Rep. Mfume calls out House members who claim to 'love' teachers but don't 'walk the walk'

During a House Oversight subcommittee hearing Wednesday on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rep. Kweisi Mfume, D-Md., criticizes House members who give lip service to supporting teachers but don't follow through with action. "We claim to love teachers. We claim to care about teachers, but we really don't really embrace teachers."

Video transcript

KWEISI MFUME: On a point of order, let me just point out the fact that we claim to love teachers. We claim to care about teachers. But we don't really embrace teachers. We talk the talk, but we never walk the walk. And this Congress and previous Congresses are replete with instances where that has been shown to be true.

Now I just want to point out the presence of a teacher who is here before she slips out of this door. And some of you will recognize her. She was the 2015 JFK Teacher of the Year. A year later, she was selected as the National Teacher of the Year from Connecticut. And we are happy that she is a member of our ranks and a representative from Waterbury, Johanna Hayes. Thank you very much for being here.

So let's not get it twisted. If teachers are important, we ought to act like it. And we ought to stop all of this castigating, fingerpointing, accusations, innuendo about went wrong. All kinds of stuff went wrong during the pandemic. Nobody got it right because we were moving in real time.

I serve as a member of the business committee, the small business committee. Do you know how many loans went out that shouldn't have gone out, and we're trying to reclaim them now because people just in real time weren't doing what they had to do, and how many accusations come out of that? We just can't continue down this track.

And I just don't like angry people who use bully pulpits to make other people look small. If there's some issues, and there's some complaints, that's fine. But the way we present what we're doing underscores really who we are, or more importantly, who we are not. Now my teacher taught me do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I wouldn't want to be a witness that just got the you know what smacked around out of them for coming here to testify to this group.