Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) spoke on the Senate floor today, calling on Speaker McCarthy to lay out his plan to raise the debt ceiling. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
This morning, Speaker McCarthy stated in an interview that he sent a letter to President Biden demanding the two sit down to talk about debt ceiling. He’s been saying that for a very long time, but for a very long time he has not shown us any plan.
To date, Speaker McCarthy has failed to unite his conference behind a single proposal that can win 218 votes. We are hearing a lot of contradictions, U-turns, by the Republican Caucus in the House. Lots of outlandish proposals that would harm a lot of Americans, but as far as a plan goes, the Republican Leadership has none. When the Speaker is asked about specifics for his plan, all we get is crickets.
Republicans have been flailing; one day there’s a term sheet, then there’s having a budget, then there’s not having a budget, now there is a supposed amorphous $4 trillion number. But the only thing missing is a real plan! [You] can’t just pick a number out of the sky and say this is a plan, of course it’s not. You can’t just put a number on the floor of the House and try to get it to pass.
So when Speaker McCarthy points fingers at Democrats, all he is doing is deflecting from problems he has in his own conference. Those on the MAGA right want to pull one way, and those who are mainstream want to pull another way, and he can’t bring the two of them together.
Speaker McCarthy says he wants to sit down with the President. But if he comes to the President’s office with no specific plan, no specific details about what the Republicans want to cut – what are they going to talk about, the weather?
If the two sit down, the Speaker would have nothing to say, because for three months he’s been missing the one thing he needs most: an initial plan that cannot unite 218 votes.
We Democrats have had a plan, House, Senate, Democrats. Pass it, without brinksmanship, without hostage taking. Do what we've done under President Trump and President Biden in the past, when we’ve reached the limit of debt ceiling.
We say to Speaker McCarthy, where is your plan?
If you sit down with the president if the two were to sit down, the Speaker would have nothing to say because for three months he is missing an initial plan that can unite 218 votes.
During today’s interview, the Speaker also claimed multiple times that his party is considering $4 trillion in cuts. Great! Fill out the specifics, where the $4 trillion exactly comes from. Put it on the floor, Mr. Speaker! Show us the plan! Have a vote! We need specifics. You can’t say you are for $4 trillion in cuts if you can’t point to specifics.
If the Speaker truly has a proposal, he should lay it out. This isn’t about some amorphous, vague number – it’s about having a plan.
And this is the central problem with Speaker McCarthy’s approach. It is not even possible to meet with the President and have a true meeting if he can’t guarantee he will keep his conference together.
That’s why Republicans should drop their brinkmanship, drop their hostage taking, work with Democrats on a clean bipartisan extension of the debt ceiling, and remove this cloud that's hanging over our economy that is imposed by Speaker McCarthy's brinksmanship.