Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks Providing An Update On Upcoming Senate Business And On The Importance Of Delivering President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda

September 13, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding upcoming Senate business and the importance of passing reconciliation legislation to enact President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

I want to welcome back all of my colleagues from the August work period. As we return to Washington, the Senate has a busy schedule ahead of it. 

On the nominations front, we will begin this week by holding a cloture vote on James Kvaal to be the Under Secretary of Education.

Tomorrow, we will move on nominations of David Estudillo to be a District Judge for the Western District of Washington, Angel Kelley to serve as a District Judge for the District of Massachusetts. The Senate will also begin consideration of Veronica Rossman to be the Circuit Judge for the 10th Circuit.

On the legislative front, the Senate will pick up exactly where we left off last month.

We’ll continue our fight to preserve voting rights for millions of Americans.

And, of course, we will continue working to pass President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, and set our country on a path to prosperity for decades to come.

At the end of the last work period, the Senate took two important steps to achieving that goal.

First, we passed the bipartisan $1 trillion dollar infrastructure bill that will make historic investments in our nation’s physical infrastructure.

Second, Senate Democrats came together to pass a budget resolution with reconciliation instructions that will clear the way to pass a reconciliation bill with historic and transformative investments in American jobs, American families, and the fight against climate change.

Over the August state work period, I remained in constant communication with the Chairs of the Senate’s relevant committees—as well as with the Speaker, and the White House including the President. I am pleased to say we have made substantial progress in translating the provisions of the budget resolution into policies we can pass into law.

As we continue our work over the next few weeks, I want to take a step back and explain why this legislation is so important.

For far too long, millions of American families have worried that the American dream has increasingly fallen out of reach. Too many in the middle class are fighting to stay there—too many who are trying to get to the middle class are finding the ladder up getting steeper and steeper. Today the costs of raising a family, saving for college and retirement, and affording health care have become exorbitant.

As a result, that sunny American optimism—so key to our national identity—has been replaced by a growing sourness and divisiveness in the land.

We have to do better and we will do better. With this legislation, we have a once-in-a generation opportunity to rebuild our economy and rekindle faith in America’s future.

It will include the largest tax cut for the middle class in a generation.

It will include provisions that are both critically important and overwhelmingly popular with the American people, from strengthening child care and education, to making health care more affordable for millions.

And crucially, it will include unprecedented steps to fight the climate crisis and preserve our planet for the next generation. After yet another summer marked by hurricanes, floods, and wildfires, we cannot hold off on taking action any longer. The world is looking to us for leadership on climate change – by achieving the emissions goals Democrats are laying out, we can reassert America’s leadership.

And through it all, we are going to make sure that this bill is paid for and that those at the very top finally pay their fair share.

When this Senate Majority began its work many months ago, our original task was to pass legislation that would get our country out of the depths of the COVID pandemic.

Now, the legislation we will work on over the next two weeks will lay a new foundation for the future of our economy. It will restore the middle class in the 21st Century and give many more Americans the opportunity to get there.

Building ladders to the middle class: that’s what this is about and that’s what we are going to do.

The next few weeks will be crucial to achieving this goal, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to continue to deliver on our promise of big, bold change for the American people.