WASHINGTON—In advance of tonight’s joint session of Congress, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement on President Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office and the release of the American Families Plan:
“After 100 days in office, it’s clear President Biden has followed up on his promises to meet the needs of all Americans—regardless of who they voted for—with decisive action. The beginning of this administration has proved a triumph for the majority of this country who want a government that solves problems, not one that engages in polarization and chaos.
“The list of achievements are noteworthy: from shattering the 200 million vaccine goal, to getting the majority of schools reopened for safe in-person learning, to securing the landmark American Rescue Plan and proposing the companion American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan. These achievements lay the groundwork for comprehensive, sustainable efforts to rebuild our economy, make our schools and communities safe, and meet the needs of people who go to work and care for families.
“Collectively, these three initiatives mark the greatest investment in the American people since the New Deal, showcasing the administration’s keen understanding of the role that public education, healthcare and infrastructure play in our daily lives and the need to shore up those safety nets to help every person access an opportunity to thrive. It’s more than just undoing damage, it’s delivering on the promise of a 21st-century American dream for our multiracial, multiethnic and multigenerational society, where the combination of good public schools, high-quality jobs and a strong care infrastructure provide enough support for people to build a decent life.
"In particular, the American Families Plan announced today includes significant investments in public education from free pre-K through community college, expands child nutrition programs, and funds a commitment to growing the teacher pipeline to address educator shortages and diversity. It makes permanent the lifesaving tax credits for families, expands paid leave and Medicare, and puts key tax policies into place that ensure the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share. It provides a road map for shoring up our schools, our healthcare systems and our economy, while also working to disrupt and change those systemic challenges that disproportionately and negatively affect Black, brown, Indigenous, rural, low-income and working people.
“Together, we move forward empowered by a president who chooses competency over chaos, decency over cruelty, a president who truly invests in the long-term vision for an America that is supportive and inclusive, and offers everyday people a chance to thrive.”