Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten Congratulates Newly Elected House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries

For Release:


Alexis Lopez

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement on the election of new House Democratic leadership:

“Today’s historic election of Rep. Hakeem Jeffries as House Democratic leader represents an important step for a new generation of thinkers, strategists and doers. It builds on the rock-solid values and foundation laid by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to fight for a government centered on democracy and security, freedom and fairness, and the kitchen table issues that families care about. The son of union members, Rep. Jeffries is a gifted legislator and a talented consensus builder. He has stood side by side with organized labor to help working-class families thrive.

“Rep. Jeffries’ career is marked by a tireless commitment to getting work done, playing a crucial role in the passage of pivotal legislation that has helped improve the lives of everyday people—including the American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act—funding our communities, expanding job opportunities, cutting the cost of prescription drugs, increasing competitiveness and tackling climate change. 

“Throughout his time in the House, Jeffries has led fearlessly, from his work as an impeachment manager to his work on criminal justice reform, on both the Congressional Black Caucus and the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. He fights for fairness and results on the issues that matter most.

“We look forward to working closely with Rep. Jeffries, along with newly elected Democratic Whip Katherine Clark and Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar, two strong allies of working people and champions of kids and educators.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 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.