Courage for America Launches to Push Back Against MAGA House Agenda
Campaign Includes Council of Veterans, Educators, and Community Leaders From Across the Country
Courage for America Will Also Launch the House Accountability War Room, An Independent, Rapid-Response Operation To Put House on Defense
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following the news that Republicans have officially secured a slim majority in the House of Representatives, a new campaign called Courage for America has formed and is prepared to speak out against an extreme MAGA agenda that puts money and power over the rights and freedoms of working families. The campaign will be advised by a growing, nationwide council of Americans from across the ideological spectrum who oppose this agenda and worry about the impact extremism is having on their families and communities.
“Despite the fact that the MAGA agenda was soundly rejected by voters across the country, the new House majority has vowed to push a dangerous agenda that will take away our freedoms, promote conspiracy theories, and put the profits of corporations ahead of the needs of everyday Americans,” said Naveed Shah, senior advisor and spokesperson for Courage for America. “The People’s House should work for the People, which is why Courage for America will be elevating the voices of the millions of Americans who stand to be harmed by this MAGA agenda.”
Courage for America will demand answers from House leadership by amplifying the voices of everyday Americans of all backgrounds and political affiliations through earned and paid communication; persistent birddogging; and engaging at the district level to ensure the most powerful members of this new House hear directly from their constituents. During the first week of January, when the 118th Congress begins, the campaign will spearhead a series of actions to make it clear to House leadership that Americans are rejecting their extremist agenda.
Courage for America will also support The House Accountability War Room, an independent rapid-response operation led by Zac Petkanas, a veteran war room strategist and messaging expert with more than a decade of experience in competitive federal and state campaigns. The war room will seek to put the new House majority on defense and seize opportunities to proactively drive the narrative while engaging partners to hold House leadership accountable as the caucus moves to take away core freedoms, launch bogus investigations, and put the profits of corporations over the wellbeing of families.
“The priorities that Rep. McCarthy and other members of the new majority have laid out are deeply unpopular and irresponsible. We are going to make sure the American people have a very clear picture of what’s being done in their name — from passing national bans on abortion to cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to raising prescription drug costs,” said Zac Petkanas, House Accountability War Room strategist. “The House Accountability War Room is putting the new MAGA House majority on notice: the American people are watching what they choose to do with their new power.”
Members of the Courage for America council — which includes veterans, educators, faith leaders, and former local office holders from across the ideological spectrum — shared why they chose to join the campaign and support its efforts:
Randy Brockway, Tennessee
“I consistently voted Republican until 2016, but my party has deserted me. Disillusioned by partisan politics, I’ve turned to advocacy — pressing for local and national voting rights reform, action to combat the spread of disinformation and misinformation, and government accountability. And I’ll continue to push back against MAGA extremism as a council member for Courage for America.”
Peggy Bilsten, Arizona
“As a former elected official, I know that you have a choice when you’re elected to office. You can work as hard as you can for the people you represent or you can look out for yourself and your own interests. I’m joining Courage for America because I’ve seen what happens when people stay silent in the face of injustice — and I refuse to be one of those people.”
Jerome Hardaway, Georgia
“Since I left the armed forces and began my own career in tech, I’ve dedicated my free time to helping other veterans transition into the civilian workforce. These services are ones that the U.S. government should be providing, which is why I’m joining Courage for America and calling on the new House to prioritize helping Americans and veterans over advancing the extreme MAGA agenda they’ve put forward.”
Peter Lucier, Missouri
“When we have parents across the country asking how they can make their kids’ schools resistant to attacks from gunmen, we know we have a gun violence problem. Just two weeks ago, my own community in St. Louis was rocked by yet another tragic school shooting. No matter whether you come from a red state or blue state, all parents share one thing in common: they want to keep their kids safe. Americans overwhelmingly support common sense measures to prevent gun violence, but political extremists — who now control the House of Representatives — all but guarantee that these tragedies will keep happening. Their agenda won’t make kids safer, which is why I’m joining Courage for America and fellow veterans to fight for common sense gun laws.”
Vic Bencomo, Colorado
“I was first introduced to firearms when I joined the military at age 17, and since then I’ve continued to own and use guns for hunting, an activity I enjoy sharing with my sons. But as a veteran, I am deeply concerned about the United States’s gun violence epidemic. I’m joining Courage for America because I believe gun owners can and should be among the voices advocating for policies that will make our country and communities safer.”
Carolyn Foote, Texas
“Our kids and their families thrive when they have the opportunities and resources they need to learn. But in my time as a librarian, I saw firsthand how politicization and censorship can distract us from what’s really important. With Courage for America, I’ll be reminding our leaders in Congress to put the learning and wellbeing of our kids first instead of using them as political pawns.”
Reverend Cathy Clardy Patterson, Arizona
“We’re in the fight of our life to preserve the integrity and civility of our democracy. I’ve seen that fight play out in my home state of Arizona as a faith leader and non-profit CEO — and now, I will use those experiences to continue the fight at the national level with Courage for America. Americans deserve leaders who are looking out for their best interests, not ones who put cheap political stunts and inflammatory rhetoric over their constituents.”
Steven Kling, Texas
“As a veteran and former candidate for state office, I use my voice and power to advocate for change that I believe in. With Courage for America, I will continue that advocacy — telling the new MAGA House leadership to focus on meaningful reforms like addiction harm reduction and gun violence prevention instead of the extreme anti-freedom agenda that they’ve vowed to enact.”
Ian Horowitz, Pennsylvania
“I was a registered Republican until the COVID-19 pandemic, when I lost my father to the virus. I’ve experienced firsthand just how damaging the MAGA lies about COVID-19 can be — and, along with Courage for America, am committed to continuing the fight against conspiracy theories designed to cement politicians’ power at the expense of our lives.”
Wes Davis, Illinois
“Coming out as gay while working for the Republican Party of Florida gave me a close and personal grasp of the fact that the MAGA wing of the party does not simply refuse to denounce hatred and intolerance — they actively embrace it as an integral part of their agenda. I refuse to be complicit in that agenda, which is why I’m joining Courage for America and demanding our leaders put the needs of the American people above the pursuit of political power.”
To learn more about the campaign, visit CourageforAmerica.org or contact [email protected].
About Courage for America
Courage For America is formed by a council of proud Americans speaking out against an extreme MAGA agenda that puts money and power over the rights and freedoms of the American people. The campaign is amplifying the voices of Americans in communities across the country — veterans, educators, faith leaders, and more — to demand the People’s House works for the people.
About the House Accountability War Room
The House Accountability War Room is an independent rapid response operation led by veteran war room strategist Zac Petkanas. The war room will leverage research, deploy messaging and engage partners to hold House leadership accountable as the caucus moves to take away core freedoms, distort the truth, and put the profits of corporations above the wellbeing of working families.