Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Passing The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill And Moving Forward With The Budget Resolution: The Two-Track Strategy Is Proceeding Full Steam AheadAugust 10, 2021
Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the Senate vote to pass the bipartisan infrastructure legislation and moving forward with passing a budget resolution that will unlock historic investments in American jobs, American families, and the fight against climate change. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
First, let me, before I begin, thank Senators Carper and Capito for managing this bill and doing it in such a fine way and their staffs as well.
It has been a long and winding road, but we have persisted—and now we have arrived.
There were many logs in our path, detours along the way. But the American people will now see the most robust injection of funds into infrastructure in decades.
In a few moments, the Senate will pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill, dedicating over a trillion dollars to strengthen every major category of our country’s physical infrastructure.
It has been a long time coming. Our economy is number one in the world but our infrastructure ranks number 13. You’ll find better roads, bridges, airports, and broadband in the United Arab Emirates than in the United States of America.
Today, the Senate takes a decades-overdue step to revitalize America’s infrastructure and give our workers, our businesses, our economy the tools to succeed in the 21st century. The bill will make large and significant differences in both productivity and job creation in America for decades to come.
To my colleagues, particularly the group of 10, then 11, then 22, who worked so hard in a bipartisan way: congratulations, congratulations on a job well done.
Thank you to our Committee Chairs and Ranking Members, whose expertise was required at several stages. And to the staff who sacrificed weekends, family gatherings, and most often, sleep, in order to finish this bill: thank you.
Thank you to President Biden and his team at the White House. President Biden has been in office for only seven months, and already the Senate is about to pass the first major infrastructure package in over a decade, on a bipartisan basis with his complete and total involvement.
Throughout the process, I have tried to prod the negotiators along when they’ve needed it, and given them space when they’ve asked for it. At times, it took a deadline to kick negotiations into high gear. Other times, it required a few extra days to allow compromise to gel. But when the Senate is run with an open hand—rather than a closed fist—Senators can accomplish big things.
So despite this long road we’ve taken, we have finally, finally, reached the finish line.
Of course, we Democrats believe we need to do much more. The bipartisan infrastructure bill is a very significant bill. But our country has other very significant, very important challenges. Working families need help. Small businesses need a leg up. Climate change threatens the future of our planet. Our tax code needs to be straightened out. Other parts of our infrastructure, not addressed in this bipartisan bill, still need focus, attention, and help.
So to my colleagues who are concerned that this does not do enough on climate, for families, and making corporations and the rich pay their fair share: we are moving on to a second track, which will make a generational transformation in these areas.
Once this bill is complete, the Senate will immediately turn to the second track in our two-track strategy: passing a budget resolution that will unlock historic investments in American jobs, American families, and the fight against climate change.
The two-track strategy is proceeding full steam ahead.
At its core, the Democratic budget, both parts, is about restoring the middle class in the 21st Century and giving more Americans the opportunity to get there. Too many in the middle class are worried about their futures. The sunny American optimism has turned into a sourness, an anger, a divisiveness in the land. Bold, transformative action—on traditional infrastructure, on helping families, middle class families, cope, and on climate—will restore that bright, sunny optimism that has been part of this American psyche for centuries.
At the core what we want to do is this: we want to cut taxes for American families; we want to create millions of jobs while tackling the climate crisis; and we want to pay for it by making corporations and the wealthy finally pay their fair share.
After we pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill this morning, Senators should expect a vote to proceed to the budget resolution, and we will begin the process for debating amendments shortly thereafter.
Democrats are prepared to move quickly and decisively through the amendment process so we can finish what we set out to do before the end of the work period. The longer it takes to finish, the longer the Senate will be in session.
At the start of July, I set two ambitious goals for this chamber before our August recess. One was to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill to boost our economy, something the Senate has not achieved in many years. This is a strong and bold accomplishment.
The second was to pass a budget resolution with the kinds of transformative changes I have mentioned. Pundits called it wishful thinking in a chamber known for unhurried deliberation.
Well, we are moments away from achieving the first goal, and I am confident that very soon the Senate will take the first major step towards achieving our second goal.
The Senate is on track to finish both tracks—and deliver an outstanding result for the American people.