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Sen. Casey Sworn In For 2nd Term

In a statement issued earlier this week, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) said he is "optimistic about 2013."

Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) was sworn in for his second term Thursday in Washington, D.C.

In a statement issued earlier this week, Casey said he's optimistic about 2013.

"My top priority in the coming year is to build on the economic progress so far — helping to create jobs, reduce the deficit and strengthen the economy," he said.

Watch the video above to see Casey take the Oath of Office.

Casey's full Dec. 28 statement is below.

I'm optimistic about 2013. More and more families are getting back on their feet after the Great Recession. My top priority in the coming year is to build on the economic progress so far — helping to create jobs, reduce the deficit and strengthen the economy.

We have to stay focused on creating jobs. Even with recent job gains — the economy has added private-sector jobs for 33 consecutive months — too many people are still hurting. More than half a million workers remain unemployed in the commonwealth. And four out of 10 unemployed workers across the country have been jobless for six months or longer. More needs to be done to boost job creation.

We have to stay focused on creating jobs. Even with recent job gains — the economy has added private-sector jobs for 33 consecutive months — too many people are still hurting. More than half a million workers remain unemployed in the commonwealth. And four out of 10 unemployed workers across the country have been jobless for six months or longer. More needs to be done to boost job creation.

As we prepare for a new year, it's a good time to consider where Washington should put its focus in the year ahead. Overall, Congress needs to cut more spending and generate more revenue. And we need to do it in a smart way that keeps our economy growing. I'm confident that we will achieve that. But, as we bring down the deficit, we must continue to grow the economy.

To continue to strengthen the economy, I'm going to concentrate on five priorities:

  • First, we need to ensure that middle-income families do not face a tax increase in 2013.
  • Second, it's important that we provide small businesses with new incentives to create jobs. Earlier this month, I introduced legislation that would provide small businesses with tax credits for hiring new workers or increasing wages. The tax credit lowers the cost to the firm of hiring a new worker or giving an existing worker a raise. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has reported that this kind of proposal is one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to boost employment and increase economic growth.
  • Third, we must pursue a broad range of policies to continue to strengthen U.S. manufacturing. Manufacturing is at the heart of U.S. competitiveness, providing good, high-paying jobs and supporting employment across the economy. In the past two years, the United States has added nearly 400,000 manufacturing jobs, recovering some of the positions lost during the Great Recession.

    To ensure that U.S. manufacturing remains globally competitive, Washington will need to strengthen the education and training of our workers, crack down on China's currency manipulation and unfair trading practices that cost Pennsylvanians jobs, and invest in our nation's roads, rails, ports and other transportation infrastructure. A comprehensive, long-term strategy is needed to ensure that U.S. manufacturing continues to be the best in the world.
  • Fourth, we need to support innovative, high-growth sectors of the economy, such as the life sciences industry. Pennsylvania is a leader in biosciences. Research and development that leads to new drugs, medical devices and surgical equipment can dramatically improve and lengthen people's lives. We should do more to offer incentives for this R&D. I'm going to continue to push my bipartisan legislation that doubles the R&D tax credit on the first $150 million of R&D in life sciences, enabling small and mid-sized businesses to grow and create jobs.
  • Fifth, our future depends on how well we prepare our children for success. It is imperative that we ensure our children have access to early learning opportunities, nutritious meals and high-quality affordable health care. If children learn more, they earn more when they are our nation's workforce.

Those are some of my legislative priorities for the upcoming year. Of course, there are many other areas where I'll continue to fight for Pennsylvania's interests — helping families and businesses recover from Hurricane Sandy; working to ensure that Social Security remains solvent for current and future generations; and helping our nation's veterans, who have sacrificed so much for our country, transition to civilian life.

On each of these priorities, I look forward to working with Republicans and Democrats. Working in a bipartisan manner to get results for Pennsylvania has been and will continue to be my top priority in the Senate. I'm optimistic that we're going to see more cooperation and problem solving and less partisan bickering in the year ahead.

As we conclude the holiday season and turn our attention to 2013, this is a natural time for reflection, a time to be thankful for the many blessings in our lives and to be supportive of those who continue to face significant challenges. We made progress in 2012. Let's keep it going in 2013.

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