Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks Urging Republicans To Get Out Of The Way And Stop Blocking Democrats From Raising The Debt Ceiling To Avoid A Catastrophic Default Crisis

September 30, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the urgent need for Republicans to step aside and stop blocking Democrats from ensuring the full faith and credit of the United States by suspending the statutory debt ceiling. Senator Schumer also stated his intention to move to consider the House approved legislation providing for a clean debt-limit extension until the end of 2022 as early as next week. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Just as our Republican colleagues realize that a government shutdown would be catastrophic, they should realize that a default on the national debt would be even worse.

Throughout American history, the federal government has consistently paid its debt on time. This unbroken promise is what’s made the United States the leading economy in the world for so long, benefiting countless millions of families. So when we talk about extending the debt limit, that is what is at stake.

All week long, Senate Democrats presented our Republican colleagues with reasonable proposals to prevent a default from happening: we offered to hold a simple majority vote, so Democrats could fix the debt ceiling ourselves. They rejected that offer.

We are not even asking Republicans to vote yes, even though we know they should, but instead just to get out of the way. Just get out of the way and let us keep the full faith and credit in America's finances intact.

Unfortunately, Republicans spent this week solidifying themselves as the party of default, the party that says America doesn’t pay its bills, the party that would send our economy into unknown and dangerous territory.

On Monday, Republicans unanimously blocked a measure that would have funded the government and raised the debt ceiling.

On Tuesday, the Republican Leader blocked a proposal to raise the debt ceiling with only Democratic votes, exactly what Republicans have insisted they’ve wanted from the start.

By Wednesday, it was clear that Republicans were committed not only to voting in favor of default, but even preventing Democrats from solving this crisis on our own.

Every day that Republicans continue their cynical obstruction, they risk causing irreparable harm to this economy. The last time Republicans played games with the full faith and credit of the United States, our sovereign debt was downgraded. This time around, the consequences for American families could be far worse.

So despite Republicans’ intransigence, the facts have not changed: we must raise the debt ceiling. We cannot allow America to default.

Yesterday, the House approved legislation providing for a clean debt-limit extension until the end of 2022. At the appropriate time, I will move to proceed to its consideration, which could come as early as next week.

By now we are not asking Republicans to vote with us to solve the debt limit crisis they’ve created. If they want to oppose this measure and bring us closer to a financial disaster, they can write their names in the history books as the Senators who would let the country default for the first time ever.

But Republicans need to get out of the way so Senate Democrats can address this issue quickly and without needlessly endangering the stability of our economy. We cannot afford the risk of a drawn-out, unpredictable process sought by the Minority Leader, which could very well actually cause a default.

No, the way we resolve this crisis is much, much simpler: either Republicans snap out of their insane position and work with Democrats, or they get out of the way while we solve this problem ourselves.