Press Release

Statement by AFT President Randi Weingarten on #SenateFail Day of Action to Demand Senate Passage of HEROES Act

For Release: 

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Contact:

Sarah Hager
202-393-5684
shager@aft.org

WASHINGTON—Today, hundreds of educators, classroom assistants, healthcare professionals, and higher education faculty in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Ohio and Pennsylvania are taking part in a nationwide day of action protesting the U.S. Senate’s decision to go on vacation without passing a new COVID-19-relief package that would help the millions of communities struggling to fund basic essential services like public schools, colleges and hospitals.

The demonstrations are part of a national #SenateFail Day of Action that includes protests, campaigns or actions planned in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. AFT members across the country will be preparing report cards to deliver to their senators in many states, while others have planned car caravans, socially distant rallies and press conferences, and mass digital actions.

In addition to the day of action, today the AFT launched a second $1 million TV and digital ad buy urging the Senate to return to Washington and pass urgently needed funding so schools can reopen safely. 

AFT President Randi Weingarten said:

“America is facing a triple crisis: a health pandemic, a racial justice crisis and an economic crisis—and instead of facing these crises head on, Mitch McConnell’s Senate headed home for recess. Now, COVID-19 cases are reaching new heights around the country, healthcare systems are becoming increasingly strained and working people are facing even greater economic uncertainty as more states halt reopenings.

“Simply put, we cannot get back to work, back to school and back to some kind of new normal without Senate action and without the federal government making critical investments now so we don’t forfeit our future. The Senate has failed to move forward with the $3 trillion stimulus package—the HEROES Act—that passed in the House six weeks ago and could give our communities the funding they need to combat these crises. But the Senate’s refusal to act and its decision to take a vacation in the midst of crisis show a clear failure of leadership—and now our members and other working people across the country are taking action to hold their senators accountable.”

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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.