Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Senate Passage Of The U.S. Innovation And Competition Act, A Turning Point For American Leadership In The 21st CenturyJune 9, 2021
Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the passage of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act which will boost American science, technology, and innovation for decades to come. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
68 – 32. That was the final vote tally last night for the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA)—an overwhelming display of bipartisan support. A rarity on a major bill in this Senate.
I believe the final vote reflects the importance of the bill: of rededicating the federal government to science and technology; to out-competing our adversaries, especially the Chinese Communist Party; to strengthening critical supply chains, as well as our partnerships and alliances abroad.
I believe that future generations will look back on this competition bill as the turning point for American leadership in the 21st Century.
I think the depth of bipartisan support reflects the process we took as well. The kernel of this bill is legislation I wrote with Sen. Todd Young, the Endless Frontier Act. We ultimately included legislation from six committees and input from every member. Over three weeks, the Senate considered more than 20 amendments, the vast majority from Republicans. In fact, the Senate even accepted an amendment from Senator Paul by voice vote. That doesn’t happen too often around here.
Excluding budget resolutions, nearly as many amendments have received roll call votes on this one bill, as on all the bills in 2017 when the Republicans were in the majority. Nearly as many amendment votes on this one bill, as over that entire year.
We are running the Senate in a different way.
So I want to thank my colleagues on both sides for their efforts. Senators Cantwell and Wicker, for their excellent management of the bill. Senator Young, for working with me from the very beginning until the very end. Senators Menendez and Risch, as well as Senators Murray, Durbin, Peters, Brown and Wyden, who I’m committing to working with to put real teeth into the anti-censorship provisions of this bill before it becomes law. Senator Wyden has been a hallmark on that.
Of course, the job is not done until the legislation moves through the House and onto the president’s desk. Now that the bill has passed the Senate, we are going to work with Speaker Pelosi and the relevant committee chairs in the House to move this bill forward as quickly as possible. Of course, the House could bring in additional priorities, but I am intent on seeing the major thrust of this legislation become law. The bill is so important to the future of America that the House and Senate must come together and send President Biden a bill that he is very, very eager to sign.
Yesterday, the Senate took a bold, strong step towards boosting American science, technology, and innovation for decades. We’re going to keep at it, keep at it until we cross the finish line.