As a result, everyday we find our country slipping further and further away from the America that built the strongest middle class in the world and laid the foundation for a generation of innovation. As the president noted, we indeed find ourselves in a break it or make it moment. We can choose to continue to entrench ourselves in partisan fights, and get nothing done; Or we can clear off the partisan line that has divided us and derailed progress. The president laid out this choice and a path forward to securing a strong middle class and reinforcing our American values.

Of particular importance to my district, and California, the president addressed a fundamental problem that has devastated the lives of millions of families and the economies of many of local communities. California suffers from a foreclosure rate that is twice the national average, and has left families out of their home and without their life investment. Many of these people played by the rules, followed the advice of their banks, and were led to believe they were doing all the right things. But in turn, their homes were foreclosed and their future left in uncertainty.

In an action that will please millions of families, I applaud the president for directing Attorney General Eric HolderEric H. HolderVoting advocates notch win at Supreme Court Flynn refusal sets up potential subpoena showdown House votes to expand death penalty for police killings MORE to create a special unit of federal prosecutors to expand investigations into abusive practices by lenders. I also look forward to hearing more on the president’s plan to reduce monthly mortgage payments for homeowners, which will give them a chance to stay in their homes.

On the critical issue of jobs, I am encouraged by the president’s agenda to provide American workers with the skills they need to succeed in a 21st century economy, and to stop the practice of rewarding companies that ship jobs overseas. While the President’s actions in the last three years have helped small businesses create 3.2 million jobs and stimulate growth, it is clear more needs to done.

I know that in the next few weeks we will continue to debate the merits and intentions of the President’s plan and vision. But as we do so, it is important we do not lose focus on the real priority—getting our country back on track and working for all Americans. 

We have a tough road ahead of us to get there, one in which we must confront questions of fairness and values—and results that will ultimately define the country we leave for our children and grandchildren. Ahead of us are also clear choices—we can continue to wage partisan attacks or we can unite for the common cause of creating a better tomorrow.

The bottom line is that unemployment does not distinguish between Democrats and Republicans. Foreclosures do not target conservatives or liberals. And the fallout of a reckless Wall Street equally destroyed the savings and investments of Americans along every shade of the political spectrum. These monumental challenges facing everyday Americans have not developed along party lines, therefore there is no reason why Congress should.  

In the next few weeks, I look forward to engaging in debate that bears results and progress. This is the expectation from the American people, and should be the expectation of every single member of Congress. 

Rep. Sam FarrSam FarrMedical marijuana supporters hopeful about government funding bill Marijuana advocates to give away free joints on Capitol Hill DEA decision against reclassifying marijuana ignores public opinion MORE is a Democratic congressman from California.