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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Inclusion Of Innovation And Science In The Omnibus Appropriations Bill

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the release of government funding legislation that includes many important priorities, such as funding authorized through the CHIPS and Science Act and billions to support universities, national labs, manufacturers, entrepreneurs. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:

I have good news. With days left before Christmas, Democrats and Republicans reached an omnibus agreement at 1:15 AM early this morning.

In the very early hours of the morning, Chairman Leahy and Ranking Member Shelby released a long-sought, bipartisan, bicameral Omnibus Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2023. The omnibus is the last thing we have to do to close out a very successful 117th Congress, and we’ve taken another step, a major step, towards reaching the goal line.

After a lot of hard work, this package represents an aggressive investment in American families, American workers, and America’s national defense. It will give our troops a raise, make health care more affordable for millions, and it fulfills the promise Democrats made to defend democracy at home and abroad through the ECA.

It was no easy feat to piece this bill together, and if our amazing appropriator staff need a quick power nap at their desks this morning, no one is going to blame them.

I want to thank Chairman Leahy and Ranking Member Shelby for working on this omnibus for months without cease. I can’t think of a more fitting send off for our two esteemed appropriators than this.

If this omnibus goes down as Senators Leahy’s and Shelby’s final legislative contributions as Senators, then I say bravo, thank you, well done.

I also want to thank my colleagues in the House, above all Speaker Pelosi and Chair DeLauro for their relentless work.

The clock is now ticking until government funding runs out this Friday. Between now and the end of the week, the watchwords for the Senate will be “speed” and “cooperation.”

For the information of senators, we’re going to get going on this process today. Member should be ready to vote to lay the omnibus before the Senate as soon as this afternoon.

We must finish passing this omnibus before the deadline on Friday when government funding runs out. But we hope to do it much sooner than that because we are mindful that a nor’easter is barreling down the east coast on Thursday and Friday.

Let me say this again: the sooner we pass the omnibus, the better. We have until Friday before funding runs out but we ought to get it done well before then. I hope no senator will stand in the way of us finishing our work. We cannot afford a shutdown.

More importantly, the American people need us to act quickly—as I said, the American people need us to act quickly—to avert the looming danger of a government shutdown. Nobody wants a shutdown. Nobody benefits from a shutdown. And so I hope nobody here will stand in the way from funding the government ASAP.

Now, let’s turn to the omnibus itself. This funding bill is overflowing with very good news for our troops, for the Ukrainian brave fighters, for American jobs, for our families, and for American Democracy. [...]

On the manufacturing and science front, the omnibus secures the first major down payment in building the tech hubs across the country that we have authorized through the CHIPS and Science Act.

This means real dollars to create the silicon valleys, the silicon forests, the silicon heartlands, and prairies of tomorrow. Again, I want to thank Chair Cantwell for her steadfast leadership on this issue, as well as my colleague on the other side of the aisle, Todd Young.

Under this omnibus, we’ll also secure the largest dollar increase for the National Science Foundation of all time, including a surge in funds for the new Technology Directorate and for STEM workforce training that will spur chip growth across the country and give training to millions who have been left out of the increase in jobs in tech. 

Also included are billions to support universities, national labs, manufacturers, entrepreneurs, and workers with the support necessary for the U.S. to beat back China and remain technologically competitive on the world stage. […]

So from start to finish—from top to bottom—this omnibus is bold, generous, far-reaching, and ambitious.

It’s not everything we would’ve wanted, of course. When you’re dealing in a bipartisan, bicameral way, you have to sit down and get it done and that means each side has to concede some things, but it is something that we can be very proud of—all of us. Now we must get this done before Friday, well before that if possible.

I want to thank every single colleague and staff member who worked relentlessly to put this piece of legislation together. Not only Senators Leahy and Shelby, but their subcommittee chairs and ranking members. It was a herculean feat for our dedicated appropriators. The process may have been difficult, but I am confident we are now in a position to pass this bill quickly.

And I am even more confident that once we finish our work on this package, America will be a healthier, more prosperous, and more secure country thanks to the work we have done here and now.

Thanks to my colleagues, let's finish the bill very soon.