Pennsylvania Member of Congress Tracking Report – 10.04.20

44 mins read
Graphic by Kelly Pollock.

This is a 100% volunteer effort brought to you by a handful of progressive Democrats and Independents who share a vision of an informed electorate.  We want to offer a big thank you to the DemcastTogether and Pennsylvania Indivisible organizations who host our report and help us share it out to the residents of our Commonwealth!

A note on MoCTrack reports from now through the election:
Our MoCTrack volunteers want to give as much of their time as they can to phone banking, text banking and other activities to drive support for our preferred candidates.  So you will notice that our reports are going to be leaner from now through Election Day. We hope you’ll understand, and will join us in volunteering for your favorite candidates in these last two months that will decide our future!

Tracking Congress in the Age of Trump

The lower the number, the more the legislator votes in opposition to the Trump agenda.

Member of CongressThis week’s scoreChange from last report
Senator Bob Casey (D)29.3%0.0%
Senator Pat Toomey (R)88.1%0.0%
PA-01 Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R)62.9%0.0%
PA-02 Rep. Brendan Boyle (D)12.9%0.0%
PA-03 Rep. Dwight Evans (D)11.4%0.0%
PA-04 Rep. Madeleine Dean (D)3.6%0.0%
PA-05 Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D)5.7%0.0%
PA-06 Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D)4.8%0.0%
PA-07 Rep. Susan Wild (D)8.0%0.0%
PA-08 Rep. Matt Cartwright (D)19.0%0.0%
PA-09 Rep. Dan Meuser (R)97.5%0.0%
PA-10 Rep. Scott Perry (R)90.4%0.0%
PA-11 Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R)95.4%0.0%
PA-12 Rep. Fred Keller (R)94.4%0.0%
PA-13 Rep. John Joyce (R)97.6%0.0%
PA-14 Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R)95.1%0.0%
PA-15 Rep. Glenn W. Thompson (R)97.8%0.0%
PA-16 Rep. Mike Kelly (R)96.6%0.0%
PA-17 Rep. Conor Lamb (D)22.0%0.0%
PA-18 Rep. Mike Doyle (D)14.7%0.0%

Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight website assesses the voting records of our MoCs to provide this index, by comparing any bills where President Trump has stated a position, and comparing the vote of the legislator to that opinion. No votes were scored this week (yet) – we expect 538 to include the recent coronavirus aid vote in the near future, but they had not done so as of MoCTrack report time this week.. And don’t forget – if you click on the name of any legislator, you will be brought to their 538 webpage where all of the positions that went into the index are listed in an easy-to-read format.

Votes of Interest 

The Senate Votes to Avoid a Shutdown through December 11th 

Senate Vote on H.R. 8337: Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act

Last week we noted that the House passed a continuing resolution (CR), which leaves government funding at existing levels until an agreed upon date.  The date set by this CR is December 11, 2020. This week the Senate passed it as well. So we do not have to worry about a government shutdown until after the election season is over.

You will note that Senator Toomey was among the handful of Republicans who voted NO.  In the past few years he has not released new statements about his disagreement with these funding compromises, but prior to 2019 he did often explain his position.  In January 2018 he noted “I believe Congress should end short-term funding patches.” And in December 2017 he opined, “…it is a terrible shame that the Senate shirks the appropriations process in favor of waiting until the 11th hour, with a potential government shutdown looming overhead, to pass stop-gap measures like these. The Senate could have-and should have-approved essential federal funding through the proper appropriations process months ago.” It can be inferred from those past statements that Senator Toomey votes against these CRs consistently as a matter of principle.

Vote date: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 Vote Tally: 84-10

Party Breakdown: All Democrats and Independents present voted YES.  Of the Republicans present, forty voted YES and ten voted NO (including our own Senator Toomey). 

Senator Casey voted YES and Senator Toomey voted NO.

The House passes a NEW Phase Four Coronavirus Relief Package 

House Vote on H.R. 925: The Heroes Act

This legislation, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “includes new funding needed to avert catastrophe for schools, small businesses, restaurants, performance spaces, airline workers and others.” It is an updated version of the HEROES Act passed by House Democrats back in May.  It includes many of the same priorities, but with shorter time horizons, which reduces the overall price tag from over $3.4 trillion to $2.2 trillion.

