Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on Republican Senators’ attempt to limit veterans’ access to reproductive health care with a Congressional Review Act resolution, which the Senate will vote on later today. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
For the last ten months, the American people have made clear they reject the hard right’s war on women.
After many ballot initiatives, special elections, and one disastrous midterm for the GOP, there’s no denying that the MAGA obsession with attacking women’s freedom of choice has been a disaster. And yet, the more Americans reject MAGA extremism, particularly on the issue of choice, the more MAGA Republicans double down.
Now, through the actions of one Senator, even military families have been taken hostage by the hard right. We are talking about women veterans. We are talking about women who volunteer and risk their lives oftentimes for us, and now this hard right group is telling them they don’t have the right to decide what to do when it comes to their bodies and their healthcare. It's outrageous. The same people on the other side, who praise our military and our soldiers, are treating women as second-class citizens. That's outrageous. It's outrageous when they do it to all women, but particularly outrageous when they do it to women veterans and women who serve. Now, through the actions of one Senator, even military families have been taken hostage by the hard right.
Today, the Senator from Alabama will seek to push legislation that would take away reproductive care for hundreds of thousands of veterans and their families. It’s the extreme kind of proposal millions of Americans strongly oppose, and one which, if passed, would gravely harm the health of women, particularly our veterans.
Senator Tuberville’s legislation is bad on its own, but he’s made it even worse because he continues threatening our national security by blocking over 180 military promotions. The Secretary of Defense himself and so many of our leading military figures, past and present--have warned us that this delay is dangerous to the security of America.
And what's equally disappointing as the Senator from Alabama's reckless action, it’s disappointing to see that more of my colleagues on the other side have not yet called out the Senator from Alabama’s reckless stunts. I thank those who have indeed raised their voice, but we need more. Republicans—who claim to be such great supporters of our military, have all of a sudden gone mum, silent when the Senator from Alabama risks military security because he believes passionately in something. Every one of us could do this. No one has chosen to do it the way the Senator has. It's a new chapter, a sad chapter. We hope it will end soon, because whether publicly or privately, our Republican colleagues go to him and say this is just dead wrong, no matter how passionately he feels.
And why is Senator Tuberville doing this? Because he wants to make the health care decisions for the women of our military. The military shouldn't decide it, the country shouldn't decide it, the women shouldn't decide it, he wants to make that decision. What arrogance. He's threatening to permanently inject politics into the confirmation of routine military promotions so he can push the MAGA hard line on blocking women's choice.
This is the MAGA hard line in a nutshell: eliminate women's choice at all costs, even at the cost of our national defense. I urge my colleague, sincerely, passionately, as passionate as he is, maybe more so, to drop his hold, and I will certainly oppose this measure later today.