November 21, 2013
Statement by AFT President Randi Weingarten on Senate Rules Reform
WASHINGTON—Today's action by Senate Democrats is a last resort to help our government function. Between filibusters, government shutdowns and holding presidential nominations hostage, the GOP has been determined since President Obama's election and re-election to stymie his ability to govern. The president should have the right to name appointees to help him lead the nation and the right to fill court vacancies. Republicans have blocked far more judicial and political nominees in President Obama's time in office than were blocked in the several decades before his election. The president was right to note that such obstruction is unacceptable.
When elected representatives use the power invested in them to keep public institutions from working, right-minded people say enough is enough. This historic rule change by Sen. Harry Reid and the Democrats was truly a last resort. Republican protests are hollow considering that their repeated manipulations forced this move.
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The AFT represents 1.5 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.