While Republicans have now proposed a two week extension to keep the government open, we must stay focused on reaching a compromise to fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year. Republicans must abandon the extreme and arbitrary cuts they called for in their spending bill that passed the House last week, and move closer to Democrats’ position of cutting spending in a smart, targeted way. I have talked to members of the Republican leadership, and I am hopeful we can resolve our differences on a long-term measure quickly so that we are not forced to continue funding the government in disruptive two-week increments that undermine efficiency. We need to seriously discuss how we can cut spending and invest in our nation’s future, and ensure that we continue the services which are essential to the American people and our economy. If we are going to get a handle on our nation’s deficit, we cannot continue to focus on a small portion of the budget. I hope Republicans will work with us to responsibly reduce the deficit and invest in the future of our economy.