- - Wednesday, August 29, 2012

As our nation enters the final two months of another spirited election, Republican Senate candidates are on offense in states Democrats won in 2006. A record of broken promises coupled with an unprecedented attempt to push through an extreme liberal agenda has put Democrats in the unenviable position of being forced to play defense and facing daunting odds in areas where just a few short years ago they cruised to victory.

Democrats including Jon Tester of Montana, Bill Nelson of Florida and Sherrod Brown of Ohio find themselves on defense because they promised to be independent voices for their constituents while committing to support a balanced approach to managing our country’s finances. Instead, they have amassed voting records that consistently side with President Obama and his far-left agenda, which includes passing a $800-plus billion stimulus program that has not helped our economy create the jobs Americans desperately need. The stimulus was found to be filled with unnecessary and wasteful spending that simply helped feed the appetites of spend-hungry lawmakers.

Senate Democrats also are struggling to explain why they have endorsed harmful environmental regulations that are hurting our nation’s energy producers. From the infamous cap-and-trade legislation to new Environmental Protection Agency rules to killing the Keystone XL pipeline, they have allowed this administration to run roughshod over businesses seeking to help lessen our dependence on foreign oil.

Perhaps the biggest question for Senate Democrats today is why they provided key votes to ram through a government takeover of our health care system. Before forcing Obamacare through Congress, Senate Democrats promised it would help lower health care costs, reduce the deficit and ease the burden on working families. Independent experts say Obamacare will increase the cost of health care by thousands of dollars per family and is slated to cost more than $1 trillion. This summer, the Supreme Court labeled it a massive tax on the American people.

Obamacare is also a job killer. Last month, Cook Medical Inc. announced it is halting plans to build five new manufacturing plants during the next five years because of the medical-device tax hidden in the bill.

Republicans also are leading the fight over Obamacare and how it single-handedly cut $716 billion from Medicare. For example, as the debate over Obamacare took place, Mr. Nelson acknowledged that these massive cuts were included in the legislation, yet, when the time came, Mr. Nelson sided with Mr. Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and voted for the government takeover of our health care system along with those devastating Medicare cuts.

Senate Republicans are not simply on offense because of bad public policy coming from Democrats. Republicans are taking their alternative measures to the people — alternative measures that would help reduce our deficit, lower taxes and get our economy moving in the right direction.

Republicans have fought hard for a new path forward but continue to face an out-of-control Democratic majority stymieing any and all Republican alternatives at every turn.

When Republican leaders offered a constitutional amendment that would cut and cap spending in our country in order to put us on a more sustainable economic path, Senate Democrats killed it.

When Republicans offered plans to stop the burdensome regulations, Democrats stopped us in our tracks.

When Republicans fought to overturn Obamacare and replace it with sensible market-based solutions, Democrats refused.

As our unemployment rate consistently has hovered above 8 percent for 42 straight months, it’s easy to understand why voters have become disillusioned with Senate Democrats who, rather than focusing on job creation, have spent their time forcing through a big-government agenda.

Their failure to address job creation, coupled with an inability to work across party lines, is exactly why Senate Republicans are on offense and why Democrats are playing defense, spending millions of dollars in at least nine states they control.

The next two months will be filled with much back-and-forth between the two major political parties, and as part of their defensive maneuvering, Democrats will work feverishly to distract the American people from their failure to get our economy moving.

Unfortunately for them, voters know who has been driving this ship for the past four years, and they understand that if we are to create jobs and secure a brighter future for our nation, it’s time to put Republicans in charge of the U.S. Senate.

Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, is chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

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