Schumer Floor Remarks On President Trump Threatening To Veto A Pay Raise For Our Troops And Reports He Is Considering Pre-Emptively Pardoning The Entire Trump Family

December 2, 2020

Washington, D.C. — Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the Senate’s priorities through the end of the year, the president’s threats to veto NDAA, and reports that President trump is considering pre-emptive pardons for his children. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Before the end of the year, the Senate has three major priorities: fund the government, pass the annual defense bill, and deliver another round of significant COVID-relief.

The appropriators from both sides of the aisle continue to have good discussions, and I hope that on the funding of the government a final agreement can be announced soon.

Now, the other two priorities unfortunately are a bit murkier.

Yesterday, President Trump issued, over Twitter, a renewed threat on the annual defense bill. Previously, the president threatened to veto this important legislation over a provision to rename military installations named after Confederate traitors. Now, President Trump has issued a veto-threat-by-tweet over a policy concerning social media companies (section 230), which is in neither version of the NDAA already passed by both Houses of Congress!

President Trump must have realized that vetoing a pay raise for our troops in order to defend the honor of confederate traitors wasn’t the best message to send. So he’s found a new complaint.

After four years of ignoring the president’s most vitriolic, conspiracy-fueled, and absurd comments on social media, I wonder if our Republican colleagues will say that they didn’t see this particular tweet.

The truth is section 230 may actually need some reform, but that’s a serious undertaking that should be done in a regular order and can be left for another day. And it is certainly not an acceptable reason to veto the annual defense bill, which includes policies to keep our military prepared, well-resourced, and equipped to do a difficult and vital job.

Nonetheless, it’s silly season at the White House. The president seems intent on filling each of his remaining days in office with petulance, grievance, self-interest.

The president is reportedly asking his staff about whether he can issue pre-emptive pardons for himself, his family members, Rudy Giuliani. There’s a simple answer: No. No, Mr. President, that would be a gross abuse of the presidential pardon authority.

But I have a more important question: just how long are our Republican colleagues going to indulge the president in this nonsense? 

Many of our Republican colleagues gave the president space to contest the validity of our elections, poisoning Americans’ faith in our democracy. Now he’s threatening to veto a pay raise for our troops and considering pre-emptively pardoning the entire Trump family.

When are our Republican colleagues in the Senate going to say enough already?

At the very least, with respect to the defense bill: Senate Republicans ought to find the courage to ignore the president’s 11th-hour ramblings and pass the NDAA.