Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten on Election of MAGA Extremist Mike Johnson as Speaker of the House

For Release:


Oriana Korin

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement on the election of Mike Johnson (R-La.) to serve as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives:

“For three weeks, Republicans left the speaker of House of Representatives job—one of the most important in the United States—open. Now, rather than embracing any level of bipartisanship given their small majority, they have promoted an election denier to the position.

“Rallying behind Mike Johnson, who tried to overturn the 2020 election and invalidate millions of legally cast votes, effectively paves the way for House Republicans to turn back the clock on American progress. Johnson’s record is the greatest hits of the extremist Republican agenda: cutting Medicare and Social Security, ending reproductive freedom, opposing LGBTQIA+ rights, blaming teachers and teacher unions, and of course, refusing to pursue commonsense gun safety. He and his supporters are completely out of touch with mainstream policies.

“Now we must ask ourselves: Will Speaker Johnson rise to the occasion and put the best interests of our country first, or will he govern like the person who seemed to engineer his ascendancy, former President Donald Trump? As our Congress grapples with the real governing challenges of whether to fund the government’s work and keep Americans safe, we hope Johnson doesn’t threaten the democratic fabric of this country and endanger the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of working families.”

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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.