HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, marked the end of the road in the United States Senate for Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey (R). How will his work be remembered throughout the state?
“It’s been a real honor and a real privilege to work with each of you,” said Toomey in his final speech on the Senate floor.
Toomey served for 12 years, and he said he’s most proud of his work on the 2017 tax cuts.
“We had the strongest economy of my lifetime. We had strong economic growth, 50-year low unemployment, all-time record low unemployment for African Americans,” Toomey said.
Supporters cite Toomey’s courageous, albeit sometimes unpopular, stances that he took on several occasions.
“This is a guy, who at his own political peril, pushed for a gun control bill,” said Christopher Nicholas of the Eagle Consulting Group.
What did Toomey have to say to fellow Republicans?
“Our party can’t be about or beholden to any one man. We’re much bigger than that. The party is much bigger than that.”
And to Democrats, “Please keep the filibuster. It’s the only mechanism that forces bipartisan consensus,” said Toomey.
Critics of Toomey say he was never loved by Republicans, and never appreciated by Democrats.
“Pat Toomey is leaving as one of the least popular elected officials in Pennsylvania,” said Brittany Crampsie of Brit Crampsie Communications. “He was ostracized from the Republican party that moved too far to his right, and then he left behind Pennsylvanians that were a little to his left. I don’t think he ever found the success he should have, especially as he wracked up seniority there.”
“Pennsylvania is a purple state. It’s a very large state. It has lots of different regions, it’s hard to please everybody,” said Nicholas.
At 61 years old, Toomey seems happy to spend more time with his family.
“I’ll always be enormously grateful for the people of this great state for their entrusting me this awesome responsibility,” Toomey concluded.
In his final speech, Toomey joked that he and fellow Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey almost always canceled each other out. However, both have been praised for their bipartisanship and cooperative efforts to fill federal vacancies.
Pennsylvania will now have two Democratic senators as John Fetterman replaces Toomey.