Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the Senate’s bipartisan approach to appropriations legislation. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Over the past few months, the Senate appropriations process has been a shining example for how things should work in Washington. These are divided times, in a closely divided chamber, but nevertheless we can summarize the Senate’s work of funding the government down to one word: bipartisan.
Thanks to the outstanding work of Appropriations Chair Patty Murray, and Vice Chair Susan Collins, and many other colleagues from both sides, all 12 appropriations bills have been reported out of the committee with bipartisan support. Some of them, many of them, were with unanimous bipartisan support.
Now, that doesn’t mean that everyone agreed on everything. It means something more important: it means that disagreements haven’t paralyzed the process.
This month, one of the Senate’s top priorities will be to keep the government open beyond the September 30th deadline. Both parties, in both chambers, will have to work together if we are to avoid a shutdown.
So when the House returns next week, I implore, I implore my Republican colleagues in the House to recognize that time is short to keep the government open, and the only way to avoid a shutdown is through bipartisanship.
House Republicans should follow the Senate’s example and work with Democrats to pass strong, bipartisan appropriation bills. They’ll have their first chance to show their commitment to bipartisanship when they return next week.
The last thing Americans need right now is a pointless government shutdown. Our economy has come a very long way since the darkest days of the COVID pandemic: inflation is slowing down, job growth remains strong, and the investments we’ve made through the infrastructure law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act are paying off with new projects and new good-paying jobs. We shouldn’t squander all of that now. A shutdown is unnecessary and would harm so many American families and businesses.
But if both sides work in good faith, embrace bipartisanship as we’ve done in the Senate, and avoid all-or-nothing tactics, then there will be no shutdown. And that will be very good news for the American people, because the American people suffer most when there is a shutdown.