Senator Arlen Specter is stopping the Senate’s business dead in its tracks today so he can leave early to hold a fundraiser for his Senate campaign (CQ Politics, 09/13/09).
This announcement comes on the heels of a new report by the Congressional Oversight Panel that says taxpayers will probably never see the $81.1 billion they were forced to spend bailing out the auto companies. Specter voted in favor of the auto bailouts (Roll Call #215, 12/11/08). Additionally, the panel concluded that Americans were “left in the dark” about the specific details of the decision to bail out the auto companies on the backs of taxpayers (Congressional Oversight Panel, 09/09/09).
The question is: Why is Senator Specter putting his own political career ahead of taxpayers needs? He supported the auto bailouts back in December. Now, he should be fighting to end the bailouts instead of shutting the Senate down to hold a fundraiser.
Pat Toomey’s campaign Communications Director Nachama Soloveichik had this to say: “For someone who has been in Washington for thirty years, stopping the Senate to hold a fundraiser might seem perfectly normal. But for Pennsylvania taxpayers who are footing the bill for Specter’s $81 billion auto bailout and unprecedented debt, it’s a slap in the face. If Arlen Specter spent nearly as much time fighting for taxpayers as he does fighting for reelection, our economy might not be in such bad shape.”