The holidays are approaching and people across the country are looking toward the New Year; we want all Americans to do so with optimism. Democrats are committed to reigniting the American dream by building ladders of opportunity and tearing down barriers to success for anyone willing to work hard, play by the rules, and take responsibility. We know that fairness, prosperity, and opportunity are values for all Americans. As President Obama has said: "We are greater together -- when everyone engages in fair play, everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share." At kitchen tables across the country, families are making difficult choices: "Can we buy toys for our children during the holidays and still afford to pay the bills in January?" "Can we put gas in the car and still afford to put food on the table?" Congress can take action to help these families today by making a firm promise: we will not go home for the holidays without extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits. These measures put money in the pockets of working families; they create jobs and spur our economic growth; they strengthen the middle class. Republicans should join Democrats at the table to get the job done.