Schumer Floor Remarks On Republicans Deciding To Perform Stunts On The Senate Floor While Leader McConnell Refuses To Come To The Table For Actual Negotiations On A Bill To Meet The Needs Of The American People

July 30, 2020

Washington, D.C.—Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today took to the Senate floor to discuss how Senate Republicans have directed their efforts towards performing stunts rather than meeting at the negotiating table to address the real and pressing needs of the American people. Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi met with Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows this week on coronavirus but Senator McConnell declined to attend. Below is a transcript of Senator Schumer’s remarks:

Well, we've had a lot of words from the leader. None of them talk about reality.

One picture equals all his words: Schumer, Pelosi, Mnuchin, Meadows in a room negotiating, where the Republican Leader can't even show up because his caucus is so divided, in his own words.

Twenty of his members don't want to vote for anything. And now are faced with a crisis that they created.

For ten weeks—ten weeks—we have asked the leader to negotiate. And now, finally, they've woken up to the fact that we're at a cliff.

But it's too late, too late, because even if we were to pass this measure, all the states—almost every state—says people would not get their unemployment for weeks and months. All because of the disunity, dysfunction of this Republican caucus, and of the leader, afraid to negotiate because he doesn't have his people behind him.

The bottom line is very simple: This new proposal moves things even backward. Instead of a 30% cut from what people are getting, it's a 33% cut. And we all know that the proposal that is in existence now has kept millions out of poverty.

Now, we hear talk from the other side this creates the deficit. This increases the deficit. We can't spend money. Well, I'd remind them of the $1.5 trillion tax cut for the rich—tax cut for the rich. No one even thought about the deficit then. But when it comes to average folks, working people, we don't hear a thing.

Unemployment is a crisis. There are many crises. All your states, the parents are saying why can't we open our schools safely. They need dollars. We can't negotiate that proposal. People are being thrown out of their homes. That's a cliff that happened Thursday. Nothing for that.

The bottom line is very simple: this is the worst health crisis in a hundred years. This is the worst economic crisis in 75 years. And unfortunately, at this great moment of terrible trouble in our country, our Republican friends are paralyzed. And when they want to do something, it's a stunt, not a real negotiation that they know won't pass, because their backs are against the wall. And the American people—just look at the data-know who's to blame and know who doesn't want to help people.

So the bottom line is very simple. We Democrats know what the problem is and we are unified. We have a very strong proposal.

And to look at the things in that proposal with the callousness that my friend, the Republican Leader has done.

To say that this is all politics when people are being thrown out of their homes and we want to give them shelter; when people are not being able to feed their children and we want to give them food; when small businesses, men and women who have struggled can't keep their businesses going; and we hear nothing.

Our proposal, the one the Republicans objected deals with these problems in a serious, significant, and, yes, expensive way.  But we know what's going on the other side of the aisle. It was said by my friend from Indiana: let the private sector do it.

Well, my friends, this is a moment where the private sector can't solve the problem. This is a moment when we do need strong, active, and bold relief.

Something that this caucus has been running away from, ignoring for far too long.

My fellow Americans, we are in an enormous crisis. We are stepping up to the plate on this side of the aisle. Please let your Senators know on the Republican side of the aisle how deep this crisis is, how painful it is for people, and to step up to the plate.

Get in the room and negotiate a real deal and stop doing stunts that simply are political, get-it-off-my-back, that you know cannot pass.