Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Senate’s Top Priorities For The Week, Including Bipartisan Legislation To Bolster American Competitiveness, Boost Funding For Scientific Research And Technological Innovation

May 17, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the upcoming vote to take up the bipartisan Endless Frontier Act and efforts to prepare the United States to better compete in the 21st Century global economy. Senator Schumer also spoke on the Congressional Review Act resolution vote this week to repeal a Trump-era rule that makes it more difficult for victims of workplace discrimination to seek justice and vote to discharge the nomination of Ms. Kristen Clarke from the Judiciary Committee. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

The Senate will consider three important measures this week.

Senators will vote on whether to repeal a Trump-era rule that has made it harder for victims of discrimination in the workplace to pursue justice. It’s another example of the sheer malice and nastiness of the Trump Administration: it actively sought to make it harder—harder—for workers to win employment discrimination claims. The Senate should reverse the Trump-era rule this week.

Second, the Senate will also vote on whether to discharge the nomination of Ms. Kristen Clarke from the Judiciary Committee. Ms. Clarke would be the first Black woman ever to serve as the Assistant Attorney General for the civil rights division. She is immensely qualified and I look forward to putting her nomination on the floor after the Senate takes action this week.

But first, throughout the week, the Senate will debate a very important piece of legislation. This evening, the Senate will vote on whether to take up the Endless Frontier Act on the Senate floor, a once-in-a-generation investment in American science and American technology. Last week, the Senate Commerce Committee voted on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis, 24-4, to advance the bill. The Endless Frontier Act will form the core of what will be a comprehensive bill to boost America’s ability to compete, innovate, and win the technologies of the 21st Century.

Over the course of the next week or two, the Senate will debate and amend the legislation. I look forward to having another open and bipartisan amendment process, just as we did on the Asian Hate Crimes bill and the bipartisan water infrastructure bill. There is no reason—no reason—the Senate can’t finish our work on this important legislation by the end of month.

Members on both sides of the aisle know that decades of federal under-investment in science and technology have imperiled America’s global economic leadership. When we invest in science, it inevitably produces millions of good paying jobs. So this comprehensive bill will boost funding for basic scientific research, tech development and manufacturing. It’ll strengthen our alliances and partnerships abroad; it’ll fortify weak spots in our economy like semiconductors; and it’ll ensure that we hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its predatory economic practices. It is a forward-looking, comprehensive plan to preserve America’s competitive edge.

The benefits will be manifold. When we invest in scientific research, the effect is diffusive—it helps our universities, our laboratories, and our businesses— and again, it creates new, good paying jobs, millions of them. Millions of them.

So if you’re looking to the future—and our people want to have a brighter future and want to be assured that their children will have better paying jobs than they have—this is an answer. It’s one of the most important answers we can come up with. An American workforce will help bring American inventions to the global market, and the way we have been number one in the economy for the last century will continue on into this one. So I’m excited about this legislation.

Holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its years of rapacious economic policies and theft of American ingenuity will help create a level playing field that American workers have lacked for decades.

Investing in scientific research also hardens our national security. We can either have a world where the Chinese Communist Party determines the rules of the road for 5G, AI, and Quantum Computing—or we can make sure the United States gets there first.

Few things should bring this chamber together faster than securing another century of American leadership. I’m proud to have worked with my colleagues Senator Young, Chairwoman Cantwell, Ranking Member Wicker, and others to get this bill to the floor of the Senate. And I greatly look forward to working with all of my colleagues during these next few weeks on amending, broadening, and passing this legislation before the month is out. 

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