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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Today’s White House Meeting On Avoiding A Government Shutdown

Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the floor on today’s meeting at the White House between the President and Congressional Leadership on working to avoid a harmful and unnecessary government shutdown.  Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks which can also be viewed here:

Later this morning, I will join with Leader McConnell, Speaker Johnson, and Leader Jeffries for a meeting with President Biden at the White House.

I expect today’s meeting to be an important, timely and fruitful discussion about how Congressional leaders, in conjunction with the White House, can meet the immense responsibilities facing Congress at this moment.

This Friday, unless both sides act quickly, the federal government will enter a partial shutdown, with yet another funding deadline looming a week after that. Agriculture, transportation, veterans’ programs and more will be thrown into chaos this Friday if we fail to extend funding.

As I’ve said throughout the 118th Congress, there is no justification – none – for provoking a government shutdown. Democrats strongly oppose shutdowns, and I know many of my Republican Senate colleagues, including the Republican Leader, want to avoid one as well. And we Democrats want to work with them to ensure that a shutdown does not happen.

And look, we realize the Speaker of the House is in a difficult position, but he must reject the MAGA hard-right, which wants a shutdown, wants to hurt America, and which does not represent a majority of Republicans in the House, a majority of Republicans in the Senate, nor a majority of Republicans in America, let alone all Americans.

So, if both sides work together, if we reject poison pills that can never become law, and if we tune out the extreme, radical voices of the hard-right, then the task before us becomes much, much easier.

Again: these hard right chaos agents in the House do not represent a majority of Republicans of the country. They do not represent a majority of Republicans in the Senate. They do not even represent a majority of Republicans in the House, and yet they are trying to bully everyone else into submission to get what they. And what they want – make no mistake about it, they say it openly – is a government shutdown, with the harm it will do to millions of people.

The chaos we’ve seen over and over again in the House just goes to show you that the hard-right is not serious about governing.

The only tactic in their playbook – the only tactic in the hard-right playbook – is to try to bully the rest of Congress to bend to their views. By now, I expect many House Republicans are beyond exhausted by their colleagues’ bullying tactics – it’s one of the biggest reasons why the Republican majority in the House can’t get anything done.

But for all their bullying, all their bluster, all their attempts at intimidation, the hard-right’s efforts have consistently – consistently – ended in failure.

I hope this time will be no different. I hope that in the coming days, serious minded House Republicans can work with Democrats to find a path out of the shutdown threat. There is every reason in the world for both sides to work together this week and in the weeks to come, so I look forward to making that case to Congressional leaders at the White House.

Speaker Johnson, we are looking forward to working with you to avoid a government shutdown.