The Common Good

Weathering The Storm On Capitol Hill

Date: October 17, 2013

Watching the dysfunction in Washington over the past two weeks has been painful. Our leaders have grown too comfortable with pushing the limits, and we let a few dozen of our own representatives -- the people elected to promote the common good, or "general welfare," as the Constitution calls for-- hold the nation's economy hostage for the sake of their political self-interest.

But after the storm comes the promise -- the hope of lessons learned and new ways forward together. A few key groups of people have renewed my faith that this is possible.

First, I want to thank the women of the Senate, both Republican and Democrat, who helped lead us to choose the common good over ideological agendas.

Second, I want to acknowledge the mysterious influence and power of prayer that spread across the nation to help reopen our broken political process and protect the nation from more catastrophe. Yesterday morning, your prayers connected with those very same senators who spearheaded the deal -- Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) -- as they joined us to pray over Congress on the Capitol lawn before walking in to work on ending the shutdown.

And finally, I am grateful for the spiritual discipline we engaged in this past week of reading all 2,000 verses in the Bible about poverty and justice every day the Congress was in session over the shutdown during our #FaithfulFilibuster. We now stand prepared for the upcoming budget battles that will again threaten the lives of poor and vulnerable people.