Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Senate’s Continued Work On Infrastructure, The Crucial Importance Of Acting On Voting Rights Legislation, And Continuing To Confirm President Biden’s Nominees, Including Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson To The DC Circuit Later Today

June 14, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the Senate working on two tracks to pass big, bold infrastructure legislation that delivers on climate change, the importance of acting on voting rights legislation this month, and the Senate’s continued action to confirm President Biden’s well-qualified nominees. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

After passing the bipartisan U.S. Innovation and Competition Act last week and confirming the first judges of the Biden era, we will continue with major elements of our legislative agenda.

Senate committees will continue working on a bipartisan infrastructure proposal to meet the demands of the 21st century.

As I have said from the start, discussions about infrastructure investments are progressing on two tracks. One track is bipartisan. The second track pulls in other elements of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan, which will be considered even if it does not have bipartisan support. Our Senate committees are working on both tracks at the same time. And as a reminder to the Senate, a reminder to the Senate: as I’ve said from the start that in order to move forward on infrastructure, we must include bold action on climate.

At the moment, both tracks are moving forward and progressing very well.

In addition, before the end of the month, the Senate will vote on crucial voting rights legislation. Republican state legislatures across the country are passing the most draconian voting restrictions since the beginning of Jim Crow. Congress must take action to defend our democracy.

Meanwhile, we will move more swiftly to confirm even more of the President’s appointments, including several to the federal bench.

Last week was one for the record books. The Senate confirmed the first slate of President Biden’s judicial nominees. Not only were they individuals of immense talent and high character, they reflected the great cultural, geographic, and experiential diversity of our country. Among them was the first ever Muslim-American to be confirmed as an Article III judge.

Let me read a headline from this morning’s Washington Post: “Biden has nominated as many minority women to be judges in four months as Trump had confirmed in four years.”

That is an amazing, amazing statistic.

Women, especially women of color, have long been under-represented on the federal bench. Along with President Biden, the Senate Democratic majority is working quickly to close the gap.

In fact, in just a few hours, we will confirm another outstanding, trailblazing nominee for the federal bench: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Jackson will be the first of President Biden’s Circuit Court nominees confirmed by the Senate. And we’re starting right at the top.

After the Supreme Court, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals is the most important federal court in the country, with jurisdiction over cases involving Congress and executive branch agencies. And Judge Jackson, nominated to the seat once occupied by the current Attorney General, is the perfect person for the job.

She is a former federal defender, she clerked for Justice Breyer, and since 2013, has been a district court judge in D.C. She has all the qualities of a model jurist. She is brilliant, thoughtful, collaborative, and dedicated to applying the law impartially. For these qualities, she has earned the respect of both sides. Nominees to powerful circuit courts, especially the DC Circuit, are frequently controversial. But last week, a bipartisan group of Senators in the Judiciary Committee voted in her favor.

I greatly look forward to confirming this exceptional nominee in just a few hours, and continuing to restore balance to a judiciary that’s been thrown out-of-whack by former President Trump.

After Judge Jackson’s confirmation, we will turn to other nominees. We will hold a cloture vote this evening on Lina Khan’s nomination to the Federal Trade Commission and confirm her tomorrow. Tomorrow as well, we will vote on Kiran Ahuja to lead the Office of Personnel Management. And the Senate will have the opportunity to advance several other nominees as the week goes on.