(In his latest EC from DC report, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver offers his views on this week's presidential inauguration.)
The morning was breezy and very chilly in Washington. I have seen many crowded days in our nation’s capital, as tourists hustle from one revered monument to the next, but Inauguration is always something very special. And the 57th Inaugural ceremony was no different. This year, as my wife, Dianne, and I headed out to watch President Barack Obama take the oath of office for his second term, we couldn’t help but take a deep breath and let it all sink in.
Our nation has come a long way together in the last four years. We are ending wars and bringing our sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers home. Slowly, but surely, we are digging our way out of a tremendous economic slump. And there are signs that political leaders will reach across the aisle and work with one another.
But there is still much work to do. Our country hangs precariously on the edge of long-lasting, financial problems as the debt ceiling and sequestration remain issues that need immediate and responsible action. We need to continue to grow and sustain jobs so our economy keeps rebounding. We must pass a long-lasting, comprehensive farm bill so hardworking middle class families can stop worrying about whether Congress is truly working for them. The list goes on and on.
So, as the balloons took to the skies and the crowds began cheering – I silently lifted my eyes upward as well. My hope is that the next four years will be filled with civility, compassion and cooperation as we move forward together – as a nation