It's been a while since my last weekly letter to Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey.
It's been even longer since his last response.
Here's how I summed things up back then:
Remember when I was mailing a letter every Tuesday to Pat Toomey? Remember when I thought it might at some point make a difference?
Yea, good times (keeping your head above water, making a wave when you can).
And while I can't say this is return to a job after a temporary lay off, I can say that the good Senator responded to one of my emails.
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey missed Friday’s vote over a proposed Congressional investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection as the legislation failed due to Republican opposition.
In an email following the 54-35 vote, Toomey’s office said the Zionsville resident was absent because of a family commitment. CNN reported Toomey was one of nine Republicans not to cast a vote.
“Had he been in Washington, Sen. Toomey would have voted in favor of the motion to proceed to the January 6th commission legislation with the expectation that the Senate would consider, and Sen. Toomey would have supported, an amendment that addresses Republican concerns about partisan staffing and the duration of the commission,” said Steve Kelley, Toomey’s communications director.
In may email, I may have communicated my profound disappointment in his decision to skip the vote while, at the same time showing support for the legislation. I may have pointed out that since he's not running for re-election, he didn't have to fear being primaried from the Trump mob.
I may have called him a political coward.
Recently, he responded. This is the email in full:
Thank you for contacting me about the National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex Act (H.R. 3233). I appreciate hearing from you.
On January 6, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate met in joint session to certify the votes of the Electoral College. While Congress was trying to fulfill this constitutional duty, throngs of protestors broke through the line of law enforcement officers working to protect the Capitol and laid siege to the building. The actions of these rioters are an absolute disgrace. The law enforcement officers who helped secure the Capitol are patriots, and I am grateful for their service.
As you know, on January 13, 2021 the House of Representatives impeached President Trump for his actions leading up to the siege. One month later, on February 13, 2021, I voted to convict President Trump on the House of Representatives' article of impeachment. Because of President Trump's conduct, for the first time in American history, the transfer of presidential power was not peaceful. President Trump's desperate attempts to stay in office undermined the foundations of our republic, betrayed the confidence of millions who voted for him, and required a vote to convict.
Specific to your concerns, H.R. 3233 would create a ten-member commission to examine the "facts and circumstances relating to the domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol." For example, H.R. 3233 would direct the commission to investigate intelligence collection and sharing activities among law enforcement and intelligence agencies leading up to January 6, as well as factors that may have influenced the January 6 events, such as technology and online platforms. H.R. 3233 would also have granted the commission the power to subpoena witnesses and documents as part of its investigation.
On May 28, 2021, the Senate voted against concluding debate on the motion to proceed to H.R. 3233 by a vote of 54-35 (60 votes were needed). While I was unable to attend the vote, I would have voted in favor of the motion to proceed to H.R. 3233 with the expectation that the Senate would have considered an amendment addressing concerns about partisan staffing and the duration of the commission. Please be assured that I understand your views on H.R. 3233, and will keep them in mind should this measure again come before the Senate for consideration.Thank you again for your correspondence. Do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of assistance.
You'll note that Pennsylvania Pat Toomey didn't exactly respond to my points. You'll note that he simply retold the story that led me to call him a political coward in the first place.
You'll note that this does nothing to challenge my assessment of his political cowardice.