A year of firsts

From all of us at the Coalition, we hope you and yours have a safe and happy New Year. Take a moment to read this quick note from CRS founder and president Jonathan Bydlak about one of the most unique years yet…

Dear friend:

As I sit at my desk, firing out last-minute emails to staff as we prepare some exciting new projects launching in the New Year, I wanted to send you a quick note. 2017 was truly a year of firsts — for the Coalition and the country.

Since our founding, we have worked to hold politicians accountable to their promises. Throughout this time, countless politicians promised that once they had the chance, they’d cut wasteful spending.

And in 2017, for the first time in the Coalition’s existence, united GOP government gave them that supposed chance.

I wish I could say I was surprised as promises to fully repeal Obamacare and reform wasteful programs evaporated.

But along with setbacks came significant victories. For the first time ever, a Pentagon audit was scheduled. We worked with broad coalitions to advance issues like CBO transparency and Farm Bill reforms. And just before Christmas, Congress took a major step toward repealing Obamacare by ending the individual mandate.

There’s a long way to go, and spending has never been easier to ignore. I founded the Coalition to Reduce Spending because of this problem — because it’s all too easy to put the issue on the back burner and never ask “where is the money coming from?”

That’s why, in 2017, we kicked off our most ambitious project yet — tracking the real-time spending records of every member of Congress. Political winds may shift, the news cycle may change faster than ever, but now no one can escape accountability.

In 2018, we’ll add even more exciting features to SpendingTracker.org, so be sure to sign up for updates if you haven’t yet.

In many ways, this year was a gut check — a reminder of how empty political promises can be and how easy it is for both parties to forget spending when it is convenient.

But more than ever before, this year shows why our work is so important, and reminds me that we’re on the right track.

I hope you’ll consider helping us kick off the New Year as strong as possible with your most generous support.

Let’s keep going — in 2018 and beyond.