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“Tonight the President laid out a robust agenda for continuing to build a more secure middle class and an economy that provides opportunity for everyone. He described how by investing in manufacturing, our infrastructure, new and cleaner forms of energy, our schools, and the skills of our workers we can create the economic growth needed to put Americans to work and reduce our deficit responsibly.

“The President also spoke about the core American ideals of compassion and opportunity that will be so important as we tackle issues that should unite us, like finally passing comprehensive immigration reform. And the President delivered welcome news that more of our troops will be coming home in the coming year. As they do, it is going to be critical that the Pentagon and the VA do more to work together to give these brave men and women access to health care, employment opportunities, and the benefits they have earned to help ease their transition back into civilian life.

“On the tough fiscal battles ahead, the President repeatedly stressed the key principle that will be required for us to make progress: balance. He made it clear that while we absolutely need to tackle our deficit and debt responsibly, the number one priority right now needs to be protecting our fragile economic recovery and creating strong middle-class jobs. This means we need to move quickly to replace the automatic and damaging cuts from sequestration with a balanced mix of responsible spending cuts and new revenue from the wealthiest Americans. And it means that any budget plan we put forward needs to be fair and not call on seniors, our men and women in uniform, and our most vulnerable to bear the burden of deficit reduction alone.

“Families in Washington state and across the nation are hungry for bold solutions to the challenges they see their families and neighbors confront each day. Tonight the President spoke directly to them and reassured them that their daily struggles will continue to drive his agenda. In the months ahead I will be doing the same by laying out a pro-growth budget that that puts jobs and the middle class first, tackles the debt and deficit responsibly, calls on the wealthy to pay their fair share, works for seniors and families, and lays down a strong foundation for long-term and broad-based economic growth.”