Congressman Rick Nolan

In one of the most historic, euphoric and cataclysmic weeks Congress has ever seen, Pope Francis called for peace and progress, radical Tea Party Republicans pressured Speaker Boehner to announce his resignation, the federal government moved closer to shutting down – and our message to keep Congress accountable reached more than 2 million Americans on Facebook and social media, with more than 17,000 people sharing our message that Congress should not be paid when the government closes its doors.

These days, Facebook and Twitter are instant indicators of what people are interested in and where they stand. And by midweek, the “No Government-No Pay Act (H.R. 3562) I reintroduced to prohibit Congress from getting paid during future government shutdowns was peaking as the nation’s second most talked about issue on social media. Other members of Congress from all over the country were getting calls urging them to cosponsor the measure, which was subsequently introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.

The astounding public response to our “No Government-No Pay” act reaffirms three things: First, Americans are united in their demand that we prevent another expensive government shutdown over Republican opposition to funding women’s health programs. A shutdown would cost our nation tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in business and commerce. Second, it demonstrates that the American people care. They send us to Washington to go to work, fix things and get things done – and they haven’t given up on that. And third, they want Congress to start living in the real world – and take responsibility for the job they are paid to do. Do your job or don’t get paid – it’s that simple.