Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on Senate Democrats’ commitment to reaching a bipartisan agreement on the national security supplemental. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Every last member of this body knows what’s on the line as we work on the national security supplemental.
From securing our southern border, to helping our friends in Israel and innocent civilians in Gaza, to showing strength in the Indo-Pacific, and, of course, standing with Ukraine, the Senate’s very resolve and courage is being put to the test.
A month ago, I said the only way we will rise to the occasion is if both sides are serious about finding a bipartisan compromise. The negotiation was never going to be easy; in fact we all knew it would be immensely difficult.
Nevertheless, I said Democrats were willing to treat these negotiations with the seriousness they deserved. And for months, we have been true to our word, working with Republicans on border security, listening to their proposals, and coming to agreement on a vast range of issues.
We have not concluded negotiations, so we will keep going to get this done.
Democrats have always been ready and willing to have a debate on the border. We want to get this done, we have continued to work to get this done, and we remain committed – we remain committed – to bipartisanship. Both sides will have to give.
It is unfortunate, but frankly not surprising, that many on the hard right are mightily trying to sink the bipartisan work happening here in the Senate. But in the Senate, our responsibility is clear: we need to put the needs of our country above the interests of party politics.
Because the security of our southern border is on the line.
The security of Israel is on the line.
The health and safety of innocent Gaza civilians is on the line.
The stability of the Indo Pacific region is on the line.
And finally—as every Senator on both sides knows—the survival of Ukraine is on the line.
It will be two years since Vladimir Putin began his illegal, savage campaign against the Ukrainian people. American military assistance has been one of the most important lifelines for Ukrainian fighters since the start of the war. But now, that aid has run out: congressional action is required if we want to send additional military assistance.
The matter here is very simple, as President Zelenskyy told us in December. Ukraine will win the war against Russia if more aid is approved by Congress. But if no more aid is approved, Putin will win.
We dare not hand Eastern Europe over to Vladimir Putin. The supplemental is how we ensure that Western democracy is protected. The work is not easy—it is very hard, there are still some issues outstanding—but we remain committed to bipartisanship and we will keep working because we want to get this done.