Last night, Congress passed historic health care reform legislation, extending coverage to over 30 million Americans and fulfilling a major promise made by President Obama on the campaign trail.
People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan issued the following statement:
"Last night's vote is, as President Obama said, proof that America is still capable of doing big things. Health care reform is a major step forward for our country, and everyone who has worked tirelessly for the last year—and for many years before that—should be congratulated.
"This victory is also a stark illustration of the GOP's willingness to sink to virtually any depth in order to obstruct this President's agenda. Anyone who has watched the debate over the last year has seen the galling bad faith displayed again and again by Republican leaders and the ugly tactics that their allies have deployed. From dangerously irresponsible racial rhetoric to tactics borrowed from Senator Joseph McCarthy, the Right's campaign against health care reform has put on display a disturbing willingness to appeal to fear and bigotry for short term political gain.
"That's why it was so inspiring to see Congress stand up for health care and confront those tactics head on. By plowing through Republican obstruction, health care supporters have done an enormous service to this country—and scored an impressive political victory.
"Moving forward, success will beget success if Congress continues to stand up for what's right. I hope that leaders in Congress will apply this same fighting spirit to the many arenas in which the GOP has tried to hobble our country and our President in the name of politics. From key nominations and comprehensive immigration reform to advances for LGBT Americans and common sense financial regulatory reform, there's an enormous amount of business to get done. If we continue to stand up to the Right's obstruction, all of those goals are within our reach.