Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks: The Republican Party Is Now Wrapped Around The Axle Of The Big Lie

June 10, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the Big Lie and Washington Republicans’ unwillingness to stand up to Donald Trump. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

I want my colleagues to be aware of a number: 29%. That’s the percentage of Republican voters who believe that President Trump will be “reinstated” as president later this summer. 29%. Almost a third of Republican voters believe he’ll be reinstated as president. According to that recent poll by Morning Consult, nearly a third—nearly a third—of Republican voters believe that Donald Trump will be reinstated.

Of course, the idea of “reinstatement” comes from disgraced former President Trump himself, and is nothing more than the deluded ramblings of a defeated politician. But it is a glaring warning that the Big Lie has created fertile ground for all sorts of insane conspiracy. It is a depressing fact of our times that there is an audience out there who will literally believe anything the former president says, no matter how unrealistic or untrue. They believe him when he just abjectly lies.

The blame here, however, does not rest only with the former president. The blame falls heavily on Washington Republicans and the political right who have not done enough to stand up to the Big Lie. After making a few brave noises in the wake of January 6th, Republican leadership here in Washington now seem to have traded political courage and truth for appeasement.

The Republican Minority Leader in the House called Donald Trump “morally responsible” for the attack on January 6th. He empowered his deputies to take part in painstaking negotiations to establish an independent commission to study those events – and then promptly voted against it. He convened his entire conference to deliver a pink slip to the one member of his leadership team who dared to repeat the truth that President Biden is the president.

Here in the Senate, the Republican Leader gave a strong speech on January 6th and was willing to hold Donald Trump responsible for what happened that day. Several months later, however, the Republican Leader whipped his members into a partisan filibuster of an independent commission, which he called a “purely political exercise.”

The Republican Party is now wrapped around the axle of the Big Lie. And a big reason why is that Republican leaders are unwilling move on from Trumpism.

We are watching the results play out in state after state, where Republican legislatures have swallowed the Big Lie whole, and are rapidly constricting the right to vote and fumbling through old ballots for traces of bamboo.

The truth is: the Big Lie has consequences. It erodes our trust in elections, faith in our democracy, and it’s gnawing away at the very right to vote in America.

After four long years during which the Republican party foolishly tried to ride the tiger of Donald Trump, it seems as though many of them wound up inside.