In a recent editorial, this paper said Rep. Mike Michaud and I should “get on board” with a tax deal worked out between President Obama and Republican leaders (Dec. 12).

This approach seems to value compromise over standing up for what is best for Maine families and the American economy. The truth is that Democrats in Congress (including me) have fought hard for and passed a tax deal that helps middle-class Americans and promotes economic growth.

Unfortunately, as the recent editorial acknowledged, Republicans in the Senate have blocked those efforts. Last week, more than 500 Maine people contacted me about this tax deal, most of them urging me to vote against it. I just can’t imagine saying to those people, “Sorry, but the Republican minority doesn’t agree with you and I should really do what they say.”

Late last month, in an column appearing on these pages, I laid out what I believe is a better way forward: a tax break on the first $250,000 of income for all Americans and an extension of unemployment benefits for those still struggling to find work.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office agrees it’s the best thing for the economy, and a majority of Americans don’t think we should be giving the rich an additional tax break. And these proposals (which Democrats passed in the House) don’t add $900 billion to the deficit, like tax breaks for the rich do.

I’ve learned that I will sometimes be criticized because I won’t “get on board” — but I honestly believe I wasn’t elected to go along just to get along, and I will always stand up for my principles and what is best for the people of Maine.