Toomey looks for change from Obama, prepares for ‘super committee’ work

Pennsylvania’s Republican U.S. senator says he will be paying close attention to President Barack Obama’s speech next week on his plan to create jobs and jump-start economic growth.

Sen. Pat Toomey said he’ll be listening for the president’s jobs plan to include a word about change.

Not campaign-theme change, he said, but a change in the administration’s attitude toward government spending.

“I hope that there’s some awareness, some realization that the huge deficit spending hasn’t worked,” Toomey said. “That the idea that the government can borrow and spend America to prosperity has failed and that the president will acknowledge that and move on a different path.”

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Toomey said he hopes Obama acknowledges that regulations have become too burdensome for business.

The president plans to explain his proposal to shrink the unemployment rate in a special address during a joint session of Congress next Thursday.

The speech was rescheduled from its original time, after raising Republican ire that it would distract from a GOP presidential candidate debate in California slated for Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Toomey and the rest of the congressional “super committee” to reduce the nation’s deficit must meet by mid-September.

Toomey said the panel will be considering ideas put forth by previous congressional reports and talks held by Vice President Joe Biden to find savings.

“I think one of the roles of our committee is to look at the work that’s been done by others that really makes sense,” he said. ” It’s already been vetted, in some cases it already has bipartisan support for cuts. That’s really where we ought to look first.”

Toomey, one of only two freshman lawmakers on the panel, said it can’t be plagued by the same kind of stalemates that stretched out the latest debt-limit vote.

By Thanksgiving, committee members must have identified ways to cut more than a trillion dollars over the next decade.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

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