U.S. Rep. Ron Barber this evening sat with his Republican colleague, Congressman Matt Salmon of Arizona, as he listened to the president's State of the Union speech.
Members of Congress began sitting with a colleague from across the political aisle two years ago at the 2011 State of the Union speech. At that time, it was a tribute to former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who had recently been shot and critically wounded.
Barber was honored to host the former congresswoman tonight as she returned to the House. Barber made the following statement following the State of the Union speech:
As our nation faces great challenges, I urge our leadership in the House, Senate and White House to come together and address head-on the extremely serious issues facing our country. The only way we can do this is together. We may not always agree, but we must always discuss and try to find common ground. This is what the American people sent us here to do.
Tonight, I sat with Congressman Matt Salmon from Arizona. Congressman Salmon and I may have our policy differences, but we can put our heads together with the other members of our state's delegation to work for the good of Arizonans.
We must work to put our fiscal house in order and find a long-term solution to sequestration. We cannot allow across-the-board indiscriminate cuts: cuts that will hurt our service men and women, civilian contractors and personnel, our Border Patrol agents as they keep our community safe and millions of seniors and families across our country -- cuts that will do nothing to put our country and economy back on track.
And we must work cooperatively to put more Americans back to work in meaningful jobs and careers, to secure our border and to reduce gun violence while protecting the Second Amendment.
Tonight we sat not as Republicans or Democrats but as Americans. That is how we now must work.