But as a sign that divisions still remain, three of the most conservative Supreme Court justices skipped Obama's speech. Six of the nine attended. Missing were Justices Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito.
Jobs and growth dominated Obama's address. Many elements of his economic blueprint were repacked proposals from his first term that failed to gain traction on Capitol Hill.
The president implored lawmakers to break through partisan logjams, asserting that "the greatest nation on Earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next."
"Americans don't expect government to solve every problem," he said. "They do expect us to forge reasonable compromise where we can."
Yet Obama offered few signs of being willing to compromise himself, instead doubling down on his calls to create jobs by spending more government money and insisting that lawmakers pay down the deficit through a combination of targeted spending cuts and tax increases.
Tsongas thought that the President outlined a clear path forward for the nation, shaped by both parties.
"Our nation’s prosperity rests in the hands of bipartisan, commonsense solutions that expand the rights of all people, strengthen our national security and support a thriving middle class," she said.
“By leveraging the highly skilled workforce, advanced technological companies and institutions that are unique to our region, the Massachusetts Third District is well-positioned to put that plan into action," she said. "State-of-the art technology and education centers are showcasing our region’s bright minds and vast resources, and can be a model for America’s growth in cutting-edge industries."
Republicans are ardently opposed to Obama's calls for legislating more tax revenue to reduce the deficit and offset broad the automatic spending cuts — known as the sequester — that are to take effect March 1. The president accused GOP lawmakers of shifting the cuts from defense to programs that would help the middle class and elderly, as well as those supporting education and job training.