Tuesday, December 28, 2010
We want to say thank you, automat
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I've been in Washington for almost 40 years. I've seen a lot of Congresses come and go. But I can't remember a group of lawmakers who accomplished more than the folks who just wrapped up their work.
With their help, we repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and ratified the START arms control treaty. We passed a new law to rein in the abuses on Wall Street and protect consumers. We reformed the health care system and passed the Recovery Act to get our economy growing again.
But do you know why all that happened? Because people like you rolled up your sleeves, dug deep, and decided to make a difference. We had a dedicated group of lawmakers -- no doubt -- but they were supported every step of the way by folks from all across this country who were ready for change. People like you.
I know how much that means to me. And I can't even begin tell you how much it means to the President.
So here's the deal: President Obama wants to send you a note to express how grateful we are for all you did.
Would you like to receive one?
Two years ago, we were staring into an abyss. The financial crisis was the worst this country has faced since the Great Depression.
But this Congress passed the largest set of tax cuts for the middle class since President Reagan, the largest education reform since President Johnson, the largest infrastructure investment since President Eisenhower, and the largest clean-energy bill ever.
Now -- even though we still have a ways to go -- the economy is growing again.
Prior to this Congress, lawmakers had talked about reforming health care for almost a century. But with the President leading the way, these folks went out, and -- with you at their side -- they did it. Now 32 million more Americans will have access to health coverage.
When we came into office, just about the entire country had come to realize that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was wrong. More than 14,000 brave men and women had been discharged simply because of who they were. With your help, we struck down that law and made this country a more just place.
Every lawmaker who worked to accomplish these things will talk about their votes -- and the role they played in this progress -- for years. The President and I take great pride in those achievements. But each one belongs to you. You believed in them, you fought for them, and we're darn grateful.
So let the President send you a note to show our appreciation.
Sign up here:
Thank you -- for everything,
Thursday, December 23, 2010
automat, share our progress
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Don't Ask, Don't Tell
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Moments ago, the Senate voted to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
When that bill reaches my desk, I will sign it, and this discriminatory law will be repealed.
Gay and lesbian service members -- brave Americans who enable our freedoms -- will no longer have to hide who they are.
The fight for civil rights, a struggle that continues, will no longer include this one.
This victory belongs to you. Without your commitment, the promise I made as a candidate would have remained just that.
Instead, you helped prove again that no one should underestimate this movement. Every phone call to a senator on the fence, every letter to the editor in a local paper, and every message in a congressional inbox makes it clear to those who would stand in the way of justice: We will not quit.
This victory also belongs to Senator Harry Reid, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and our many allies in Congress who refused to let politics get in the way of what was right.
Like you, they never gave up, and I want them to know how grateful we are for that commitment.
Will you join me in thanking them by adding your name to our letter?
I will make sure these messages are delivered -- you can also add a comment about what the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" means to you.
As Commander in Chief, I fought to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" because it weakens our national security and military readiness. It violates the fundamental American principles of equality and fairness.
But this victory is also personal.
I will never know what it feels like to be discriminated against because of my sexual orientation.
But I know my story would not be possible without the sacrifice and struggle of those who came before me -- many I will never meet, and can never thank.
I know this repeal is a crucial step for civil rights, and that it strengthens our military and national security. I know it is the right thing to do.
But the rightness of our cause does not guarantee success, and today, celebration of this historic step forward is tempered by the defeat of another -- the DREAM Act. I am incredibly disappointed that a minority of senators refused to move forward on this important, commonsense reform that most Americans understand is the right thing for our country. On this issue, our work must continue.
Today, I'm proud that we took these fights on.
Please join me in thanking those in Congress who helped make "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal possible:
Friday, December 17, 2010
automat: Call your senators
Your senators need to hear from you right away.
Tomorrow, they will cast important votes on two huge issues: the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and passage of the DREAM Act.
When the clerk of the Senate calls the roll, the outcome for both these bills could go either way. The only thing that we know with certainty is that each vote will be extremely close. And because there are so few days left in 2010, this might be our final opportunity to move forward on either of these issues.
Right now, we need you to call your senators and ask them to support both the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and passage of the DREAM Act.
President Obama and the leadership of our armed forces have together asked Congress to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." It's obvious that the time for this change has come -- simple fairness demands it. This vote is our chance to do so.
The DREAM Act is a critical piece of immigration reform -- it will offer a pathway to citizenship for young people who are willing to serve in our armed forces or attend college.
If your lawmakers are supporting these measures, let them know they have your thanks. If your senators are undecided or opposed to these measures, please ask them to do what is right.
Time is running out to see progress on these critical issues.
The single best thing you can do to help support the President is to call your senators right now. For lawmakers who have yet to make up their minds on how they'll vote on the DREAM Act or "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal, calls from constituents could make all the difference.
Governor Tim Kaine
Saturday, December 11, 2010
On Thursday, Republicans in the Senate stood in the way of progress, blocking legislation to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
No surprise there -- they've been turning a blind eye to the majority of Americans, legions of grassroots Democrats, and fellow lawmakers who've supported repeal for some time now.
But now, they're also ignoring top military leaders -- from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen to former Secretary of State Colin Powell -- who support overturning this policy. They're ignoring the 70 percent of American servicemen and women who say that repeal wouldn't negatively affect morale, and the Pentagon study that says it won't affect troop readiness.
They're no longer simply holding up progress that would advance the American values of fairness and equality, enrich our military, and strengthen our national security -- they seem to be willing to tune out just about anyone, all in the name of a political tally mark.
But we're not done fighting.
We need just three votes to move forward on repeal -- and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and our allies in the Senate have promised that the Senate will vote on repeal again before the year is out.
Your voice could be the difference right now: Write the Senate Republicans who are currently blocking repeal and tell them to stop playing politics with people's lives.
We couldn't have gotten to this point without your support.
Thousands of you added your names in support of the President's call for repeal. Those petitions -- 582,000 in total -- were delivered by volunteers to Senator Susan Collins's office on Thursday morning.
Now, your voice could make sure this discriminatory policy is overturned before Congress adjourns -- and that it doesn't have to wait another year, or for another Congress to take it up.
And by reaching out to senators standing in the way, you will make this issue harder and harder for them to tune out.
Three more votes is all we need. The letter you send today could be the final push that gets us there.
Write Republican senators standing in the way of progress today -- and let's make sure we repeal this thing before the year is out:
Jen O'Malley Dillon
Democratic National Committee
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Video: President Obama on yesterday's bipartisan agreement
Yesterday, President Obama announced a framework for a bipartisan agreement to extend both a set of tax cuts that would have expired at year's end and unemployment benefits for millions of Americans. The compromise also includes several additional measures that will benefit middle-class families and help create jobs down the road.
The President recorded a video to talk straight to supporters like you about this bipartisan deal.
Check out the video here -- and if you have any feedback on this agreement, please let us know what you think.
It's an imperfect agreement but an absolutely vital one. Without it, millions of middle-class families and out-of-work Americans -- as well as students, parents, and small businesses -- would be worse off heading into the new year. Now, they'll get the relief they need as our economy continues to recover.
Take a minute to watch the video the President recorded -- and then share your thoughts:
Jen O'Malley Dillon
Democratic National Committee
P.S. -- The President will also be holding a call to talk with supporters live tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time -- sign up here for a reminder and instructions on how to listen in to the call.