This package still includes extended unemployment insurance and a new $1,2000 stimulus check to families, but it reduces the level of aid provided to state, local and tribal government s by half. This Roll Call article has the most complete list of changes between the May legislation and the current bill.

Negotiations between the White House, Senate Republicans and House SPeaker Pelosi have stalled once again.  The coronavirus diagnosis for the president and members of the Senate GOP have introduced a new level of uncertainty in this process. We just don’t know if there is hope for a phase four aid package to pass the Senate this session. 

Vote date: Thursday, October 1, 2020 Vote Tally: 214-207

Party Breakdown: All Republicans present voted NO, along with Libertarian Justin Amash.  Most of the Democrats present voted YES (214), but 18 voted NO.

Additional Reading:

After QAnon Death Threats, House votes to the Reject Group and  Its Conspiracy Theories  

House Vote on H.Res. 1154: Condemning QAnon and rejecting the conspiracy theories it promotes

QAnon is a right wing conspiracy group that traces back to late 2017. It’s too complex, and frankly, too ridiculous, to get into the details of what they believe – if you’d like to read good QAnon coverage, check out these articles from Vox on its founding, Trump’s encouragement of it, and tactics they are using to draw generally normal folks into this outlandish ideology that the FBI has judged to be a violent threat..

The latest in the QAnon saga is that the group has latched onto to some false claims made in campaign advertisements  by the GOP opponent of Democratic Rep. Tom Maliowski (NJ-07), and it has resulted in a number of death threats being made against him. Slate  has an excellent interview with the Congressman about this that outlines the details.  This situation prompted Rep. Malinowski to introduce a resolution in the House that denounces QAnon and all politically aimed conspiracy theories.

Here are some key quotes from the resolution:

Whereas, throughout history, conspiracy theories that falsely blame secret cabals or marginalized groups for society’s ills have fueled prejudice, genocide, and acts of terrorism…

Whereas many QAnon followers express anti-Semitic views, and the Anti-Defamation League has said that the movement’s central conspiracy theory includes anti-Semitic elements…

Whereas the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has assessed with high confidence that fringe political conspiracy theories, including QAnon, very likely motivate some domestic extremists, wholly or in part, to engage in criminal or violent activity, and that these conspiracy theories very likely encourage the targeting of specific people, places and organizations, thereby increasing the likelihood of violence against these targets…

Whereas the FBI further assesses that these conspiracy theories very likely will emerge, spread and evolve in the modern information marketplace * * * fostering anti-government sentiment, racial and religious prejudice, [and] increasing political tensions…

Whereas our Nation’s polarization is further accentuated by others, from the far left to the far right, promoting extreme ideologies and antigovernment conspiracy theories, hijacking legitimate peaceful protests, and encouraging followers to damage, deface, or vandalize local, State, and Federal Government properties and to attack law enforcement…

The House of Representatives condemns QAnon and rejects the conspiracy theories it promotes… and urges all Americans, regardless of our beliefs or partisan affiliation, to seek information from authoritative sources and to engage in political debate from a common factual foundation.

Vote date: Friday, October 2, 2020 Vote Tally: 371-18

Party Breakdown: All Democrats present voted YES.  Most Republicans also voted YES (146), but seventeen Republicans voted NO along with Justin Amash.

Additional Reading:

Most Republicans Refuse to Condemn the Unnecessary Procedures Performed on Detainees

House Vote on H.Res. 1153: Condemning unwanted, unnecessary medical procedures on individuals without their full, informed consent

A whistleblower at a George facility that housed detainees of the Trump Administration’s immigration policies has alleged that a doctor performs a number of unnecessary gynecological procedures, including hysterectomies, without the consent of the people who sought medical treatment. More details are available in the New York Times article “Inquiry Ordered Into Claims Immigrants Had Unwanted Gynecology Procedures.”

In response to this horrifying situation, Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal introduced a resolution to condemn these actions. In her statement that accompanied the resolution, the Congresswoman wrote:

This resolution mandates a real investigation must happen but it also sends a clear message to doctors contracted by private, for-profit incarceration facilities everywhere that we will not stand by and allow you to treat people this way. We will not stand by and allow history to repeat itself—a shameful history of medical abuse targeting Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, immigrants, poor people and people with disabilities. The women at Irwin, those who have been released and those who have been deported are brave and resilient, and I want them to know that the United States Congress sees you, hears you and will never stop fighting for you.”

