Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Moving Forward On Two Tracks With A Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill And A Budget Resolution In JulyJune 24, 2021
Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding moving forward on a bipartisan infrastructure bill and a budget resolution in July. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
A nation’s economic potential depends on the quality of its infrastructure. Our businesses, workers, farmers, manufacturers, you name it—they all depend on the infrastructure networks that connect our country. And here in the 21st Century, electrical grids and broadband internet access are just as important as roads and bridges and highways.
But it has been decades, decades, since Congress passed a significant, standalone bill to increase federal investment in infrastructure. Our roads and bridges are crumbling. Children learn in dilapidated schools. Large swaths of rural America lack access to broadband internet.
We need to refashion much of our infrastructure to address the existential threat of climate change. That is so important. And it is essential to the overwhelming majority of my caucus.
So the Senate, this summer, is going to move forward on multiple legislative proposals to make historic investments in our nation’s infrastructure. And when we say that, we mean both types of infrastructure: the concrete and steel, that kind of infrastructure, the physical infrastructure. But also the human infrastructure, so that we can maximize the potential of our people, which after all, is our greatest resource.
So we are pursuing on multiple paths. We are making two tracks. The first legislative track is bipartisan. The second track will incorporate elements of the American Jobs and Families plan and will be done through the budget process, which must pass even if it is not bipartisan.
There has been significant progress this week on both tracks.
Yesterday, a bipartisan group of senators announced they had reached an agreement in concept for a bipartisan infrastructure proposal. And I have encouraged them to move forward, but I have made it explicit to every one of them—together and separately—that we have to pass both tracks together.
Speaker Pelosi and I were made aware of the concepts of the agreement, the bipartisan agreement, last night. And while we have yet to see the details, I am encouraged by the progress the bipartisan group of Senators has made. I have supported these bipartisan discussions from the beginning, and I want to thank my colleagues for their hard work.
Senate Democrats have also made significant progress on preparing a budget resolution.
These two efforts are tied together. Let me make that clear. The bipartisan infrastructure bill and the budget resolution are tied together. If the Senate is going to move forward with a bipartisan infrastructure bill, we must also move forward on a budget resolution as well.
I have discussed this with President Biden directly on several occasions, and he agrees that we cannot do one without the other and he has let the participants know that. Speaker Pelosi agrees that we cannot do one without the other. All parties understand that we won’t get enough votes to pass either unless we have enough votes to pass both.
When the Senate returns in July, it will be time to take the next step and hold the first votes on the bipartisan infrastructure bill on the floor of the Senate. Senators should also be prepared to consider a budget resolution that will clear the way for the budget reconciliation bill as soon as possible. The bottom line is that both tracks need to make progress concurrently.
This is about building a foundation for the United States to remain the world economic leader in the 21st century. We are the largest economy in the world, and yet our infrastructure ranks 13th, behind South Korea, Germany, Japan, even the United Arab Emirates. There isn’t a community in this country without some glaring infrastructure challenge, certainly my home state of New York.
If America is going to prosper in the 21st century, we can’t have infrastructure that’s stuck in the last century.
We need to pass a major investment in infrastructure, both physical and human, this year. And I look forward to holding the first votes when we return for the July work period.