I'm pleased that with tonight's vote in the Senate, for the first time in years, both parties in both houses of Congress have come together to pass a budget. It's a budget that unwinds some of the damaging sequester cuts that have harmed students and seniors and acted as headwinds our businesses had to fight. It clears a path for critical investments in things like education and research that have always grown our economy and strengthened the middle class. And it will continue to reduce our deficits at a time when we've seen four of the fastest years of deficit reduction since the end of World War II.
All told, it's a good first step away from the shortsighted, crisis-driven decision-making that has only served to act as a drag on our economy. It helps chart our economic course for the next two years, which means that the American people won't be exposed to another painful and unwise government shutdown. But there is much more work to do to ensure our economy works for every working American. For one, Congress should pass an extension of unemployment insurance so more than a million Americans don't lose a vital lifeline as they fight to find a job. Today, Senators Reed and Heller introduced a bipartisan solution that would prevent a lapse in benefits that would hurt these families and deal an unnecessary blow to our economy, and I urge Congress to act.
I thank Democratic and Republican leaders from the House and Senate who have worked hard to get this budget done and look forward to the Congress sending me bills that fund our government and refrain from fighting old ideological battles. And I hope this spirit of cooperation will continue into the New Year as we work to restore opportunity and broad-based growth for every American.