Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Need To Pass The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill And The Build Back Better Reconciliation Bill By the End of October

October 4, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the urgent need to pass both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better reconciliation package by the end of October. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:

On the day that this Majority commenced its work, I promised that this chamber would meet the challenges that face our nation “not with timid solutions but with boldness and with courage.

Now, the 117th Congress stands at a pivotal moment in our pursuit of this goal.

Over the past few months, both chambers have dedicated themselves to passing two transformative, once-in-a-generation pieces of legislation: the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and the Build Back Better Agenda.

Doing big things in Congress is always hard. But we didn’t choose elected office just to pursue the easy things. In the days and weeks to come, Senate Democrats will remain focused on passing the agenda we promised, no matter how hard the task may be.

All last week, I held extensive talks with the Speaker, the President, and my Senate Colleagues to bring us closer to a final agreement on our Build Back Better Agenda.

We made important progress, but there’s more work to do. So this week I will continue meeting with my colleagues in an effort to produce a bill that all of us can get behind.

Last Friday, President Biden spoke to House Democrats about the path forward for passing our ambitious agenda into law.

His message was simple: if we stick together, if we work to find a legislative sweet-spot that we can all support, then we will succeed.

He is right, and that’s exactly what we are going to do. As I explained this morning in my Dear Colleague, our new legislative goal must be to get both the Infrastructure Bill and the Build Back Better Agenda done by the end of October.

The reason is simple: the Infrastructure Bill, for all its historic investments, is also a reauthorization of the Highway Trust Fund. We passed a 30-day patch over the weekend to keep vital programs going, but as it stands the Trust Fund is set to run out of money by the end of October.

If we are going to meet this deadline, Democrats must arrive at a final agreement on the details of the Build Back Better Agenda as soon as possible—preferably within a matter of days, not weeks. It’s the only way we can give committees enough time to draft legislation, ensure its “privileged” status in our chamber, and complete the reconciliation process before the end of the month.

Now, none of this is going to be easy—it will require sacrifice, compromise, and finding common ground. Nobody is going to get everything they want. 

But no matter what, our final proposal will deliver the core promise we made to the American people:

We will take bold action on climate change while creating millions of jobs.

We will expand health care opportunities and lower costs for working Americans.

And we will cut taxes for the working and middle class while asking the wealthy to pay their fair share. 

I am confident we will be proud of the end result: a bill that will dramatically improve the lives of every single American not just today but for generations.

A bill that will rebuild ladders for working people to get to the middle class, help people stay in the middle class who are there already, and rekindle that sunny American disposition so central to our national identity.

This is worth a couple hard days. This is worth many hard days. Again, we didn’t come to Washington to take the easy way out; we came here committed to work, every day, to reward the faith that the American people have placed in us.

We came here to get big things done, and that’s exactly what we will do in the weeks ahead.