In it, but not of it. TPM DC

PA Sen.-Elect Pat Toomey Squirms When Grilled On Coming Debt Vote (VIDEO)

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"When you were a member of Congress you had to deal with this during your six years. Can you -- do you feel as if you've got a way to vote against this and still make sure the government doesn't shut down?" Pat Toomey (R-PA) was asked on MSNBC.

Toomey demurred, "Let's see the context that we're that in at the time the vote comes. I think we've got to get very serious about getting this budget under control. We've got to do it in a context of expanding growth. We can not continue running one-and-a-half trillion deficits....We can't be defaulting on existing debt either. It's time we got serious about this. We have to look at all these pieces when we approach this question."

When pressed, he still wouldn't take a position.

"I want to see where we are when the vote comes and what the context is and what we've been able to -- what kind of progress we've made on the budget. Let's look at where we are then."

Keep an eye on this. It will be the first big flashpoint next Congress, and the first real opportunity for Republicans, if they want, to shutdown the government.