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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Continuing Work On The National Security Supplemental

Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the urgent need for bipartisanship to pass the national security supplemental. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Senate negotiators continue their work on a truly significant undertaking: reaching a bipartisan agreement to protect America’s national security, to strengthen our border, and to provide critical aid to Ukraine, Israel, and our friends and partners abroad, as well as humanitarian aid for innocent Palestinians in Gaza and humanitarian aid to other places around the world.

We’re close to reaching a bipartisan agreement on the supplemental, but we are not there yet. Negotiators are still working through some outstanding items. All of us want to reach an agreement, but it is very important that we get this right.

So, I am heartened that negotiations are in a good place, even as we have more work to do. I’ve stayed in close touch with my Senate colleagues, with the Republican Leader, and with the White House and we’re all on the same page that we want to reach an agreement.

The President said that he is willing to work with Republicans in a big way on border security. For the last two months, Democrats have demonstrated that we’re willing to have this very difficult debate. It’s not easy – in fact, border security is one of the most difficult things we’ve undertaken – but Democrats are serious about getting something done.

But as I’ve said from the beginning, any outcome on the border has to be bipartisan. It has to be something that can get sixty votes in the Senate. We believe we can get it done, so we’re going to keep working.

Now, there are many on the hard-right who are trying desperately to kill these negotiations before they even finish. Many of them are motivated by naked partisanship, others are taking cues from Donald Trump. These hard-right saboteurs talk on and on about the need to fix the border, but now they don’t actually want to see a bipartisan solution on the border – which is the only kind of solution, of course, that can pass.

But here in the Senate, both sides have an obligation to make sure these hard-right voices stay in the minority. We must let the negotiators finish their work. Too much – too much – hangs in the balance for our national security, for our border, for our friends around the world.

This is especially true for the war in Ukraine. Very soon we will reach the two year mark since Putin commenced his illegal invasion, and the war now stands at a turning point. American aid, which has been so crucial for helping our Ukrainian friends hold the line, has been exhausted. The only way to provide more aid is through Congressional action.

And it is essential that Congress acts, because as Ukraine’s supplies run low, Russia’s supplies are replenishing.

According to a report yesterday, weapons from North Korea are now making their way to the battlefield, including North Korean missiles.

The more weapons from North Korea enter the war, the more precious resources Ukraine will be forced to use to shoot these weapons down – resources that are already in short supply.

In fact, Ukrainian commanders have already said they’ve been forced to ration munitions, because they don’t know when – or if – another round of American aid is coming their way.

So, to my Senate colleagues, the matter is quite simple. As President Zelenskyy himself told us a little over month ago, if the United States Congress approves more aid to Ukraine, they can win the war against Putin. But if Congress fails to act, Ukraine faces defeat.

And make no mistake, a defeat for Ukraine will make the world a more dangerous place for the United States. Whatever costs we bear to resist Putin today will be magnified in the future.

We dare not go down that road. We dare not shrink from our obligation to defend democracy in its hour of need. Our friends in Ukraine need our help, so we must answer their call by finishing work on the supplemental.