Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the importance of passing legislation to avoid a government shutdown in a bipartisan manner. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
The Senate gavels back into session with a lot to do, but there is one clear place to begin: keep the government open.
As we all know, government funding is set to expire on September 30th. By the end of this month, the House and Senate, Democrats and Republicans, all must get on the same page about keeping the government open and avoiding a pointless shutdown, a shutdown that will hurt just about every single American. A shutdown that, of course, shouldn’t happen.
To accomplish that, the answer is very simple: all sides must work together, in good faith, without engaging in extremist or all-or-nothing tactics.
Look no further than the example we've set here in a bipartisan way in the Senate: Democrats working with Republicans on a bipartisan basis. Chairs, Democratic Chairs, engaging fruitfully with Republican Vice Chairs and Ranking Members.
All 12 appropriations bills have been reported out of committee with bipartisan support, some of them unanimously. Unanimously. Both sides avoided dragging the process down with unseemly tactics. It sets a very good template for how things should work in Congress.
I want to thank all my colleagues – but especially Appropriations Chair Patty Murray and Vice Chair Susan Collins – for their tremendous work thus far on the appropriations process. They truly deserve a lot of credit.
When the House returns next week, I hope House Republicans, I implore House Republicans to recognize that time is short to keep the government open, and that the only way, the only way, we will finish the appropriations process is through bipartisanship.
The ideas of both parties working together, not one party, particularly a party governed by an extreme thirty or forty members, filling out a wishlist that they know can’t pass. Can’t do that. So, let me repeat.
Let me say it again: the only way to avoid a shutdown is through bipartisanship, so I urge, I plead with House Republican leadership to follow the Senate’s lead and pass bipartisan, Democratic and Republican appropriations bills, supported by both parties.