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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Senate Passage Of The Respect For Marriage Act

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the Senate protecting the right to marriage for millions of Americans by passing the Respect for Marriage Act. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:

Yesterday, our work of making America a more perfect place took a momentous step forward as the Senate passed the bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act.

When the vote closed, the feeling on the floor was jubilation and relief, not just for ourselves and our families, but for the millions of Americans across the country whose rights will be better protected under this bill. The Respect for Marriage Act now goes to the House of Representatives for what I hope is a quick vote, and then it’s on to the President’s desk. And let's remember, President Joe Biden was one of the early proponents of marriage equality, even when it got some others not so happy with him.

Passing the Respect for Marriage Act would not have happened without the leadership in this Senate of so many of my colleagues: Senators Baldwin and Sinema and Feinstein—who originally authored this landmark bill—and my Republican colleagues: Senators Collins, Portman, Tillis. I thank them all.

The entire process was also a vindication of a central premise Senate Democrats and I have embraced this Congress. I’ve always said I have a hierarchy: first, try to get things done in a bipartisan way whenever possible. It’s far better to find a way to pass legislation that will help Americans than to hold show votes that have no hope of becoming law, and that proved true on marriage equality.

My number one priority, in the end, is to find ways to get bills passed in the Senate.

So, I hope that yesterday’s vote is a signal that both parties can keep working together on difficult issues in the next Congress. If our Republican colleagues can shake off the MAGA wing of their party that is holding Republicans down, we can get a lot done. And it's obvious to everyone, there are many Republican Senators who don’t embrace MAGA. And we say to them, we want to keep working with you. It’s necessary in order to keep tackling the big problems that face our country.

And if Republicans don’t follow the MAGA path in the next Congress, it will go a long way to restoring people’s faith that Congress can work together and even disagree without being disagreeable.