Sestak and Toomey target each other over earmarks

    Pennsylvania candidates for U.S. Senate are sparring over Congressional earmarks.

    That’s the money tucked away in appropriations bills that help fund local projects.  Republican Pat Toomey has called on Democrat Joe Sestak to sign a pledge of no earmarks.

    Republican Pat Toomey arrived at Independence Mall in downtown Philadelphia July 18 with a small pig to make his announcement.

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

    “I also want to welcome Porky,” he said. “Everyone can say hello to Porky, who symbolizes waste that we see in Washington all the time. If he were life size, in that sense, of course there wouldn’t be enough room in Philadelphia for him.”

    Toomey says his Democratic opponent has helped foster record level debt with his votes.

    But Sestak says he’s sponsored legislation to end earmarks and replace them with a competitive grant process.

    “End earmarks, move to a process that lets local input be put in but without Congressional influence,” Sestak says.

    The candidates are also at odds over extending unemployment benefits.

    Sestak says he supports an emergency extension of federal unemployment benefits, even if Congress can’t find the $30 billion plus to pay for it. Toomey says any extension should be offset by spending cuts first.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal