The 2012 Legislative Session convened today at the State Capitol in Des Moines.  House Democrats vowed to work together with Republicans to help create good-paying jobs and grow Iowa’s middle class.

Here is the opening day speech from House Democratic Leader Kevin McCarthy:

Thank you Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, Ladies, and Gentleman of the House.

Welcome back to all the members. Mr. Speaker, over the last several years both in Iowa and nationally we have seen a deterioration in the civility of our political discourse. In our national congress, gridlock and partisanship have become the norm; because of this they seem incapable of coming together to solve our nation’s problems.

Here in Iowa last session, too often this chamber mirrored Congress. Because of the agenda that was pursued, Iowans were faced with week after week of partisan divisive debates on issues that tear at the very fabric of our society.

That’s the bad news, now for the good news. It doesn’t have to be that way here. We have shown time and time again that we can come together for the common good. We are Iowans. This year’s legislative session does not have to be a repeat of last year.

House Democrats are ready to turn the page; we are ready, willing and able to work in a bipartisan fashion to focus on the important issues before us. To the credit of the Republican leaders, the tone and rhetoric going into this session has been much more positive and House Democrats have enjoyed working with you this last interim on a series of important issues. Let’s continue that productive work as we begin this new session.

This session, House Democrats want to focus on creating jobs and working with the majority party in a bipartisan way. House Democrats are going to show up to work every day with a singular focus: standing up and fighting for those Iowans who work hard, play by the rules, and only ask to be treated fairly.

Mr. Speaker, Democrats are ready to go to work.

Thank you.