Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the implementation of the historic bills passed last Congress that will provide good-paying union jobs, lower costs, and strengthen our economy. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
As President Biden pointed out last week during his State of the Union Address, the Democratic agenda is already bearing fruit across this country.
There will be tens of thousands of projects funded. I joined with the President to talk about Gateway in New York—something New Yorkers have waited on for decades and is vital to continuing the health of our bistate New York and New Jersey economy, as well as the economy of the Northeast. When the president came and we actually started working on the project, you could feel exaltation and excitement in the city. That’s going to start happening again and again everywhere, in urban, suburban, and rural areas, as Democrats make it a priority to get the word out about all the good things that are coming the American people’s way.
It’s one thing for Americans to read about things Congress has passed, but when they can actually feel and see these accomplishments play out in their communities, it makes a world of difference. We have a responsibility to make the connection between what happens in this chamber and what’s going on in people’s backyards.
This morning, I sent out a Dear Colleague with Senator Stabenow about how Democrats are going to get the word out on implementing our agenda in the coming weeks. We have a great story to tell the American people, and no shortage of examples of how our agenda is making the country stronger and making Americans’ lives better.
Let me give a few examples: Seniors on Medicare, for instance, can now already take advantage of Democrats’ historic $35 month cap on insulin. After years of hard work, this is no longer an aspiration—a $35 insulin cap is now the law of the land. Seniors, who are up at nights worrying how they are going to pay $400, $500, $600, $700 a month for this vital drug when you have diabetes can now breathe easy. Millions of people, the seniors and their families and friends can breathe easier because of what we've done. Now, let's not forget we should be expanding the cap to all Americans, not just those to over 65, and in this Congress, Democrats are going to work hard and try to work with our Republican colleagues. We hope they’ll join us to make that happen.
Here's another one: very few people know of this, but we're spreading the word. Seniors on Medicaid can take advantage of free shingles vaccines. These two benefits alone—the insulin cap and free shingles vaccines—could mean hundreds in savings every year for Seniors on Medicaid. And so many Seniors are.
On the Infrastructure front, communities across the country can now apply for new grant funding to fix their roads, their bridges, their highways. These are perhaps the most obvious examples of our agenda at work: people are going to start seeing more orange vests, more hard hats, and good paying union jobs in their communities as they get the updates they sorely need.
And the Inflation Reduction Act is already doing exactly what its name suggests: saving people money. The tax credits alone can give families as much as $14,000 for making their homes energy efficient. People can put in heat pumps—get help to get those heat pumps—and their heating bills go down. It's a great thing.
The examples go on. Democrats are going to make implementation a top priority in this Congress. After everything we’ve been through over the past three years, Americans deserve to hear some good news about how their leaders are working hard for them. That’s precisely what we will focus on in the coming years.