Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, issued the statement below following President Obama's State of the Union address to a Joint Session of Congress:
"Tonight, President Obama shared a bold vision for where America should be, and what needs to be done to get there. I agree with the President that America is only as strong as our middle class. In order for our middle class to grow and thrive, we must ensure that good jobs are created here at home, our workers have the skills needed to compete in a global economy, every child has access to top-notch education at every level, and that the fundamental American value of hard work still means something.
"But as the President made clear, we can't make the kind of investments our nation needs until we put an end to these so-called "fiscal cliffs' that jeopardize the health of our economy and make life uncertain for business owners and families alike. I agree with the President that we must put in place a plan that stops the devastating process known as sequestration and instead focuses on encouraging job growth, creating a more prosperous economy, and responsibly reducing the deficit.
"The President also highlighted the work before us to strengthen our nation. Fixing our broken immigration reform is not a want, but a must. I applaud President Obama for making comprehensive immigration reform a priority, and I look forward to working with him and my colleagues in Congress to move our country in the right direction toward improving our immigration system.
"I also join President Obama in calling for reasonable and responsible steps we can take now to keep our children and our communities safe from gun violence, because our fundamental duty as public servants is to protect the safety and well-being of our citizens.
"The President's message tonight was clear: the road ahead is not without challenges, but these are challenges worth facing. The time has come to put the politics behind us and instead work hand-in-hand, in a bipartisan way to build a stronger nation that gives every American the opportunity they deserve."