Toomey: ‘No regrets’ on gun control effort

April 18, 2013
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) says he has "no regrets" about his effort to forge a compromise on background checks for gun purchases, but also says he's ready to move on to other issues.

"I did the best I could. I wish it had passed, but the Senate has spoken and these things happen," Toomey told the Allentown Morning Call. "It's always worth it to do the right thing. … No regrets."

Toomey suggested, though, that he's done with pushing for the compromise, saying he will return to his bread and butter issue -- the economy.

"We have a lot of other issues we have to deal with," Toomey said. "Chief among them is getting our fiscal house in order. I'll be getting back to that."

The comments echo Toomey's official statement from Wednesday.

"My only regret is that our amendment did not pass. It’s not the outcome I hoped for, but the Senate has spoken on the subject, and it’s time to move on," Toomey said. "We have a lot of other very important issues to deal with such as getting the economy back on track, dealing with the debt ceiling and creating more jobs for Pennsylvanians.”

Toomey wound up as one of just four Republicans to vote for the amendment. The others were Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Susan Collins (Maine) and Mark Kirk (Ill.). Four red-state Democrats also voted against it, as it fell shy of the 60 votes required for passage.

It remains to be seen whether Toomey will face electoral consequences for his effort. The former head of the fiscally conservative Club for Growth once funded primary challenges against insufficiently conservative Republican incumbents and twice challenged moderate GOP Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) in a primary -- the latter time forcing Specter to switch parties. Toomey is up for reelection in 2016.

Here's the full story from the Morning Call's Colby Itkowitz.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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Aaron Blake | April 18, 2013