Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) will serve as the de facto Tea Party voice on Congress’s “supercommittee” following his surprise appointment to the deficit-reduction panel.

The freshman senator has taken on an outsized role in Congress since being sworn into office eight months ago, and now will serve as a conservative anchor to the panel charged with finding more than a trillion dollars in deficit cuts.

Toomey, however, emphasized the need for bipartisanship on the panel shortly after being named to it.

“This has to be done in a cooperative fashion,” he said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday. “It has to be an exercise in finding common ground.”

In fact, he touted his support for eliminating “indefensible” tax incentives for the ethanol industry as proof of bipartisan openings might may exist, especially when it comes to taxes.

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