Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks To Set Up Senate Votes On Bipartisan U.S. Innovation And Competition Act And Bipartisan House-Passed Legislation To Create Commission To Investigate & Report On January 6 Attack On Capitol

May 25, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor in advance of filing cloture on the substitute amendment for the bipartisan U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, setting up the bill for passage by the end of the week. Leader Schumer also filed cloture on the motion to proceed to the House-passed legislation that would create an independent commission to investigate the January 6th insurrection, setting up a vote later this week. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks: 

In a moment I will file cloture on both the substitute amendment of the competition bill, and on the motion to proceed to the House-passed legislation to create an independent commission to investigate and report on the attack of January 6th, setting up a potential vote this week.

On the competition bill: this legislation is the product of at least half a dozen Senate Committees working for months—months—in a bipartisan way.

That means that every single member of the Senate has had their fingerprints on it in one manner or another. The Senate has been making great progress so far this week.

To borrow an expression that might appeal to my colleague and partner from Indiana, Senator Young, we are approaching the final straightaway of the race.

We have completed a very efficient series of votes on six amendments this afternoon, five of which were sponsored by Republicans. That's in addition to four amendment votes we’ve already held and literally dozens—dozens—of bipartisan amendments that were added to the bill before it even reached the floor.

This is regular order in action. Members on both sides have clamored that we bring bills to the floor, debate them, and ask for amendments. That is what is happening here.

This is a bipartisan bill that came out of committees with overwhelming votes, 21 to 1 in the Foreign Relations Committee, 24 to 4 in the Commerce Committee, with a lot of bipartisan input in both committees and throughout. And now we're debating it on the floor.

I believe the depth of bipartisanship on this bill reveals two things.

One, just how much hunger there is on both sides of the aisle to tackle the issue of American leadership in the 21st century. And it also shows a hunger to work in a bipartisan way. And we hope that our colleagues will understand this, as we seek now to invoke cloture on the bill after we do several more amendments.

With the finish line in sight, we need to continue working together to see this bill through. As I said, we'll consider a few more amendments tomorrow and Thursday, including a managers’ amendment before final passage.

If both sides continue to work in good faith to schedule amendment votes, which has been the hallmark so far, there is no reason we can't finish the competition bill by the end of the week. And we will look for a signal from our Republican friends that, when we cooperate, we will move forward and not move to block or delay unnecessarily.

Now, this bill, again, I cannot say enough how important it is to the future of America. Investing in science and innovation has been a hallmark of why this country has led the world in economic growth, in good-paying jobs, in creating a brighter, sunnier, happier America.

Our failure to invest could lead to a real decline, a cloudiness over America and its future.

We have to move forward, and that's why this bill has gotten such great support. This is not a minor bill. Just because there's not partisan fighting doesn’t mean it's not one of the most important bills we have passed in a very long time. And we'll look back in history and say that this was a moment when America got a grip back on itself and moved forward after several years of languishing, at best.

Now, I'm also going to move to file cloture on the motion to proceed to the House-passed legislation to create an independent commission to investigate and report on the attack of January 6th, setting up a potential vote this week.

We all know the commission is an urgent, necessary idea to safeguard our democracy. What happened on January 6 was a travesty, a travesty. It risked America in ways we haven't seen in decades, maybe even our history altogether.

In the wake ever January 6, unfortunately, too many Republicans in both chambers have been trying to rewrite history and sweep the despicable attack on our democracy under the rug.

If people believe the Big Lie, if they believe that this election was not on the level because of the Big Lie of Donald Trump and his legions in the press, our democracy erodes. At the core of this democracy is a belief that we vote, the process is fair, and then whoever is fairly elected, we respect as our leader. That has not happened for the first time in a long time.

I so respect our two Republican colleagues on the other side of the aisle who say they will vote for this proposal. I hope many more will. We have to get it passed.

Each member of the Senate is going to have to stand up and decide: are you on the side of truth and accountability, or are you on the side of Donald Trump and the Big Lie?

We cannot let this lie to fester. We must get at the truth.

We must restore faith in this grand, wonderful, beautiful, evolving experiment, the greatest democracy that has ever been seen on Earth.

We can't let that go away.

And by sweeping all this under the rug, by having so many people believe the lies, we could see the sun begin to set on America. I hope that doesn't happen. I pray that doesn't happen.

I don't believe it will happen, because I believe we will rise to the occasion and get at the truth.