U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand issued the following statement tonight after President Obama delivered his State of the Union address:
"In his second inaugural address from the Capitol steps last month, President Obama gave an inspiring speech laying out his vision for moving our nation forward based on our founding principles of equality, fairness and opportunity for every single American. Tonight, the President presented a clear plan to lead us there that Congress must take action on, starting with focusing on middle class families who are finding it harder and harder to get by.
"For too long, Congress has let the smallness of its politics keep us from solving our greatest challenges -- all at the expense of middle class families and small businesses. I am hopeful that with a fresh start, we can leave the partisan gridlock and gamesmanship behind us, build consensus around the common, core values that unite us, and do our part to help create new jobs.
"America is home to the brightest minds and hardest workers, everything it takes to grow our economy and compete in the global marketplace. It's time now to produce the will to harness our full potential. When we do, nothing can stop us from equipping our children with the education to lead us in the new economy, sparking new innovation and stamping more products with the words "Made in America,' all while ending the scourge of gun violence and finishing the journey to full equality, justice and fairness for everyone pursuing the American Dream.
"Tonight, the President called on Congress to act on bipartisan common sense ideas and for the American people to hold us accountable. It is clear the American people are demanding action on a balanced approach to the economy and putting the middle class first. They are demanding action on finally moving forward with common sense legislation to reduce gun violence, create a new accountable immigration system with an earned path to citizenship and a commitment to clean energy. These should not be Democratic or Republican ideas, they are simply the right ideas, and I look forward to working with my colleagues across the aisle in the weeks and months ahead."