Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Overwhelming Support For The Inflation Reduction Act And MAGA Republicans’ Plans To Put Medicare And Social Security On The Chopping Block

August 3, 2022

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the Inflation Reduction Act, which a bipartisan group of former Secretaries of the Treasury said would increase competitiveness, address the climate crisis, and fight inflation. Sen. Schumer also blasted the proposal from Republican Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) to make Medicare and Social Security discretionary programs. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Today’s news provides another bevy of reminders of why the Inflation Reduction Act is not only bold and common sense, but also extremely popular with the American people.

This morning, five former Treasury Secretaries—including former Secretary Hank Paulson, who served under President George W. Bush—released a statement praising the Inflation Reduction Act and urging Congress to move quickly to secure its passage.

The bipartisan group wrote that the Inflation Reduction Act “will help increase American competitiveness, address our climate crisis, lower costs for families, and fight inflation — and should be passed immediately by Congress.”

The bipartisan group of Treasury Secretaries also affirmed what Democrats have been saying for days: the Inflation Reduction Act will not, no matter how much our Republicans colleagues argue to the contrary, will not increase taxes for any family making less than $400,000 a year. Again, our proposals call for closing loopholes that have long enabled the biggest companies in America to avoid paying their fair share.

And even former Republican Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson is now calling on Congress to pass the Democratic agenda!

He’s in very good company: this morning a poll by Navigator also showed the Inflation Reduction Act is overwhelmingly popular, overwhelmingly popular, in the minds of the American people:

According to this poll, 65% of Americans support the proposals in the bill, compared to only 24% who oppose. More than double the people support the act than oppose it.

It includes 60% of independent voters and even nearly 40% of Republican voters.

So America is on our side. They want us to pass this bill.

Now, contrast the Democrats’ agenda to what we’ve been hearing from the other side. While Democrats want to make health care more affordable, just yesterday the senior Senator from Wisconsin argued that instead of strengthening Medicare and Social Security – we should put them on the chopping block!

Hear that, citizens of Wisconsin, citizens of America? The senior Senator from Wisconsin wants to put Medicare and Social Security on the chopping block.

He has argued that the benefits—which millions of Americans rely on every day—shouldn’t be guaranteed but should be subject to partisan infighting here in Washington. He would like to revoke the guarantee of Medicare and Social Security, and make them discretionary.

Well, you know what happens when we make things discretionary around here? All too often they get cut, or even eliminated. We don't want to do that. But the Senator from Wisconsin said we should.

So, senior citizens of America, listen loud and clear: Senator Johnson called for making these programs discretionary. For decades, they have not been. They've been programs that, when you become 65, you get it. Not up to the whims of one Congress or another.

So, we will fight as hard as we can to prevent the Republicans, led by the Wisconsin Senator, from pulling out the rug from under seniors. We will fight the MAGA Republican politicians who want to gut these critical programs.

Its comments like these that show how out of touch the other side has become: while Republicans were perfectly willing to blow a two trillion dollar hole in our deficit in order to give tax cuts to the ultra-rich and to the big corporations, now some of them are saying Medicare and Social Security should no longer be guaranteed.

Of course, our Democratic proposal, the Inflation Reduction Act, is vastly different: we will protect health care, we will lower the price of prescription drugs, and make energy cheaper while making the largest investment in clean energy ever.

These are things that Americans support. These are things that our country needs. And these are things that we are going to get done when we pass the Inflation Reduction Act in the coming days. 

###