Despite the clear moral issues presented in this resolution, the majority of Republicans refused to cote in a manner that could be construed as a criticism of Trump Administration policies.

Vote date: Friday, October 2, 2020 Vote Tally: 232-157

Party Breakdown: Most Democrats present voted YES, with Illinois’s Daniel Lipinski voting PRESENT. Libertarian Justin Amash also voted PRESENT. The Republicans split with the majority voting NO (157), seven voting YES, and two voting PRESENT.

Additional Reading:

The House Votes to Support the Concept of an Orderly Transfer of Power

House Vote on H.Res. 1155: Reaffirming the House of Representatives’ commitment to the orderly and peaceful transfer of power called for in the Constitution of the United States

Last week the Senate unanimously passed a resolution wherein they confirmed support for the peaceful transition of power in S. Res. 718, a resolution that somehow never manages to use the name President Donald Trump in it.  This week it was the House of Representatives’ turn to pass such a resolution… and they could not manage to get every house member to support this basic tenet that is the bedrock of our form of government.

The following five representatives were unwilling to affirm the principle of a peaceful transition of power and accepting the results of our elections:

🔴 Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida

🔴 Rep. Steve King of Iowa

🔴 Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky

🔴 Rep. Clay Higgins of Louisiana

🔴Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas

Vote date: Tuesday, September 29, 2020 Vote Tally: 397-5

Party Breakdown: The five NO votes were all from Republicans, and members of the House Freedom Caucus.

Additional Reading:

House Republicans Suddenly Have Issues with Cracking Down on Uygher Forced Labor 

House Vote on H.R. 6270: Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act

Last week over 400 Representatives voted to stop goods made with forced Uyghur labor from entering the United States. But when the partner bill came up for a vote this week, the GOP balked.  This week’s bill was aimed at the corporations who have forced Uyghur labor as a part of their supply chain, and would have mandated the disclosure of that information.  But while Republican lawmakers are all too ready to take an action against China when it is mostly symbolic, they refuse to take the next step when it might adversely affect their corporate donors.

Vote date: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 Vote Tally: 253-163

Party Breakdown: All Democrats Present votes YES, along with twenty-six Republicans.  Libertarian Justin Amash and 162 Republicans voted NO.

Additional Reading:

Louie Gohmert is a Giant Jerk

House Vote to TABLE H.Res. 1148: Raising a question of the privileges of the House

Because there’s nothing else going on in the country that needs the attention of the Congress, Rep. Louie Gohmert took time this week to force a resolution onto the floor that calls for outlawing the Democratic Party because of its association with the Confederacy. The text of his resolution makes it clear he did this because he is riled that the House passed a resolution several months ago, removing Confederate busts from the Capitol building.

All but two Republicans decided to back Rep. Gohmert in this idiocy, including all of the Pennsylvania GOP MoCs present for the vote.

Vote date: Tuesday, September 29, 2020 Vote Tally: 223-176

Party Breakdown: Voting to Table means to dismiss a bill.  So a YES bill opposes the bill, and a NO vote supports the bill.  All Democrats, two Republicans and the Libertarian voted YES, to table this.  The majority of Republicans (176) voted NO, to support proceeding on the measure.

Additional Reading:

Unanimously passed legislation

The following bills were passed through unanimous consent or voice vote (which presumes unanimity, as any member can object to the voice vote and ask for a roll call). This list excludes bills related to post offices, stamps, memorials, awareness weeks and other ceremonial activities.

Since we are at the end of this Congress, when the legislative table gets wiped clean, both Houses are moving LOTS of bills through by voice vote and unanimous consent.

