To the editor:
I am finding it hard to understand why some Republican members of Congress who voted for the shutdown and who promised to give up their paychecks have reneged on that promise. Among them Senator Pat Toomey, who has once again disappointed many of his constituents by failing to live up to his word.
Sen. Toomey voted with other members of the extreme “tea party” caucus to shut the government in yet another misguided attempt to circumvent our due process. He voted to close the government last fall, causing hundreds of thousands of government employees to go without their pay, saying he would give up his pay as well. But now we learn that he actually took his paychecks during the government shutdown and, unlike other senators who then gave their pay to charity, he kept the money and never told us. When questioned about this by reporters his office responded, “No comment”. Really? Don’t we deserve an explanation as to why our elected official isn’t keeping his word?
In fact, Sen. Toomey was one of the biggest supporters of the government shutdown. And he continues to push for an extreme agenda, as he did on a recent appearance on Sean Hannity’s show. Also, he was the only senator from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York who voted against a bipartisan deal to end the shutdown. In January he was also the only senator from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York who voted against a bipartisan budget deal that managed to keep the government open.
It seems on many issues Sen. Toomey says one thing but does another, such as when he met with veterans to ask what he can do about the backlog of claims for disability, but then has voted against every Veteran Administration (VA) Appropriations bill that funds caseworkers to fix the claims since he was elected.
I don’t want a senator who says one thing and does another. He voted for the shutdown, he should keep his word and give back his paychecks. He should never have told us he would not accept his paycheck if he had no intention of doing that. And he certainly should not now refuse to answer questions and keep this quiet, hoping taxpayers won’t notice.