Schumer Floor Remarks On Progress Made On Bipartisan Energy Bill, Emergency COVID Relief & Important Business The Senate Must Complete This Year

December 14, 2020

Washington, D.C. — Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the progress that has been made on the bipartisan energy bill, the important business that the Senate must complete by the end of this year, and the need for a comprehensive COVID-19 relief bill to be passed immediately. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

This week, the Senate returns with precious little time left to finish important matters of business.

Last week, both Houses of Congress passed the annual defense bill with veto-proof majorities. If President Trump takes the rather ridiculous step of veto-ing a pay raise for our troops in order to defend the honor of dead Confederate traitors (or whatever other contrived grounds he comes up with), Congress must override that veto.

On Friday, both chambers of Congress also passed a one-week continuing resolution, giving us until the end of this week to finish an omnibus appropriations bill to fund the government. As usual, the appropriations bill will include several important pieces of related legislation. One that doesn’t get enough attention is a bipartisan energy bill.

Earlier this year, during the debate over the energy bill, Senate Democrats insisted that a provision to reduce HFCs, a very harmful greenhouse gas that is driving our climate change problem, must be included in the bill. Unfortunately, we had to hold up the bill until a bipartisan agreement could be reached on this critical provision, which would be the single biggest victory in the fight against climate change to pass this body in a decade.

Today, I am very happy to report that we have made very good progress towards an agreement on HFC reduction. We are about to get it done, and that would be one of the biggest victories to fight global warming in a very long time.

I want to thank Senators Carper, Kennedy, and Barrasso. They’ve worked very diligently and very hard.

And finally, as we all know, it is imperative that we pass another round of emergency federal relief from the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the bipartisan group of Senators who have been working towards an agreement will announce the results of their work: a package of over $900 billion that includes an agreement on assistance to state and local governments. Notably—there is no agreement on corporate immunity. We look forward to reviewing their work. Democrats remain 100% committed to getting another round of emergency relief to the American people before the end of the year and in a robust, bold way because America needs it so badly.