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May 26, 2016

Analysis: Toomey has missed 80 percent of Budget Committee hearings

Pennsylvania senator has spotty attendance record since 2013, according to BuzzFeed

Sen. Pat Toomey has missed about four out of five hearings held by the U.S. Senate Budget Committee — of which he is a member — since 2013, according to an analysis by BuzzFeed.

The website's report Wednesday said after a review of transcripts and videos, it appeared that the Pennsylvania Republican wasn't in attendance for 46 out of 57 hearings, or about 80 percent, since the start of the 113th Congress through this past April.

On the same days as two of the hearings that Toomey missed, the senator attended at least two fundraisers. On Feb. 3, the day of a third hearing, Toomey appeared on CNN to endorse Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, of Florida, for president. Rubio has since dropped out of the race.

The times of the budget hearings — one in June 2013 and one in July 2014 — and the times of the fundraisers did not conflict did not with each other.

The 2013 and 2014 hearings took place at 10:30 a.m. and 10 a.m., respectively, while both the 2013 and 2014 fundraisers took place at 6:30 p.m.

Toomey's campaign was contacted Thursday morning, but as of 4 p.m. had called back with a comment. 

A spokesperson for Toomey's Senate office responded to BuzzFeed, saying the senator had a 96 percent voting attendance rate and cited a news article calling Toomey one of the top 10 hardest working senators.

BuzzFeed noted that Toomey's campaign website reads: "Pat has used his platform on the Senate Budget Committee to offer several proposals that would balance the federal government’s budget."

Toomey currently is running for reelection against Democratic candidate Katie McGinty. 

Sabrina Singh, communications director for McGinty's campaign, gave PhillyVoice the following statement regarding the BuzzFeed report: 

"Here’s what we know about Pat Toomey – he’s either standing up for Wall Street or not showing up at all. From missing 80 percent of budget hearings to refusing to his job and fill the Supreme Court vacancy, he’s shown Pennsylvanians he has no interest in putting them first.” 

Correction: This article has been corrected to reflect that the fundraisers and hearings held in 2013 and 2014 occurred on the same day, not at the same time.