The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction convenes for the first time on Capitol Hill this Thursday. Only a matter of hours later, President Barack Obama will address Congress and the nation on jobs. Republican Pat Toomey (R-PA) will be there for both events.
Tapped by the Senate Republican Leader to serve on the bipartisan, bicameral super committee, the first-term Senator says it’s hard to overstate the seriousness of Washington’s fiscal problems. “We are running annual deficits of almost one and a half trillion dollars, we’re borrowing 40-cents of every dollar that we spend,” Toomey recently told a jobs roundtable in Tioga County.
The super committee has until November 23rd to craft a plan that will save the federal government at least $1.5-trillion dollars over the next ten years. “We can look anywhere in the federal budget that we can find an opportunity to have the savings, and we could include tax reform. I think there are ways that we could reform the tax code that would generate strong economic growth,” Toomey says.
Deficit reduction will dominate Toomey’s life for the next several months, but the issue is closely tied to the nation’s economic and employment woes. While Toomey doesn’t know what to expect from President Obama’s jobs speech, he has his hopes. “I’m hoping that the President will give us a strongly pro-growth message. I hope that there’s some awareness, some realization that the huge deficit spending hasn’t worked. The idea that the government can borrow and spend America to prosperity, that has failed,” Toomey said after his Tioga County event.
The Joint Select Committee’s organizational meeting will be open to the public and the press. President Obama’s jobs speech will precede the opening salvo of the NFL football season, and will be televised on all of the major networks.