Vote for Toomey fits the needs of region, country

Control of the U.S. Senate may be determined by the outcome of the Pennsylvania Senate race between Republican incumbent Pat Toomey and Democrat challenger Katie McGinty. With stakes that high and this being 2016, the campaign for the seat has been expensive – $34 million spent by the two camps at last count – and often ugly. But there is a clear, objective decision available to voters if they care to simply evaluate the candidates based on where they stand on the key issues. On health care, for instance, McGinty supports Obamacare, a program that appears to be unraveling. Just this past week, astronomical rate increases that no Pennsylvanian can afford were announced. Rather than stick with the faulty premises behind the program, Toomey would replace Obamacare with measures that empower patients and doctors and increase competition and portability. Regarding the Middle East, McGinty supports the Obama administration’s nuclear accord with Iran. Toomey would support a strategy to destroy ISIS and renew harsh sanctions on Iran to force that country to give up its nuclear ambitions. McGinty supports a $15-an-hour minimum wage that would be a disaster for small businesses and increase unemployment in the state. Such a minimum wage increase would be particularly damaging in Lycoming County, where unemployment already is at 7 percent. The differences in the two candidates regarding energy policy also would dramatically impact our region. The gas industry remains a major driver of the economy in our area and Toomey’s reasoned approach to regulations regarding that industry makes sense. McGinty’s over-the-top approach with environmental regulations would negatively impact the gas industry in our area as well as the coal industry here and throughout the state. Regarding immigration, Toomey wants to strengthen the borders and modernize the legal paths to citizenship. He would ban federal funding of sanctuary cities. McGinty would establish a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants and opposes the ban on funding for sanctuary cities. Toomey opposes late-term abortion except in cases of rape, incest and life-saving situations for the mother. He would halt federal funding of Planned Parenthood. McGinty supports abortion on demand and federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Toomey has voted to require background checks for online gun sales and purchases at gun shows and has joined with some Democrats on moderate gun reforms. McGinty supports sweeping gun restrictions, including tough laws on concealed carry licenses or permits. McGinty opposes diversion of Social Security payroll taxes into privately managed investment accounts. Toomey would support giving younger workers that options. McGinty opposes raising the Social Security retirement age, while Toomey believes that issues has to be on the table to save the program although he would not apply it to people nearing retirement age. In our view, the scorecard on issues reveals that McGinty would represent much of the agenda that has the country in a mess as this election day looms. Toomey’s agenda reflects a common sense approach that would be especially helpful in solving the problems surrounding health care, the Middle East and immigration. We would heartily recommend Pennsylvania voters pull the lever for Toomey in a race that may well determine which party controls the U.S. Senate in 2017.

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