AFT’s Weingarten Rejects Inadequate White House Stimulus Push
WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement responding to the president’s latest corporate relief offer as Democrats battle to secure support for hundreds of millions of American workers:
“The president is more than happy to bail out the airlines and get his name on a check, but he refuses to negotiate when it comes to getting assistance to American families in their time of need. Instead of spending time plotting to confirm a far-right Supreme Court justice, Senate Republicans should focus on desperately needed support for unemployment, child care, schools and hazard learning.
“This can’t be an either/or: We support relief for airlines, but crushing the virus and kick-starting the rest of the economy takes resources, and this latest Trump offer doesn’t address that need.
“The president’s dearth of empathy for frontline workers who’ve gotten sick, lost their jobs and been evicted in record numbers is as galling as it is predictable. And the failure to provide adequate nutrition assistance, fund child care or address the digital divide is just plain cruel. There’s little help for state and local governments forced to issue pink slips at a time when we should be employing more, not fewer, public employees to deal with COVID-19. And it remains a national disgrace—and an international embarrassment—that there’s still no science-based approach to testing, tracing, treatment and isolation to crush the virus, a plan that House Democrats passed months ago.
“The administration and Senate Republicans need to step up. If not, they should ship out—and the American people, fed up at the lack of action, are delivering that message right now at the ballot box.”
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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.