Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) spoke on the Senate floor on Republicans’ disarray on the most important question of this year, avoiding a first-ever default, and calling on Speaker McCarthy to show the American people his plan. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
We are almost a quarter of the way through 2023, and House Republicans have still failed to answer the most important question of their majority: what is your plan? What is the plan of House Republicans to raise the debt ceiling?
We hear a new explanation seemingly every day, from some new corner of the Republican Conference, but none of it adds up to what Republicans need most: a clear, detailed, and serious plan.
Even this week, Speaker McCarthy has in desperation tried another new and obviously failing approach. He laid out a new round of vague conditions, each one more amorphous than the last, and none of them with any specifics, and then he pulled a huge number out of the sky, $4 trillion, without telling us where, when, or how we’d get to it. That’s not a plan. Everyone knows that.
Republicans have been utterly flailing: one day they say they’ll release a budget, then they say they can’t release a budget. One corner of the party says certain programs are off the table, and then another group of Republicans suggests the opposite.
House Republican Leadership is doing everything except the one thing they must do – show the American people your plan, House Republicans! Show us your plan.
So when Speaker McCarthy points fingers at Democrats, all he is doing—it’s so obvious—is trying to deflect from problems he has in his own conference. That is what is going on every time we hear a new idea, read a new letter, or hear a new set of talking points from the Republicans. They’re far too divided to unite around a single proposal. The MAGA wing is pulling in one direction, those in the middle are pulling another way. There’s no consensus in the Republican House caucus.
The solution to the debt ceiling, however, is staring Republicans in the face: do what we have done before, Democrats and Republicans, under President Trump, under President Biden: stop the brinkmanship, stop threatening default, and work with Democrats on a clean extension of the debt ceiling.
No more kicking the can down the road: Speaker McCarthy, where is your plan?
Democrats and Republicans worked together, as I said, under President Trump, even when Democrats had the majority, I mean, even when Republicans had the majority and Democrats could have blocked it we didn't. We knew our responsibilities to the people of America who would be so devastated by a lapse in the debt ceiling, and their interest rates, and their car costs, and their home costs, and so much else would go up. We did this before, working together in a bipartisan way, without brinksmanship, without hostage-taking, and we should do it again this year.