10/31/2013 07:20 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Putting Problem Solving Before Politics: A Lesson for the GOP

One month ago today, Republicans in Congress shut down the government and threatened to cause a global economic crisis by refusing to pay our bills. Though poll after poll showed that the American people were opposed to the government shutdown, Republicans in the House of Representatives continued their dangerous political game for more than two weeks. Without the hard work of Democrats in Congress, the GOP's shutdown could still be happening today.

As you can see in the graphic below, when given the chance to end the government shutdown and avert economic disaster, 63 percent of House Republicans voted 'NO.' It was the votes of 198 Democrats that ended the shutdown and averted a global economic crisis.


A similar pattern emerges when looking at the other major bills that have been passed under House Republicans. In 2012, our nation stood on the edge of the so-called "fiscal cliff" -- a combination of tax increases and spending cuts that threatened to throw our economy into a recession. Again, our nation only avoided economic disaster when 172 Democrats in the House voted for legislation to avert the fiscal cliff.

Even when it comes to non-partisan issues such as preventing domestic violence and helping Americans whose lives have been devastated by a natural disaster, House Republicans have repeatedly voted 'NO.' Sixty-three percent of House Republicans voted against renewing the Violence Against Women Act -- a bill that has helped to drastically reduce cases of domestic violence in the United States. And unconscionably, almost 80 percent of House Republicans voted against legislation to provide emergency aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy. Proudly, more than 190 Democrats voted for each of these bills and passed them into law.

Earlier this week, Politico reported that the GOP is "struggling to come up with an agenda to fill the 19 legislative days that are left of 2013." I would suggest that Speaker Boehner uses this opportunity to start working with Democrats and begin helping the American people. If he does, we can begin voting today on bills to reform our broken immigration system, repeal the harmful cuts contained in the sequester and rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, which will put millions of Americans back to work.

As we've shown time and time again, House Democrats can be counted on to put problem solving before politics, especially when it matters the most.