On Wednesday, the 19-member Congressional Joint Economic Committee panel met to discuss long-term unemployment. Just four members of the panel decided to show up. As ThinkProgress notes, “perhaps the poor attendance at a hearing dealing with unemployment shouldn’t be a surprise, given the general lack of focus from members of Congress on unemployment since the end of the recession.”
While most members couldn’t find time to attend a hearing on jobs for everyday people, at least one Joint Committee member found time Wednesday to fundraise to keep his own.
According to the Sunlight Foundation’s Political Party Time website, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) was scheduled to attend a dinner fundraiser Wednesday night at Acqua Al 2, an Italian restaurant just blocks from Capitol Hill. Tickets for the fundraiser range from $500 for individuals to $2,000 for co-hosts.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, “for workers whose [unemployment compensation] benefit year begins on or after January 6, 2013, the maximum weekly benefit rate will be $573 per week," just a little more than the lowest ticket price to buy some time with the Senator.
Sen. Toomey isn't up for re-election until 2016.