Before returning to public service, Sen. Patrick Toomey spent four years as the president of the ultra-conservative Club for Growth, giving him serious pro-business, anti-tax credentials that will make him a formidable force on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.
Toomey grew up in a working class family in East Providence, R.I., the third of six children. In the early 1990s, he moved to Allentown, Pa., where he started a restaurant chain called Rookie’s with his two brothers.
In 1998, Toomey won the open seat in Pennsylvania's 15th Congressional District. During his House career, Toomey positioned himself as an expert in budget and banking matters. His commitment to limited government and pro-economic growth policies earned him plaudits from Citizens Against Government Waste, Americans for Tax Reform and the National Taxpayers Union. Toomey voluntarily retired in 2004 after three terms in the House, where he racked up one of the most conservative voting records.
In 2005, Toomey took the helm of the Club for Growth. The group condemned the federal government interventions after the 2008 market crash, including the $700 billion bank bailout. “Instead of launching the largest government bailout since the Great Depression,” said Toomey, “the government should be implementing policies to stimulate the economy. These include, at a minimum, cutting the tax on capital gains [and] cutting corporate taxes.”
During his time at its head, the Club was known for running conservative challengers to moderate Republicans in Congress in an attempt to force them to move right — or be replaced.