Sen. Pat Toomey has been elected to succeed Sen. Jim DeMint as chairman of the Senate Steering Committee and is set to assume his new role in September.
Chairing the Steering Committee, a caucus of conservative Senate Republicans that also includes centrists, should be a natural fit for Toomey. The Pennsylvania Republican is the former president of the Club for Growth, a conservative activist group that champions free-market policies. DeMint, a tea party favorite from South Carolina, has led Steering since 2006 and could be preparing to take over as the top Republican on the Commerce Committee in the next Congress.
“I’m honored to lead the historic Steering Committee,” Toomey said in a statement released today. “It is a privilege to be entrusted with this position. Sen. DeMint has been a courageous leader, and I look forward to building on the great work he has done.”
“Sen. Pat Toomey is a proven and trusted conservative, and I’m very glad he’s taking on this new role,” DeMint added. “I’ve fought hard over the last few years to help elect new conservatives to the Senate, and it’s very rewarding to see them step into positions of leadership.”
DeMint endorsed Toomey’s 2010 Senate candidacy early in 2009, before then-Sen. Arlen Specter’s (Pa.) decision to leave the Republican Party and become a Democrat. Previous Steering Committee chairmen include Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Senate Budget ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.