Second, Democrats are committed to building a solid foundation for our middle class and economic growth in the long term. That means making smart investments in our future. If Republicans continue to value debt-funded benefits for the best-off of us over shared growth for all, we’ll learn a great deal about their priorities.

Third and finally, Americans are correctly concerned about our long-term fiscal future. Democrats must show that we’re willing to make the hard choices it will take to return our country to the fiscal balance we enjoyed at the end of the Clinton administration. We will hold Republicans to their rhetoric on fiscal responsibility and insist that they act consistently with it.

All of us in this House are elected for a two-year term. But we must not pursue policies with nothing more than a two-year vision and a partisan, next-election mentality. The people expect more of us, and we must expect more of ourselves.