- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A rising tide lifts all boats in politics. Republicans in Congress hope a successful Romney campaign will help the Grand Old Party keep the House and take the Senate. They’re doing what they can to make sure that happens.

House Speaker John A. Boehner has been strategically scheduling legislation that illuminates the differences between the two presidential candidates. The House will vote this week to disapprove the Obama administration’s move to eliminate the work requirement for welfare recipients — a winning issue for Republicans in this election. It will also consider the Stop the War on Coal Act aimed at voters in vital swing states of Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Mr. Boehner is keeping the focus on the economy by bringing more than 30 job-related bills to the floor, all of which have been blocked by the Democratic Senate. The Ohio Republican put the president’s budget up for a vote, demonstrating President Obama’s inability to convince a single Democrat to support his proposal to raise taxes and increase the debt without addressing entitlements. Votes on repealing Obamacare show how much support will be there should Mr. Romney move into the Oval Office.

House and Senate members have filled in for Mr. Romney at events across the country. “Our congressional surrogates help the campaign by traveling to swing states to lay out the stark choice facing voters between President Obama’s failed policies and Gov. Romney’s plan to strengthen the middle class,” explained campaign spokesman Ryan Williams. “Surrogates help to activate and energize our volunteer networks in key states and attract the local press to these events to promote a message of economic opportunity and fiscal responsibility.”

On Tuesday, Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, a young mother who appeals to female voters, was in Pennsylvania generating enthusiasm for Mr. Romney. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida was in Ohio Monday to hold a rally to coincide with Mr. Obama’s events in the Buckeye State. Other frequent stand-ins include Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington.

These events are meant to boost turnout in their home states for Mr. Romney. “Many of our congressional campaigns - including Boehner’s — have also been very active in helping mobilize millions of voters for the GOP ticket back in their districts,” said Mr. Boehner’s political spokesman Cory Fritz. “In states like Ohio where we’re anticipating a close race, our ground-game efforts will make a big difference on Nov. 6.” Mr. Fritz said that by this weekend, the GOP’s Ohio Victory team, which the congressional delegation has all supported, expects to exceed 3.5 million voter contacts.

With polls showing the race between Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama remains tight, GOP unity is critical. House and Senate Republicans are showing how important it is to them to have someone in the White House who will finally sign the legislation they’ve proposed to put Uncle Sam on a fiscal diet.

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.