congress that Toomey voted against gay veterans. In March, Toomey voted against a similar amendment that would allow same-sex spouses of military veterans to be eligible for the same Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits and Social Security benefits that heterosexual couples already receive. He voted against that amendment even though 11 Republican Senators voted for it.
2. Toomey’s Failure to Support Small Businesses and Manufacturers
Toomey did not vote on a motion to table the long-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank – a little known federal agency that helps small businesses expand into export markets – on June 10. Toomey had time that day to attend the long-awaited confirmation hearing for Judge Felipe Restrepo (a hearing that Toomey personally delayed for seven months until newspapers starting questioning his actions), but he didn’t have time to vote on the Ex-Im Bank.
In a June 1 editorial, The Erie Times-News noted Toomey’s misguided insistence on abolishing the Ex-Im Bank’s charter is “the same position of tea party politicians and the Club for Growth.”
Toomey fails to recognize the importance of the Ex-Im Bank. Some of the benefits of the bank include the following:
In Pennsylvania alone, the Ex-Im Bank supported about 300 businesses that conducted a total of $7 billion in transactions since 2007, directly supporting 35,000 jobs in the process.
Nationwide, 5,691 of the 8,811 exporting companies that used the bank from 2007 to 2014 were small businesses.
In 2013, small companies accounted for more than 90 percent of the bank’s insurance, and 95 percent of all working capital loan guarantees went to small companies.
The Ex-Im Bank turned a profit in 2013 and paid $1.1 billion to the Treasury.
3. Toomey’s Harmful Hypocrisy on “Support” for Veterans
Toomey touted his so-called “support” of veterans in a statement on June 8 in which he described amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016.
It’s great to see Toomey finally taking the initiative during an election cycle and trying to help members of our armed forces – even though his amendments are largely symbolic. But Toomey should at least be honest about his dismal record of failing to support Guardsmen and Reservists.
Toomey’s amendments fail to make up for the unacceptable votes that he has taken to the detriment of Guardsmen and Reservists, including that he:
Voted against bankruptcy protection for National Guard and Reserve members called up to go to Iraq or Afghanistan;
Voted against the TRICARE Expansion to Autism and failed to co-sponsor legislation to expand TRICARE to National Guard and Reserve members and families;
Voted to send our troops to war, but as they returned he voted against the Veterans Jobs Act which would help our veterans find jobs; and
Voted to end the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), which helped over 75,000 veterans learn new skills to find jobs, and then denied he voted to end it, saying, “I want to know why it was terminated.”
4. Toomey’s Harmful Hypocrisy on “Support” for Law Enforcement
Toomey took the Senate floor June 11 to discuss his “support” for law enforcement. However, 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; and
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 recently saying 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 armor vests.
People are taking notice of how Toomey’s tactics of saying one thing in Pennsylvania and then voting a different way in Washington, D.C., are becoming increasingly harmful to Pennsylvanians.
As mentioned above, the Erie Times-News editorial board stated Toomey’s position on the Ex-Im Bank is “the same position of tea party politicians and the Club for Growth.”
And The Allentown Morning Call noted that various organizations now view Toomey as “the lead example” of “partisan delay by Senate Republicans” following his attempts to delay a confirmation hearing for Judge Restrepo.
Pennsylvanians need a new Senator that supports them here in our state and in D.C.
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