Thursday, January 27, 2011

Obama's Appeal For Cooperation Could Yield Positive Congressional Results

In his State of the Union address this week, President Obama issued a strong appeal to lawmakers to move into a new era of cooperation. Echoing this sentiment, members of Congress sat side by side with colleagues from opposing parties, rather than their tradition of party divide on either aisle. In the same spirit, Congress and the president should join together to promote and preserve policies that serve children, youth and older adults mutually, because we're stronger together.

Obama addressed the fiscal challenges ahead and announced a 5-year freeze on domestic spending. But, he made clear his commitment to preserving protections to those who need it most my making sure we "are not doing on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens."

We applaud the president's challenge to find a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security, without putting at risk current retirees or people with disabilities and without slashing benefits for future generations. His call should not overlook the critical role Social Security also plays in the lives of 6.5 million children today that receive part of their family income from it.

Reiterating his commitment to education, the president noted in order to achieve innovation to produce jobs in America, then we must win the race to educate our children. We support early investments to provide every child with an opportunity to succeed.

The president's call for a review of government regulations presents an opportunity to reduce barriers and streamline efficiency. Not only will this facilitate better communication and partnerships between government agencies, it will create opportunities for the government to work together to identify ways in which communities can deliver critical services to all generations.

Finally, President Obama's openness to improvements in the Affordable Care Ace is laudable, as is his unwillingness to return to practices that allowed insurance companies to deny coverage to someone of any age because if a pre-existing condition. He affirmed making prescription drugs cheaper for senior citizens and giving uninsured students a chance to stay on their parents'coverage have been crucial facets of an important protection to families.

The president rightly declared "the future is ours to win." The path to that victory is paved with cooperation and intergenerational solutions to our nation's challenges. We urge Congress and the president to keep working together -- because we are stronger, together.

Rich Robinson is press secretary for Generations United. You can reach him directly at

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