WASHINGTON— AFT President Randi Weingarten on the budget agreement:
"While far from perfect, this budget agreement avoids the spectacle of another destructive government shutdown and partially restores critical funding for our schools, healthcare and public services that was on the chopping block under the sequester.
"But no compassionate society would cut off unemployment benefits for millions of workers—especially during the holiday season. This is not only morally reprehensible; it will further weaken our economy. And this proposal once again avoids asking the wealthiest Americans and corporations to pay their fair share and puts the burden on the backs of working people.
"The American people deserve an end to austerity-driven trickle-down economics that does nothing to invest in putting people back to work, creating good jobs and rebuilding the middle class. We need a pro-job, pro-growth, pro-middle-class agenda, including an increase in the minimum wage; comprehensive immigration reform; investments in our infrastructure, our public schools and high-quality public services; and a relentless focus on creating good jobs that can support a family.
"This agreement is not everything we want, but it is a first step toward restoring a functional government. The American people demand and deserve better. It's time to continue this work on behalf of the American people so we can create an economy rooted in shared prosperity and increased opportunity for all Americans."