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Majority Leader Schumer Dear Colleague On Senate’s Busy Agenda

Today, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) sent the following Dear Colleague letter outlining his plan for the next work period and the coming weeks, including continuing our work to confirm President Biden's qualified nominees, pushing the House to act on the bipartisan Supplemental and get vital aid to our friends and allies, making progress on bipartisan priorities, and staving off MAGA extremism. 


April 5, 2024

Dear Colleague:

I want to thank you all again for your work last month to pass a strong bipartisan funding package that rejected MAGA extremism, put the needs of the country first, and averted a harmful and pointless government shutdown. The Appropriations package will go a long way to supporting American families, strengthening our economy, and safeguarding our national security. We also avoided most of the draconian cuts and poison pills that the hard-right pushed for months. This was no small feat and is a tremendous credit to leadership on both sides, particularly our Appropriations Chair Murray and Vice Chair Collins.

When we return, we have busy agenda facing us. First, we will continue our work to confirm President Biden’s well qualified and diverse nominees. Speaker Johnson has indicated that the House Impeachment Managers plan to deliver the articles of impeachment on Wednesday. The Senate will receive the managers as they present the articles of impeachment for Secretary Mayorkas to the Senate. Please be advised that all Senators will be sworn in as jurors in the trial the day after the articles are presented, and Senate President Pro Tempore Patty Murray will preside. I remind Senators that your presence next week is essential.

Additionally, we face an April 19 deadline on reauthorizing FISA. The House is working on a path forward for their legislation. The Senate must be ready to act quickly on a bipartisan basis to ensure these vital national security authorities do not lapse.

Off the floor, we will continue to keep pressure on the House to act on the Senate-passed national security supplemental that would provide desperately needed funding to Ukraine in their fight against Putin. The Senate bill has sat on Speaker Johnson’s desk for more than 50 days. The longer that the national security supplemental sits on Speaker Johnson’s desk, the more desperate the situation in Ukraine becomes.

I have spoken with Speaker Johnson, and I believe that he understands the threat of further delaying the national security supplemental. However, Speaker Johnson has to ultimately decide for himself whether or not he will do the right thing for Ukraine, for America and for democracy around the world or if he’ll allow the extreme MAGA wing of his party to hand Vladimir Putin a victory. It is a matter of the highest urgency that Speaker Johnson and House Leadership put the Senate’s bipartisan supplemental package on the House floor, because I am confident that if he puts it on the floor, it will pass.

Like so many of you, I was shocked and saddened by the tragic collapse of Francis Scott Key Bridge. I’ve spoken with Maryland Senators Senator Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and offered any help needed as Baltimore works to recover. This morning the Biden administration submitted an authorizing request for the Francis Scott Key Bridge and Port of Baltimore. It will take bipartisan cooperation for the Senate to act quickly to help reopen the Port of Baltimore, a major artery for commerce, and rebuild the Key Bridge as quickly as possible.

In addition to continuing to confirm President Biden’s nominees, there are a range of policy areas where we could advance legislation to help the American people, if we can get bipartisan cooperation from our Republican colleagues. The authorization for FAA expires on May 10 and bicameral and bipartisan work is underway on that important piece of legislation. Commerce Committee Chairwoman Cantwell and her team are working tirelessly to finalize an agreement and pass the FAA reauthorization in May. 

In the weeks and months ahead, we have the opportunity to make progress on bipartisan bills that enhance our national security, advance online safety for kids and promote innovation, expand the Child Tax Credit, work on a path forward on TikTok legislation, combat the fentanyl crisis, hold failed bank executives accountable, address rail safety, ensure internet affordability, safeguard cannabis banking, outcompete the Chinese government, lower the cost of prescription drugs like insulin while expanding access to health care, and more. There are many important, bipartisan issues this Congress could address this year, and I hope our Senate Republican colleagues don’t allow the ultra-right wing of their party to derail progress on these bipartisan bills.

Unfortunately, just last month we saw just how committed House Republicans are to the extreme the MAGA Republican agenda when the Republican Study Committee released their dangerous and disastrous budget plan. They’re doubling down on the hard-right’s war on women by endorsing a national ban on abortion with zero exceptions for rape or incest and endangering access to IVF. They continue their relentless attacks on social security and called for raising the retirement age. Their plan advocates for repealing $35 insulin for seniors on Medicare and taking away Medicare’s authority to negotiate cheaper drug prices. And, of course, they propose providing trillions of dollars in tax breaks for the ultra-wealthy and trillions of dollars in budget cuts to the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the ACA.

These are many of the same policies Democrats fought to keep out of the appropriations bills this year, and as long as Senate Democrats are in the majority we will ensure that this extreme MAGA agenda does not become law. 

I have said repeatedly this Congress, with divided government, bipartisanship and compromise are the only ways to make progress and get things done that will help the American people. Democrats have an ambitious agenda to help the American people, and if our Senate Republican colleagues are sincere about passing bipartisan legislation and willing to reject the extreme MAGA demands, we are ready to work with them to find compromise and get as much done as we can. 

I look forward to working with you all in the coming weeks to continue delivering results for the American people.


Charles E. Schumer