Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the need to pass the bipartisan continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
As I’ve said for months, the only solution for avoiding a harmful government shutdown is bipartisanship. We now have four days to go until funding expires on Saturday at midnight. We are now right at the precipice.
Yet all last week, Speaker McCarthy, instead of focusing on bipartisanship, catered to the hard right, and has nothing, to show for it. And now, the Speaker will put on the floor hard-right appropriations bills that have nothing to do with avoiding a shutdown.
So this week, the Senate will move forward first. Over the weekend, Senate Democrats and Republicans together worked in good faith to reach an agreement on a continuing resolution that will keep the government open beyond September 30th. We are very close to finishing our work and hope to release text very soon.
This bipartisan CR is a temporary solution, a bridge towards cooperation and away from extremism, and it will allow us to keep working to fully fund the federal government and spare American families the pain of a shutdown.
While for sure this bill does not have everything either side wants, it will continue to fund the government at present levels while maintaining our commitment to Ukraine’s security and humanitarian needs, while also ensuring those impacted by natural disasters across the country begin to get the resources they need.
In a few hours, we will hold the first procedural vote to move forward on the vehicle for this CR, and I thank my colleagues and staff from both sides of the aisle who spent all weekend negotiating in good faith to get us to this point.
The Senate’s CR is a good, sensible, and bipartisan – let me emphasize bipartisan – bill. It will achieve the most important immediate goal: avoiding a shutdown. We’ll protect American families from needless pain, pay our troops, and make good on our promise to American seniors. It will promote access to affordable health care, sustain investment in life-saving research, and avoid costly disruptions to our supply chains.
Now, of course, today’s agreement won’t have everything that both sides want. But let me repeat: this CR is a bridge, not a final destination. It will help us achieve our immediate and necessary goal of avoiding a government shutdown and move us away from the senseless and aimless extremism that has dominated the House, so we can get to work on appropriations.
We can and must do more to respond to disasters that have ravaged the country.
We can and must do more to lower costs and grow the middle class.
We can and must do more to stand with our friends in Ukraine and resist Putin’s dangerous attacks on democracy and freedom.
And we can and must do more to finish the bipartisan appropriations process in a way that makes strong investments in our country, in our families, and in our future.
We will continue to work on these and many more. But right now, this CR is a must-needed bridge away from extremism and towards cooperation.
Make no mistake, a shutdown would be a terrible outcome for the country, despite what some on the hard right would have us ludicrously believe. It’s hard for me to believe that some, the extreme right in the other chamber, say they actually want a shutdown. What insanity! This will avoid that terrible outcome.
It will pay for our service members, which could be halted if there’s a shutdown. It would prevent millions of Americans who count on government services from suffering. It would prevent food safety, public health protections, small business loans, infrastructure projects from being cut, and at least temporarily ended, because they’re all at risk right now if there’s a shutdown.
If there’s a shutdown, TSA could be thrown into chaos, meaning possible delays and disruption for all fliers. Border enforcement agencies would be undermined, and even FEMA’s disaster relief fund could actually dry up.
We don’t need to go through any of this. The Senate’s bipartisan CR will ensure that none of the bad things that I just enumerated happen.
I urge, I urge strongly reasonable members of both chambers to come together to pass this bridge CR and move forward, freed from the hard right extremists who are hell bent on destroying trust in government and hurting millions and millions of middle-class families.