Now that the midterm elections are behind us, I want to thank my constituents for the continued opportunity to serve.
I first ran for office because I wanted to ensure that the country we pass on to our children is even better and stronger than the one we inherited. As the father of two young children, it is still what motivates me. But that intergenerational compact is at risk.
I understand how deeply people are hurting in this poor economy, as well as how many others are worried about our country's future. We will have to work hard to prepare our nation to compete and win in an increasingly global workplace.
We must confront the need to balance our budget and pay down our debt, issues that I have been focused on as a Blue Dog Coalition member since my first days in Congress. And, now that we are entering an era of divided government, it will be more important than ever to find bipartisan answers to the challenges we face.
I am optimistic that all of this can be done, and that our best days are yet ahead of us. It will require us to change our political discourse, to stop demonizing those who hold a contrary view, and to put the best interests of the nation ahead of all else.
The road ahead will be long and hard at times, but they say that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. So let us begin; and thank you again for your confidence.