Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor and shared highlights from his first Congressional Delegation as Senate Majority Leader. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Last week, I joined with a number of Senate colleagues in leading my first Congressional Delegation as a Majority Leader. We went to Germany, India, Pakistan, and Israel. I’ve only been on one other CODEL as Senator back in 2011 with Harry Reid to China.
I thank all of my colleagues for making this trip a success. There were nine of us. Now that we’re back, I want to share a few takeaways from our trip that implicate America’s national security and our economic future.
First, we relayed a very important message during our meeting with Indian Prime Narendra Modi: India and America are going to need each other to outcompete the Chinese Communist Party.
India is precisely the kind of partner that the U.S. needs to provide a check against the hostile tactics of the CCP. They’re the world’s largest democracy, still young compared to its peers, and primed for tremendous growth in decades to come.
I told the Prime Minister that if our democracies are to prosper in this century, we are going to have to work together not only to boost our common defense, but to promote our mutual prosperity.
That means working together to strengthen our economic ties, deepen trade, and make it easier to recruit talented workers from abroad to work in our country.
It also means we must collaborate to establish the norms for the technologies of the future. Right now, the world’s democracies are competing with the Chinese Communist Party to dominate the technologies that will rule this century, like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, clean energy, advanced semiconductor manufacturing and more.
India, the U.S., and all the world’s democracies—we’re the largest two—must make sure these technologies become vectors of prosperity, not the weapons of autocratic regimes. We’ve already seen how the Chinese Communist Party uses AI to eavesdrop on its people and prevent them from getting full knowledge, but just propaganda. I think the Prime Minister appreciated the point we were making about the need for India and the United States, the two largest democracies, to work together against the CCP hegemon.
India is an amazing country. I was enthralled by it—incredible. It has a thriving diaspora, many of whom live in New York, here in the United States. Our partnership has a huge potential for growth in the 21st century.
During the CODEL, we also met with leaders in Pakistan, Germany, and Israel. Much of our discussion with them, as well as with Prime Minister Modi of India, stressed the importance of standing with Ukraine in its struggle against Russia. We asked each of these leaders to do more.
It’s been more than a year now since Vladimir Putin began his illegal invasion, and I made it clear to leaders abroad the worst thing we can do right now is waver in our support for the Ukrainian people.
I warned them that a Russian victory in Ukraine would not mean an end to Putin’s escapades and expansionist proclivities so much as it would mean an escalation of his viciousness and desire for more territory. Success in Ukraine will only embolden Putin if he sees the free nations of the world turn a blind eye to his aggressions.
Should Putin win in Ukraine, it would endanger the security of both established and burgeoning democracies across the world, and I think the leaders all nine of us spoke with got that message.
Finally, on a more personal note, I was deeply moved to join with my colleagues to lay wreaths at both the Dachu Concentration Camp in Germany and Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.
As the highest ranking elected Jewish leader in U.S. history, the first Jewish Majority Leader, I used these visits as a chance to reaffirm the Senate’s commitment to never forget this dark chapter of human history.
At a time when public understanding of the Holocaust is waning, as the next generation is further removed from the horrors, the just sheer horrors of the past, and as antisemitism makes its resurgence at home and around the globe, now more than ever we must commit to that sacred obligation to never forget.
Elie Wiesel said “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
We must never remain silent, we must never allow antisemitism and bigotry to fester and flourish, we must recommit to never, never, again.
I want to thank my colleagues who joined with me at both Dachu and Yad Vashem. And I thank everyone, members and staff alike—an incredible job they did—for their excellent work in making our trip fruitful and productive.