WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressmen Brian Mast (FL-18) released the following statement after the President’s address to a joint session of Congress:

“We live in an incredible country where we can all voice our concerns and play a role in the direction of the United States. Last week, I hosted a four-hour town hall meeting where I stayed to answer every question, and it’s clear that people are passionately engaged. Tonight, I was glad to hear a vision of bipartisanship to try to bridge differences that exist. While we may not agree on every issue, I do believe there is more that unites us than divides us, by far.

“I share a desire with all Americans to make our communities and our country safer. As a 12-year Army veteran injured fighting for a country I love, I know as well as any that our enemies in the Middle East literally want to destroy our way of life. Ensuring our military has the resources needed to protect our country and that our veterans have the resources they need when they return home are absolutely critical priorities in the President’s budget request.

“I also share a desire with all Americans to leave the next generation in a better place than we are now. For far too long, Washington has avoided the responsibility to set and live by a budget — a responsibility that families and small businesses are forced to take on every year. Tax-more, spend-more policies have seriously jeopardized our children’s future by driving our country deep into debt. We must work together, with Members on both sides of the aisle, to restore fiscal sanity in Washington—asking government to do more with less instead of asking the American people to do with less.

“Reducing our debt alone is not enough. Improving our country for our children’s generation also means working to improve our schools, protect our environment, strengthen Social Security and Medicare and more. I am deeply alarmed by reports of severe, across-the-board cuts to the EPA and other agencies that are critical to our quality of life in Florida. On behalf of our community, I will continue working to hold the Administration accountable for any actions that threaten our environment and our way of life.

“I’m committed to working with anyone who shares this positive vision for our country and who wants to make Washington work for the American people again. Together, we must put people before politics.”