  • H.R.359 – Enhancing Grid Security through Public-Private Partnerships Act
  • H.R.360 – Cyber Sense Act
  • H.R.362 – Energy Emergency Leadership Act
  • H.R.1109 – Mental Health Services for Students Act
  • H.R.1289 – PHONE (“Preserving Home and Office Numbers in Emergencies”) Act 
  • H.R.1754 – Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act
  • H.R.2075 – School-Based Health Centers Reauthorization Act
  • H.R.2468 – School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act
  • H.R.2519 – Improving Mental Health Access from the Emergency Department Act 
  • H.R.3131 – South Asian Heart Health Awareness and Research Act
  • H.R.3539 – Behavioral Intervention Guidelines Act
  • H.R.4078 – EARLY (“Young Women’s Breast Health Education and Awareness Requires Learning Young”) Act Reauthorization
  • H.R.4439 – Creating Hope Reauthorization Act
  • H.R.4861 – Effective Suicide Screening and Assessment in the Emergency Department Act
  • H.R.4996 – Helping MOMS (“Medicaid Offer Maternity Services”) Act 
  • H.R.5373 – United States Anti-Doping Agency Reauthorization Act
  • H.R.5469 – Pursuing Equity in Mental Health Act
  • H.R.5760 – Grid Security Research and Development Act
  • H.R.7293 – STANDUP (“Suicide Training and Awareness Nationally Delivered for Universal Prevention”) Act
  • H.R.7948 – Tribal Health Data Improvement Act
  • H.R.8128 – Consumer Safety Technology Act
  • H.R.8132 – American COMPETE (“Competitiveness Of a More Productive Emerging Tech Economy”) Act
  • H.R.8134 – Consumer Product Safety Inspection Enhancement Act
  • H.R.561 – Protecting Business Opportunities for Veterans Act
  • H.R.991 – Extension of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act
  • H.R.1952 – Intercountry Adoption Information Act 
  • H.R.3399 – To amend the Nutria Eradication and Control Act of 2003 to include California in the program
  • H.R.4764 – TRANSPLANT (“Timely ReAuthorization of Necessary Stem-cell Programs Lends Access to Needed Therapies “) Act
  • H.R.5736 – Transnational White Supremacist Extremism Review Act
  • H.R.5780 – Safe Communities Act
  • H.R.5804 – DHS Blue Campaign Enhancement Act
  • H.R.5811 – TSA Personnel Workplace Improvement Act
  • H.R.5822 – Homeland Security Acquisition Professional Career Program Act
  • H.R.5823 – State and Local Cybersecurity Improvement Act
  • H.R.5901 – Information Technology Modernization Centers of Excellence Program Act
  • H.R.7496 – COVID PREPARE (“Preparedness, Response, and Effective Planning for Advanced Requirements by the Executive Branch”) Act 
  • S.910 – National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act 
  • S.1069 – Digital Coast Act
  • S.3681 – Ensuring Health Safety in the Skies Act
  • H.R.2359 – Whole Veteran Act
  • H.R.4183 – Identifying Barriers and Best Practices Study Act
  • H.R.5126 – DESCEND (“Direct Enhancement of Snapper Conservation and the Economy through Novel Devices”) Act
  • H.R.5139 – Stop Sexual Assault and Harassment in Transportation Act
  • H.R.5572 – Family Support Services for Addiction Act 
  • H.R.5912 – Expedited Delivery of Airport Infrastructure Act
  • H.R.6813 – Promoting Alzheimer’s Awareness to Prevent Elder Abuse Act
  • H.R.7718 – Protecting the Health and Wellness of Babies and Pregnant Women in Custody Act
  • H.R.8124 – Criminal Judicial Administration Act
  • H.R.8225 – Fight Notario Fraud Act
  • S.1982 – Save Our Seas 2.0 Act
  • S.2330 – Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act
  • S.2638 – Friendly Airports for Mothers Improvement Act
  • S.3051 – America’s Conservation Enhancement Act
  • S.3758 – A bill to amend the Klamath Basin Water Supply Enhancement Act
  • S.4075 – RLF (“Reinvigorating Lending for the Future”) Act
  • H.R.8472 – To provide that, due to the disruptions caused by COVID-19, applications for impact aid funding for fiscal year 2022 may use certain data submitted in the fiscal year 2021 application

MoC Tweets of the Week

Courtesy of contributor Susan Vogel, @susuan28 on Twitter

🔵 Senator Bob Casey, @SenBobCasey, 09/30/20:

“In Pennsylvania, 21% of voters are age 65 & over, and 24% have a disability. We need to get serious about making voting accessible for everyone–starting with DOJ taking steps to address accessibility in advance of the general election & Congress passing my Accessible Voting Act.” tweet includes image of letter sent

🔴 Senator Pat Toomey, @SenToomey, 09/29/20:

“There’s no reason why Pennsylvanians cannot responsibly enjoy outdoor sports for the 2020-2021 season. Programs like @Temple_FB, @PennStateFball, and @Pitt_FB are capable of developing plans that keep their fans safe.

