March 28, 2017

Sen. Toomey: 'We'll get to a town hall at some point'

Pennsylvania Republican also disappointed Obamacare replacement was not voted on by House

Politics Pat Toomey
Pat Toomey Marc Levy/AP Photo

Pennsylvania's Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey.

It can be "a little bit hard" to hold town hall meetings in Pennsylvania while being based in Washington, D.C., U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey admitted this week, but he said he's still "pretty sure [he's] done more town hall meetings than any other statewide, elected Republican ... maybe for a long time."

Toomey made the comments on Monday during a nearly 20-minute-long radio interview on KDKA's "Mike Pintek Show" out of Pittsburgh, where he talked about the health care plan, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court justice nominee Neil Gorsuch and meeting with his constituents. 

Toomey has held several town halls in rural counties, but he's never hosted one in Philadelphia, according to Philly.com, although he has held a teleconference and Q&A via Facebook Live.

"What's important is for me to be hearing from my constituents, responding ..." he said during the interview. "We do everything we can to have as much dialogue as we can. We read and respond to tens of thousands of emails and letters every single week. ... We'll get to a town hall at some point, but the important thing from my point of view is to be engaged with your constituents."

The Republican senator has been under fire from many Pennsylvanians, who claim that he's been unresponsive to his calls, emails and demonstrations requesting an in-person town hall session.

Toomey posted a link to the interview on his Twitter account Monday, and people responded with criticism.



During the KDKA interview, Toomey also called the House Republicans' decision on Friday to pull the bill intended to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act a "setback," considering that the legislation has been highly anticipated by GOP leaders for the last seven years.

"I gotta tell you, I'm disappointed," he told Pintek. "The bill that was on the floor has lots of flaws, lots of things to object to in it, but it was progress in my view. I was hoping the House would pass it, send it to the Senate."

The proposed legislation, which would have been voted against by all Democrats and a group of Republicans, was withdrawn after it became clear it would not have the votes to pass in the House.

Toomey pressed that the fight to adopt a Republican plan "ain't over yet."

Toomey was also one of 50 Republicans who voted last week to roll back the Federal Communications Commission's privacy rules for internet providers, allowing companies like Comcast to sell customers' browsing habits and other personal information. 

Listen to the full interview between Toomey and Pintek below: