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Big news: Yesterday a deal finally emerged that would end the government shutdown and stop the U.S. from hitting the debt ceiling. This is a victory that MoveOn members helped create.
But it’s a victory that comes at an enormous cost to America. Tea Party Republicans came within just 24 hours of defaulting on our national debt for the first time in U.S. history. They made our government look dysfunctional to the rest of the world, and brought us to the verge of wreaking havoc on the global economy.
Over the past two weeks, MoveOn members have worked tirelessly to get our government working again. There’s certainly still more to do—the deal makes it clear that we’ll have to go on offense soon to protect Social Security and Medicare—but if you’ve ever questioned whether you have the power to make change, check out how MoveOn members like you took action and kept up the pressure on lawmakers:
1. The campaign started when more than 1,000 MoveOn members dropped by congressional offices the very day the government shut down, leaving bags of tea and signs that read, “We’ve had enough tea, thanks.”
2. The next day we began encouraging millions of MoveOn members to enroll in the new health care exchanges available through Obamacare—the prime target of the GOP shutdown. Was this ever going to end the shutdown? No. But was it a slap in the face to Republicans intent on seeing the Affordable Care Act fail? Absolutely.
3. Around the same time, we began quantifying the real cost of the shutdown with this live counter at www.costoftheshutdown.com. To date, tens of thousands of people have shared our counter with their friends online—spreading awareness that the GOP’s stubbornness has cost the American people more than $4.5 billion.
4. Days later, after partnering with Public Policy Polling, we really changed the conversation by releasing a new poll—funded with small dollar donations from MoveOn members—showing that Republicans have made themselves vulnerable in the 2014 elections thanks to the shutdown. Democrats need 17 seats to take back the House—and our results have shown Republicans trailing in at least 25 districts. Here’s how MSNBC mapped out the results:
5. And none of this would have been possible if MoveOn members hadn’t launched more petitions and local campaigns than any time in the past six months—with a broad range of smart, strategic goals. More than 600,000 members signed petitions asking lawmakers to forgo their salaries until the shutdown ends. Others pressured their representatives to support smart legislative moves that could end the shutdown. And hundreds started petitions that included stories about how they’ve been personally affected by the shutdown—and asked that the GOP simply stop the madness. Many of these petitions were delivered at rallies around the country on Tuesday.
That’s just a glimpse of what MoveOn members have done together over the last two weeks, but it speaks volumes about the impact progressives have had during the GOP shutdown.
Making sure that Tea Party Republicans are held to blame for the shutdown by the public and the mainstream media—and that Democrats in Congress don’t buckle under the pressure for a bad deal—has not been easy. But MoveOn members have accepted the challenge.
And as the deal finally came into place, one thing that’s been made crystal-clear because of Tea Party Republican antics is that the GOP’s House majority is at risk next year, and we have the next 13 months to capitalize on their recklessness.
Thanks for all you do.