Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Importance Of Passing The Bipartisan U.S. Innovation And Competition Act And Confirming Chiquita Brooks-LaSure And Kristen Clarke

May 24, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding completing the Senate’s work on the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act and confirming Chiquita Brooks-LaSure and Kristen Clarke by the end of the week. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

This week, the Senate will consider at least two nominations for important positions in the Executive Branch: Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to be the next Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, and Kristen Clarke to be the next Assistant Attorney General. Ms. Clarke would become the first woman, and the first woman of color, to formally lead the Justice Department’s civil rights division since it was established in 1957.

I look forward to confirming both nominees this week.

The Senate will also continue its work on the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, the largest standalone investment in American science and technology in decades.

With a once-in-a-generation investments in the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce, and other vital entities, this legislation will set our country on the path to out-innovate, out-produce, and out-compete the world in the industries of the future.

As the week goes on, we’ll continue to consider a number of amendments from both sides of the aisle, as well as a manager’s amendment to bring together a package of bipartisan changes to the bill.

This is regular order in action. The bill itself is the product of at least 6 Senate Committees, and includes input from nearly every member of the Senate. As promised, we are working in a bipartisan way, in a much more open way than the Senate used to act, to allow amendments and debate.

When a bill passes 24 to 4 out of one of its major committees, and 21 to 1 out of another, it is truly bipartisan, and we should be able to move this bill forward without any dilatory obstruction.

With so much cooperation happening, I see no reason why we can’t finish the legislation by the end of week.

So far, this bill has flown a bit under the radar. But it is an incredibly important piece of legislation. At its core, the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act is about maintaining America’s role as the global economic leader. Few issues could be more important. Just because it may have its effect two, three, four, five years from now—and not the day after it passes—doesn’t mean that it isn’t one of the most important pieces of legislation that we could pass.

The next century will be won or lost on the battleground of technological innovation. The country that leads the world in science and tech will create a generation of millions of good paying jobs, economic growth, and prosperity for its citizens—with profound implications for national security as well.

We want American workers, American businesses, and American values to lead the way in the 21st Century, just as they did in the 20th Century.

That’s what the Innovation and Competition Act is all about.

I look forward to working with members from both parties to complete this legislation by the end of the week. 

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