AFT’s Weingarten Lauds Updated House HEROES relief bill
WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement after the House of Representatives unveiled an updated $2.2 trillion version of its HEROES relief package.
“While the Senate is focused solely on a Supreme Court power grab, the House is stepping up, once again introducing a comprehensive bill that provides desperately needed relief for millions of American workers slammed by the pandemic and its economic fallout.
“With COVID-19 cases on the rise again, communities are bearing the brunt. Schools are burning through cash to deliver kids a safe education environment. States and localities desperately need help: In Schenectady, N.Y., hundreds of educators were laid off when funding evaporated. Meanwhile, 90 percent of our members are spending their own money on personal protective equipment and 16 million kids lack internet connectivity.
“But this new bill is not just about helping schools, it also extends unemployment insurance and funds healthcare—a top concern for most Americans that would be gutted by the far-right Supreme Court the Senate seems so eager to achieve. It’s well past time to confront the grim reality on the ground. And the House, unlike the Senate, is taking its responsibility seriously.”
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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.