“As the President said tonight, our country faces a choice. We can move toward a stronger, fairer future for the middle class families who make our nation great. Or we can allow our nation to slide in the other direction, toward limited opportunity for the vast majority of families, more inequality, and a country left weaker for our children than the one we inherited from our parents.
“I agree with President Obama that the choice is clear. Fairness and opportunity for the middle class are American values that work, and they are worth fighting for.
“Tonight President Obama presented a strong vision for a government that works for middle class families and small business owners and helps lay down a solid foundation for long-term economic growth. I share this vision, and I am going to keep fighting in the Senate for policies that get workers back on the job, invest in our country again, and ensure that our tax policies are truly fair and don’t allow the wealthiest Americans to use loopholes and gimmicks to pay less of their fair share than struggling middle class workers.
“Too often the conversations here in Congress are dominated by Republicans who are focused above all else on cutting programs families depend on, eliminating supports for the middle class, and ending investments in the future of our great nation. These voices may be the loudest, but they don’t represent the view of the vast majority of Americans who understand that government investments have been a positive force in our nation’s proud history.
“Investments in roads, rails, education, training, and technology have helped our country’s businesses and workers dominate the global economy in the 20th century, and we need to continue these investments to make sure that American leadership continues into the 21st century and beyond. With countries in Asia and around the world pouring money into their own infrastructure and industries, we can’t afford to let our workers and economy fall behind.
“I am especially glad that President Obama emphasized the importance of making sure our students and workers are getting the skills and training they need to fill the jobs of the 21st century economy. This is going to be a critical part of our nation’s success, and I am going to keep working with the Administration and Congress to make sure businesses across the country can find the workers they need to expand and create jobs right here in America.
“In the weeks and months ahead I will stand with the President and Democrats in Congress as we continue to fight for policies that the middle class desperately needs. We are going to work to extend payroll tax cuts to the end of the year. We will oppose attempts to cut off unemployment insurance for millions of Americans who are fighting to get back on the job. We are going to fight to make sure the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations contribute their fair share. We are going to continue to honor the service of our veterans with the care and opportunities they deserve. And above all, we will continue working every day to invest in our future, get our economy back on track, and get our workers back on the job. I urge Republicans in Congress to put politics aside and join us.”