With the decision of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) to leave the chairmanship of the Senate Republican Steering Committee, freshman Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) — who was elected to succeed DeMint — will shortly assume the helm in September of the all-important ???ammunition depot??? for conservatives in the Senate.
Toomey, who is primarily known for his leadership on budget issues, last week unveiled a proposed budget that would be balanced in eight years and yield a surplus in ten. DeMint, who had been chairman for five years, is known for getting involved in contested primaries for the Senate and, in ???09, came under fire for endorsing then-challenger Toomey against then-GOP Sen. Arlen Specter (who switched parties a year later but then lost a primary for his seat, which Toomey won).
The same streak has been shown by Toomey, who recently endorsed fellow conservative ???fiscal hawk??? and former Rep. Mark Neumann for the Senate in Wisconsin over three other Republicans.