Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Laying The Foundation For The Future By Moving Forward Infrastructure Legislation On Two Tracks This Work PeriodJuly 12, 2021
Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the need for the Senate to move forward with smart and bold investments in our nation’s traditional and human infrastructure this month along two tracks. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Six months ago, the Democratic majority began this Congress by aggressively confronting the COVID crisis. We passed the American Rescue Plan, one of the largest federal stimulus measures in history, to help bring an end to the economic downturn and prime our economy to come roaring back.
Now, millions of Americans have come off the unemployment rolls and small businesses have re-opened from coast to coast. More than 150 million Americans have been fully vaccinated, and we need, of course, to keep up the effort to inoculate the rest of the country. But suffice to say: we are well on our way to bringing the country out of chaos and crisis and back to normal.
But the task is not done. As our country reopens and Americans return to work, we must turn our attention to laying a foundation for the future.
This upcoming work period will focus on exactly that: building a foundation for future American prosperity, for years and decades to come, through smart and bold investments in our nation’s infrastructure.
As I have said for weeks, the discussions about infrastructure legislation continue along two tracks.
On the bipartisan track, our committees are getting closer to turning the recent agreement between the White House and bipartisan infrastructure group into legislation. I am pleased to report we are making very good progress towards that goal.
On the second track, the Senate Budget Committee is close to finalizing a Budget Resolution which will allow the Senate to move forward with the remaining parts of the American Jobs and Families Plan.
The Senate must pass the budget resolution, and an eventual budget reconciliation bill, with or without Republican support.
The fact of the matter is brick-and-mortar infrastructure is very important, but is no longer the only type of infrastructure that matters in the 21st Century.
Human infrastructure, what many might call family support as our families come under increasing pressure in this modern society—things like child care, family leave, education, health care—are just as essential to giving our citizens opportunity as building roads, and bridges, and railways. Both are very important.
21st Century investments in broadband internet, the electric grid, and retrofitting our economy to fight climate change are just as important as building roads, bridges, and railways.
We must do both—it’s not one or the other—and we are going to do both.
Before this work period is over, it is my intention for the Senate to hold votes on the bipartisan infrastructure bill and a budget resolution.
Members should prepare for a busier work period than usual, with the possibility of late night votes, weekend votes, and changes to the August schedule.
It is not going to be easy, but it is certainly going to be worth it. The federal government has not made a significant, stand-alone investment in infrastructure in decades. We are the world’s largest economy, and yet our infrastructure ranks 13th. America has less generous family-support policies than so many of our peers who are not as wealthy as we are. It’s time to rebuild our infrastructure, create millions of good-paying jobs—particularly for those who have not been able to get good paying jobs—and help American families keep up with rising expenses. If and when we succeed, the benefits will reverberate across the country for generations to come.