Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Today’s Procedural Vote To Take The First Step To Begin Debate On The Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework

July 21, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding today’s cloture vote on the motion to proceed to a legislative vehicle – the first step to begin debate on bipartisan infrastructure legislation. Senator Schumer also added that he intends to pass both the bipartisan infrastructure framework and a budget resolution with reconciliation instructions before the Senate leaves for the August recess. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Let's get into what's happening here in the Senate this afternoon. The Senate will hold a procedural vote to get the legislative process started on a bipartisan infrastructure bill.

I have been very clear about what this vote is. This vote is only the first step in the legislative process on the Senate floor. It is merely a vote about whether the Senate is ready to begin debating a bipartisan infrastructure bill.

I have also been very clear about what this vote is not. This vote is not a deadline to have every final detail worked out. It is not an attempt to jam anyone.

If Senators agree to adopt the motion to proceed, the bipartisan group of Senators will have many opportunities to make their agreement the base of the bill—even if they need a few more days to finalize the language.

My colleagues are well aware that we often agree to move forward with debates on issues before we have final text of the final bill in hand. We’ve done it twice this year already, the Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Bill and the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act. Both times, the Senate produced successful bipartisan legislation. There’s no reason we can’t repeat that process here on infrastructure.

We are now in the fourth week of negotiations since the bipartisan group of Senators reached an agreement with the White House on an infrastructure framework. Four weeks. According to the negotiators—spurred on by this vote this afternoon—they are close to finalizing their product. Even Republicans have agreed that the deadline has moved them far more quickly.

Given the progress of the bipartisan negotiations, I believe Senators should feel comfortable voting to move forward today.

I know that since I set a date for the vote and announced it, my colleagues on both sides have worked very hard on finishing this legislation. I am grateful for their work. We all want the same thing here—to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill.

But in order to finish the bill, first we need to start.

So I hope my Republican colleagues will join Democrats this afternoon in voting to move forward on an infrastructure package.

As Majority Leader, I have every intention of passing both major infrastructure packages – the bipartisan infrastructure framework and a budget resolution with reconciliation instructions – before we leave for the August recess. That’s the schedule I laid out at the end of June. That’s the schedule I intend to stick to.