Press Release

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten’s Statement on House Approval of CARES Act

For Release:


Oriana Korin

WASHINGTON—AFT President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, a COVID-19 recovery bill. The union’s summary of the bill and certain provisions can be found here and here.

“With this global pandemic, there is a recognition that science matters and government matters. We need government to help us navigate the multitude of crises: illness, job loss, homelessness, caregiving constraints, and unprecedented levels of fear and anxiety. This package takes several important steps toward helping create some relief, by:

1. Expanding unemployment insurance;

2. Enacting a “Marshall Plan” for our healthcare system’s response to the virus, particularly for the healthcare professionals working on the frontlines;

3. Creating a state expenditures fund to help states pay for new expenses related to this crisis;
4. Laying the groundwork for critical emergency school investments, from K-12 to higher education, and including student loan assistance;

5. Setting money aside to increase the ability to vote by mail and expand early voting and online registration, so we can maintain the health of our democracy, and;

6. Placing an important check on industry bailouts by putting limitations on stock buybacks from executives.

“It’s good to see the country’s elected officials can come together in a time of crisis. I want to personally thank Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for fighting for and standing up for workers and families, while the administration looks out for the interests of Donald Trump.”

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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.