Teachers Union PACs are spiking campaign contributions to Democrat congressional candidates and committees as the Congress debates school reopening and money for education, according to a report.
American Federation of Teachers (AFT) PAC and the National Education Association’s (NEA) PAC have increased their donations to Democrat congressional candidates and committees. Roll Call reports, “The nation’s largest teachers unions sharply increased their spending on political contributions,” adding that “the money overwhelmingly went to Democrats.”
Reportedly, AFT gave $1.6 million to congressional candidates and committees, which also includes $1 million to House Majority PAC, which is the super PAC meant to boost Democrat candidates. This is compared to AFT disclosing they gave only $45,000 to federal committees in the first quarter of 2019.
In addition, Roll Call reported, NEA gave out $371,000 in the first three months of this year, compared to only giving out $269,000 in the first quarter of 2019, a 38 percent increase.
“The uptick in donations, almost entirely to Democrats, came as the debate over remote schooling became political fodder,” Roll Call reported, adding that Republicans in Congress have been increasingly critical of Democrats for being “too cozy with teachers unions, a longstanding political ally, and thwarting school reopenings.”
Coincidently, this all comes as the Democrats work to add extra funding in the “partisan” coronavirus relief bill in order to “get students back into classrooms.”
The report shows both PACs have usually preferred Democrats; the contributions in the first three months of the year have ultimately “skewed even more so toward” the Democrats’ slim majority.
Moreover, Roll Call reported, NEA, in early 2019, according to their Federal Election Commission records, did give some money to the Republican House and Senate campaign arms but have yet to give anything to the two committees this year. Ultimately, the NEA has not donated to the Democrats’ campaign arm either. NEA gave the majority of its contributions to Democrat congressional candidates and the leadership PACs associated with them.
Furthermore, Roll Call reported that, besides the House Majority PAC, AFT gave its biggest donations to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). The financial disclosures show both received $105,000 from AFT, according to Roll Call.
Randi Weingarten, president of AFT, told Roll Call in a statement regarding the upcoming 2022 midterm elections it “will be a vitally important cycle, and that’s why the AFT moved earlier than usual, mindful of the challenges posed by the pandemic, to ensure our long-term allies could establish a footprint.” The AFT represents 1.7 million members.
An NEA spokesperson did not provide comment on the report, according to Roll Call.