I’ve joined with @RepBrianFitz, @RepJohnJoyce, @RepFredKeller, @MikeKellyPA, @RepMeuser, @RepScottPerry, @GReschenthaler, @RepSmucker, and @CongressmanGT in calling on Gov. Wolf to reconsider his opposition to allowing in-person attendance at outdoor sports.

If the Governor approved the Carlisle Car Show to allow attendees, of which there were 20,000 each day for four days in June, he can permit outdoor events of any nature, such as having spectators at pro, college, and HS games. Read our letter:” tweeted with link to letter

🔴 PA-01’s Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, @RepBrianFitz, 09/30/20:

Today, I was proud to stand with @TCUnionHQ to demand that transportation workers are treated fairly by Congress. 

Public transit workers have gone to work every day during this pandemic, risking their own health, and these heroes deserve to be protected and paid fairly.”

🔵 PA-02’s Rep. Brendan Boyle, @CongBoyle, 09/29/20:

“House Democrats have passed over 600 bills #ForThePeople, including bills to raise wages for workers, help rebuild our economy, and improve our infrastructure. @senatemajldr do your job and help the American people.”

🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, @DwightEvansPA, 09/28/20:

“He’s broke, he’s a liar, and is corrupt as ever. Whoever owns Trump’s enormous debts could be running our country. This man has grifted the American people for far TOO LONG. VOTE 👏🏾 HIM  OUT 👏🏾 »

🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean, @RepDean, 10/01/20:

“Everyone across @MontcoPA deserves credit for uniting in the effort to fight this virus. Continue taking proper precautions — practice social distance, and wear a mask. Thank you to our incredible Commissioners @VAArk & @kenlawrencejr for ably guiding us.”  tweeted with a link to a Pottstown Mercury article titled “Montgomery County records lowest coronavirus positivity rate in SE Pa.

🔵 PA-05’s Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, @RepMGS, 10/02/20:

“Making sure families don’t go hungry should not be controversial.”

Tweeted with a link to the New York Times article titled “The Other Way Covid Will Kill: Hunger

🔵 PA-06’s Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, @RepHoulahan, 09/30/20:

“Me: How do our allies around the globe see our President’s refusal to condemn white supremacy or commit to a peaceful transition of power?

Him: It hurts our standing.

Hard to believe we are here.”

Tweeted with embedded video of the MoC’s questions in a House hearing

🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild, @RepSusanWild, 10/01/20:

“We’ve seen what happens when abuse is not properly reported. I’m proud to introduce a bipartisan bill that allows students & caregivers to be trained on recognizing, preventing, & reporting child abuse. Every child deserves dignity & safety.”

🔵 PA-08’s Rep. Matt Cartwright, @RepCartwright, 10/01/20:

“Last month, @fema stopped providing emergency relief to states to help schools cover mask and sanitation costs during #COVID19. My colleagues and I are calling on FEMA to resume this relief to keep our children, teachers and families safe. Full letter:”

🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser, @RepMeuser, 10/01/20:

“Instead of working on targeted, bipartisan legislation that would help our nation and economy continue to recover from the coronavirus crisis, Speaker Pelosi put forward a messaging bill tonight that has no chance of ever becoming law.” tweeted with a link to the MoC’s official website statement

🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry, @RepScottPerry, 09/29/20:

“Proud to join my colleagues — absolutely no reason why Pennsylvanians cannot responsibly enjoy outdoor sports for the 2020-2021 season — let them watch responsibly!”

🔴 PA-11’s Rep. Lloyd Smucker, @RepSmucker, 10/01/20:

“.@POTUS @realDonaldTrump has harnessed the federal government’s full force in partnerships with private businesses to deliver an additional 150 million rapid Covid-19 tests so we can reopen schools and our economy safely.”

🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller, @RepFredKeller, 10/01/20:

“Tonight I voted NO on Speaker Pelosi’s partisan wishlist.

Here’s why” tweeted with embedded video of the MoC

🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce, @RepJohnJoyce, 10/01/20:

“As @GOPLeader just said on the House Floor, ‘Democrats think the economy should be locked down, but they don’t think serial killers should be locked up.’

Their partisan wish list is a wasted opportunity to help struggling Americans.”

🔴 PA-14’s Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, @GReschenthaler, 10/02/20:

“It’s time for Jerry Nadler to stop telling us Antifa is imaginary and let @JudiciaryGOP hold a hearing on the funding behind these violent anarchist extremists.

We can’t stop these far-left radicals without finding out who’s fueling the fire.” tweeted with a link to a Fox News article titled “House Republicans call on Nadler to hold hearings on funding behind recent riots

🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson, @CongressmanGT, 09/29/20:

“Sports, and football in particular, adds so much to our local communities and economies. Proud to join @SenToomey to urge Gov. Wolf to reconsider his ban on in-person attendance at outdoor events so Pennsylvanians can support the programs we love.”

🔴 PA-16’s Rep. Mike Kelly, @MikeKellyPA, 09/29/20:

“PA has been locked down for 6 months. It’s time to lift the ban on attending outdoor sports. Schools can implement safety guidelines, Pennsylvanians can assess the risk. PA Republicans sent this letter to @GovernorTomWolf urging him to let PA watch sports in-person this fall!”

🔵 PA-17’s Rep. Conor Lamb, @RepConorLamb, 10/01/20:

“We need a bipartisan #COVID19 relief bill that can be signed into law. Read my full statement below.  #PA17”

🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle, @USRepMikeDoyle, 10/01/20:

“.@POTUS has ignored Democrats’ prescription drug bills & instead issued symbolic executive orders. Drug prices, including for insulin, have continued to skyrocket under @POTUS while he argues in #SCOTUS for the end of the #ACA health coverage for millions.” tweeted with a link to a Washington Post article titled “Trump boasted he made insulin so cheap ‘it’s like water.’ Americans with diabetes beg to differ

Casey Quote of the Week 

Courtesy of contributor Linda Houk

“It’s not in front of us, and I just don’t think it’s really something that’s near-term and urgent for a lot of Americans.”

“Now if things change, if we get the majority, and the Supreme Court—not only the fight on the confirmation—but the cases that start to emerge from this court, I think it’s a very corporate, right-wing court and it could be even more so now, and I think that’s where the country will be engaged.”

—from an article in the Wall Street Journal, titled “Debate Looms on Supreme Court Expansion

Toomey Quote of the Week 

Courtesy of contributor Elayne Baker

“It was ugly. Look, I just think it was way too aggressive. The insults and the shouting and the talking over missed an opportunity to have a more thoughtful and substantive discussion. There are so many huge, ginormous differences between the polices that President Trump and Vice President Biden are planning… It was hard to make sense of anything with all the simultaneous shouting going on.”

“For the Democrats, the hypocrisy is amazing. In 2016, there was a Democratic President, Barrack Obama, he nominates Merrick Garland. Is there a single person alive who thinks that if the Democrats were in the majority [in 2016] they wouldn’t have confirmed Merrick Garland? Of course they would have. And now, the tables have turned, it’s a Republican in the White House and it’s a Republican controlled Senate and suddenly they think we should not confirm? It’s patently ridiculous.”

”Vice President Biden refused to answer the question ‘will you pack the Supreme Court?’ That was really unbelievable to me because the idea of packing the Supreme Court, the idea that a majority party will come in and if they don’t like the fact that they had lost previous elections and the other party was able to nominate Justices to vacancies. The response to that is not work on winning elections but rather just expand the size of the court.”

“If we go down this road, then the courts just become an extension of the political elected branches of government. Lose their independence, we would lose our ability to have confidence in an impartial Justice. It’s an unbelievably bad idea. “

— from a Talk Radio 1210 WPHT article titled “Senator Pat Toomey: Last Nights Debate Was Just To Aggressive to Make Sense of any Policy

Toomey NEWS of the Week 

This news came out of the Philadelphia Inquirer on 10/04/20 at around 1PM.  

