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AFT Pressures Toomey on HEROES Act

An influential teachers union is on television with a $1 million ad campaign pressuring Senators to support the HEROES Act in Washington D.C. and 10 states, including Pennsylvania.  

The American Federation of Teachers’ two-week ad campaign in the commonwealth urges Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) to back the $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill

The ad features a number of workers who have been deemed “essential” during the coronavirus pandemic and stresses the need to pass the relief package. 

“Ask yourself, in these challenging times, who is essential,” a voiceover says to begin the 30 second spot. “Where are the front lines, how can we reopen without teachers, and caregivers?”

“We must fund our public schools and community services,” the voiceover in the ad continues. “We can’t afford to forfeit our future.” 

The ad ends with a phone number for Toomey’s office, encouraging people to call and voice their support for the bill. 

“If the HEROES Act fails to pass, and states and schools don’t get the support they need to reopen safely, then they’ll stay shut and the economy will stall—it’s that simple,” AFT President Randi Weingarten said in a statement to Forbes

Toomey’s office did not immediately respond to comment on this ad. 

The $3 trillion package passed the U.S. House in mid-May largely along party lines, with every member of the state’s Democratic delegation voting for it, except Reps. Conor Lamb (D-Allegheny) and Susan Wild (D-Lehigh), who joined their GOP colleagues in voting ‘no.’

Lamb described the bill he voted against as “not focused, it was rushed to a vote too fast, and it doesn’t help us accomplish that core mission,” while Wild echoed similar similar sentiments by calling for a more bipartisan piece of legislation.

While Sen. Bob Casey has publicly voiced his support for the HEROES Act, Toomey has not said he backs the spending package as many pundits believe the legislation has “little chance of passing as-is” in the GOP majority Senate. 

The ad, which first aired on June 11 and will run until June 25, is currently airing on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and Facebook in the following four markets in the state: Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Scranton-Wilkes Barre. 

A spokesperson for the group told PoliticsPA that the ad buy in Pennsylvania is in the six figure range.

6 Responses

  1. The wild Lamb had the guts to vote no, because it is like everything g else that is going on. No thought, just emotion, costing billions

    1. Lamb and Wild are correct. Teachers were home during this pandemic. They were NOT front line as they like to portray themselves. This is a money grab pure and simple. The people who were essential and continued to work will be the ones who pay for the ones who sat home and touted how essential they were. Sorry.

  2. Toomey’s a henchman for the GOP super-villains. He won’t vote for something about heroes.

      1. Mitch McConnell – he’s impervious to abuses of Senate norms and wields a shield of hypocrisy

        Lindsey Graham (aka Lady G) – has the taken the power of sycophancy to new levels

        Ted Cruz – gained the power of a full moon and gone Wolfman, with complete indifference to the lives of villagers.

        Susan Collins – the power of amnesia over her pro-Trump voting record

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