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Toomey named to powerful Senate Finance Committee

| Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

On the powerful Senate committee that oversees taxation, trade and certain health programs, Sen. Pat Toomey hopes to bring about reform.

Assigned on Thursday to the Senate Finance Committee, the former investment banker said he intends to work to reform the federal tax code and make entitlement programs sustainable for the long term.

That will help tackle the nation's most pressing challenge, he said — “that is, getting our fiscal house in order through reforming these programs.”

“I am just so thrilled,” said Toomey, 51, a Lehigh Valley Republican. “This is good news for Pennsylvania because it makes certain that our state is represented on one of the most important committees in Congress.”

Toomey and Ohio Republican Rob Portman are two freshmen placed on the committee. Toomey gave up his Commerce Committee seat but remains on the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Budget Committee and Joint Economic Committee.

The finance panel deals with taxes, trade and health programs under the Social Security Act, including Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.

“This is an opportunity to take on deficits, working with other members of both sides of the aisle,” Toomey said.

Salena Zito is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at szito@tribweb.com.

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