“Sen. Pat Toomey has decided not to run for reelection or for governor of Pennsylvania in 2022, according to two people familiar with his plans, a surprise decision by the Republican with significant implications for the state’s next elections.

He will serve out his current Senate term but won’t run for either of those offices, seemingly ending his career in elected office, at least for now. A formal announcement is expected Monday.

Toomey’s office on Sunday neither confirmed nor denied the senator’s plans. The people familiar with his plans spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

As the only Republican holding statewide office other than judges, Toomey was widely seen as the likely Republican favorite for governor in 2022. His decision not to run for that office or for Senate could create two wide open contests on the Republican side, while depriving the party of running its most established current political figure in Pennsylvania.”

— excerpted from the Philadelphia Inquirer article titled “Sen. Pat Toomey won’t run for reelection or for Pennsylvania governor, sources say

Fitzpatrick Quote of the Week

Courtesy of contributor CC 

“The Problem Solvers Caucus is one of the reasons I’m in Congress. Sometimes one person or one decision can completely alter the course of an organization. This is especially true for an organization like the Problem Solvers, where you have this balance of 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans who are under assault from the fringes, both the far right and the far left.It’s hard to do, but Tom has done a masterful job.

Everything that Ripon stands for is what Tom and I believe. We believe in pragmatism. We believe in stability. We believe in listening more than lecturing. We believe that we should never allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good.That’s what our Caucus is about. That’s what Ripon is about. And so it’s an honor to be with you here today…

…I think it will take leaders like Tom and myself — particularly those of us who have a law enforcement background — to go to our law enforcement community and have them step up and lead on the issue of police reform, because there are things that need to be done. 

Techniques need to be revisited — things like chokeholds, no-knock warrants, and having a robust database that cross checks police departments across the country to make sure that if somebody has a series of complaints filed against them, that the next police department that he or she goes to work for is not blind to those allegations. The area of qualified immunity also needs to be reformed. But it can’t be abolished because if you abolish qualified immunity, you won’t be able to recruit any new officers and you won’t be able to retain the ones you have if they’re put at that personal exposure every day for doing their jobs.”

— excerpts from a speech given to the Ropn Society, as reported in a blog post on the Ripon Advance titled “Reed & Fitzpatrick Tout Efforts of Problem Solvers to Find Common Ground” 

Call to Action – TELL Toomey

Friday 10/9: Digital Rally #TellToomey

We’re determined to tell Senator Toomey exactly how we feel about the Senate ramming a Supreme Court nominee with only six weeks to go before the Presidential Election. We can only do this with your help!

JOIN US on Facebook and Twitter on Friday, October 9, from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM ET


  1. Write “Tell Toomey” on a piece of paper. The darker and more clearly you can write it, the better. 
  2. Between 8PM and 9PM ET on October 9, tweet your picture using the hashtag #TellToomey


  1. Post the picture as a comment on your resistance group’s Facebook page.​


  • ​Search for #TellToomey on Twitter and reply to and/or retweet other content you see that you agree with. 
  • ​The more traffic and interactions we get using the hashtag, the greater the chance of getting wider attention! 
  • Tag Senator Toomey in your tweets so his staff can see your message. (@SenToomey)

What is a digital rally?

​We are going to take the pictures that you all share with us via social media to create a composite collage.  That group shot will be shared to media outlets along with our press release to show just how many folks turned out to express their outrage that the Senate GOP would dare to shove through a Supreme Court confirmation when Americans are already casting their ballots, especially in light of the position they took 9 months before the 2016 presidential election.

​We hope this example of digital, collaborative action in the age of social distancing will be a model for future events.

This report is brought to you by the Pennsylvania  MoCTrack team… 

CC Linda Houk

Elayne Baker Susan Vogel

Gary Garb Kierstyn Piotrowski Zolfo

We can always use extra help at MoCTrack. But our candidates need your help more than we do right now. If you would like to be connected to call-banking or post-carding efforts in swing districts where your help would go the farthest, please email and put “volunteer campaign connect” in the subject. I’ll let you know what campaign volunteering I’m up to this week in case you want to join me! Thanks!

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