fbpx Skip to content

Congressional hearing features union-backed politicians

The House Oversight Committee’s Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic invited American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten to testify about AFT’s role in keeping schools closed during the pandemic.

Throughout the hearing, several Democratic Party lawmakers on the committee defended Weingarten. It is likely because these allies had a financial interest.

Six of the seven Democratic Party lawmakers received campaign contributions from AFT, and yet not a single lawmaker publicly acknowledged their financial ties to the union. Zero Republican committee members received AFT funding.

According to Open Secrets, a campaign contribution transparency website, AFT’s political action committee (PAC) donated to each of the following committee members between 2021-2022:

  • Rep. Raul Ruiz (California): $10,000
  • Rep. Kweisi Mfume (Maryland): $10,000
  • Rep. Deborah Ross (North Carolina): $10,000
  • Rep. Debbie Dingell (Michigan): $7,500
  • Rep. Robert Garcia (California): $5,000
  • Rep. Ami Bera (California): $5,000

In total, these lawmakers received $47,500 from AFT through PACs.

AFT was not the only teachers union to donate to committee members. The National Education Association donated to 6 of the 7 Democrat lawmakers on the committee, who were Reps. Ruiz ($10,000), Mfume ($10,000), Ross ($4,000), Dingell ($4,000), Bera ($4,000), and Hawaiian Rep. Jill Tokuda ($6,000) for a total of $38,000.

Spencer Irvine

Spencer Irvine is Senior Writer & Researcher at Americans for Fair Treatment, a community of current and former public-sector employees offering resources and support to exercise their First Amendment rights. Spencer previously worked in state government, in communications for a non-profit advocacy organization, and held various administrative and communications roles at a media analysis organization. He has a master’s degree in public administration from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Brigham Young University. He lives in Arizona with his wife, is an avid history buff and enjoys touring historic sites.