Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Continuing To Make Progress To Achieve The Goal Of Passing President Biden’s Build Back Better Plan

November 4, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the good progress made toward finalizing and passing legislation to achieve President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Democrats are closer than we’ve ever been to finalizing and passing legislation to achieve President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. 

We’ve made great progress since the President announced his framework last week—including by coming to an agreement that will, for the first time ever, empower Medicare to directly negotiate prices in Part B and Part D and lower prices for millions of seniors and American families. We will also cap out-of-pocket expenses at $2,000 per year. And our agreement will make it so Americans with diabetes don’t pay more than $35 per month on insulin.

One of the great confounding mysteries over the last several years is this: how did insulin—a drug that's been on the market for years and years and years; there is no patent—how did it end up costing $600 a dose to people who could barely afford it? Diabetes affects so many people, and yet they had to pay all this money.

So as the House prepares to move forward, the Senate continues to achieve progress in our goal of passing Build Back Better before Thanksgiving. That's our goal.

We are moving forward because the challenges American families and workers are facing are enormous, and President Biden’s agenda has many things that will lower costs and help families pay the bills.

Lower costs and help families pay the bills.

Take child care, for instance. Families sometimes pay more than $10,000 a year per child just to take care of them, a truly back-breaking expense. Secretary Yellen warned that the slack in the labor force is connected to child care.

Well, the President’s framework provides the largest investments ever to help families afford child care services. I believe of the 37 OECD nations – developed and semi-developed countries – we're 36th in child care. Once Build Back Better passes, that awful statistic will be gone.

Or take Pre-K: the president’s framework will, for the first time ever, provide universal Pre-K for 3 and 4 year olds. Millions of kids will be able to get on the right track early in life because of this investment. Long overdue.

We will also extend the child tax credit: this will help millions of parents better afford things like groceries and diapers and the utilities and other daily essentials.

And of course there are bold steps we are taking to fight climate change: our country has had too many homes destroyed by hurricanes and flooding. Entire cities in the West are breathing toxic air caused by extreme wildfires. Heatwaves and droughts endanger millions of Americans who make their living working outdoors or who don’t have air conditioning.

These disasters cost us tens of billions each year, so Build Back Better’s investments will help us reach our climate goals and represent a bold step in the right direction.

All the while, the President’s plan will be fully paid for and help our country reduce inflationary pressures, as no less than 15 Nobel-Prize winning economists have affirmed.

We are going to keep pushing to get these great policies over the finish line. As we have said repeatedly, nobody is getting everything they hoped for in the final deal—but Build Back Better will have things that everyone wanted. Passing transformative legislation is not easy— it’s hard, very hard – but the long hours we are putting in, the discussions we have had, some of them quite pointed, will be worth it when we produce a very good result for the American people.

So we’re going to keep working until we get this done.

 

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