Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Need To Pass The American Rescue Plan To Boost The Economy And Bring Relief To The American People

March 2, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the need to pass the American Rescue Plan to boost the economy and keep struggling businesses, families and workers afloat. Senator Schumer said the Senate will begin its work on the American Rescue plan as early as tomorrow. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

As early as tomorrow, the Senate will begin work on the American Rescue Plan. As the country faces a series of historic challenges, we must meet the moment with a historic response. Millions of jobs and trillions of dollars have been taken out of our economy. Thousands of small businesses are holding on for dear life. And tens of millions of Americans are struggling with the rent, groceries, medicine and utilities.

Only a week ago, the United States crossed the tragic milestone of half-a-million deaths from COVID-19, a stark reminder that the pandemic isn’t done with us yet.

Over the past year, Congress has stepped up to the plate to pass important relief measures. But the job is not complete.

The American Rescue Plan is designed to finish the job. To patch up the holes in our economy and lay a foundation for recovery. To keep struggling businesses, families and workers afloat until brighter days appear on the horizon. To send our children back to school as quickly and safely as possible. And to defeat this evil disease, once and for all.

That is what the American people sent us here to do. That is what our government is for. Not to sit back and wait for problems to fix themselves. Not to cross our fingers and hope the economy will recover on its own.

Our job is to end—through action—the current state of the crisis, and hasten the day when our country, and all of our lives, can return to normal.

The bottom line: if you look at the trajectory: every time we put in a relief bill, in March, the economy got better in June, in July.

We put a relief bill in December, and now the numbers look a little better for January.

But the economy is not strong enough to sustain things on its own. We need strong relief to get the economy going so it can continue on an upward path on its own. That’s what this bill is designed to do.

I fear, as do most economists—Secretary Yellen, Chairman Powell—that if we do too little or nothing, the economy could stay mired in recession for all-too-long a time, just as it did when we didn’t do enough in 2009, and the economy stayed in recession for many years after the financial crisis.