On President Barack Obama's Address to a Joint Session of Congress

Tonight President Obama offered a frank assessment of the challenges facing our country and a path to get America on the right track. His outstanding speech to a Joint Session of Congress — serious, but full of hope and optimism — offered a profoundly New Direction from the one that resulted in the economic crisis and stunning deficits of today.

President Obama understands the needs of the American people and the economy and that we first have to get out of the recession and get our economy growing. He has already worked with Congress to create and save millions of jobs with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Now as we move forward to further strengthen the economy, it is essential that we make key investments to expand access and make health care more affordable, make America energy independent, and ensure a strong education for all children. These investments will help make certain America is a world leader for generations to come.

President Obama also understands that tough choices must be made and that a new era of fiscal responsibility, transparency and accountability must be the order of the day. That is why he has committed to responsible budgeting that will reduce the deficit by half over the next four years and put our fiscal house back in order. I have offered the President the full commitment that Congress will work with him to achieve those goals.

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