Washington, DC — Service Employees International Union President Andy Stern released the following statement after Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts.
"Today is no different than yesterday or the day before or the day before that. Pat DeJong will still wake up in Libby, Montana. Pat is still mourning the loss of her husband and the selling of his family's ranch because of his medical bills. And, Pat will still go to the bed side of her patients each day, providing excellent care, still lacking coverage of her own," said SEIU President Andy Stern. "Pat's reality is the reality millions of working people face every day. One political election does not change the fact that Pat and hardworking families across this country have been asking for and deserve fundamental reforms.
"The reason Ted Kennedy's seat is no longer controlled by a Democrat is clear: Washington's inability to deliver the change voters demanded in November 2008. Make no mistake, political paralysis resulted in electoral failure," Stern said.
"During the past year, Republicans refused to do anything but stand in the way of change and Democratic Senators took too long to do too little. And tonight, the Senate bears the consequences for its failure to act decisively but the American people are the ones left paying the price. If our elected officials don't recognize that every day more working families fall victim to Washington's failure to act, the elections next November will result in the same.
"Today's vote must be a wake-up call that now is the time for bold action. Time to stand up to politics as usual. Time to stand up to Republican scare and stall tactics. And time to speak up for working families.
"The Senate may have squandered the trust the American people gave to Washington in 2008. But now, every member of Congress and the Administration must act with a renewed sense of purpose to show working families whose side they are on and deliver meaningful change to every American. This is not the time for timidity. It is time to show the courage and strength of conviction to move this country forward and bring working families the change they need. It starts by passing health insurance reform and giving Pat and millions of people like her the security and peace of mind they deserve."
Photo: Teresa Albano/PW