Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the Senate voting to advance three bipartisan appropriations bills and the critical importance of avoiding a government shutdown. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
This week, the bipartisan appropriations process continues here in the Senate. Tomorrow, we will take the first procedural vote on a package of three appropriations bills: Military Construction-Veteran’s Affairs, Agriculture, and Transportation-HUD.
Earlier this year, Democrats and Republicans reached an agreement on next year’s spending levels as part of our work to avoid default, and these bills honor that agreement. Reaching bipartisan consensus on these bills certainly wasn’t easy and it took plenty of compromise, lots of negotiations, and an understanding that neither side would get everything it wanted. But each of these bills received unanimous support in committee, these three bills, from Republicans and Democrats.
So thanks to the leadership of Chair Murray, Vice Chair Collins, and appropriators from both sides, we’re moving forward. This is what a functional legislative body looks like: disagreements don’t paralyze the process.
Now, as we process these appropriations bills through the floor, Congress must also avoid a pointless government shutdown later this month. I cannot stress enough that bumbling into a shutdown right now would not only be entirely unnecessary, it would cause immense harm to the American people. It could undermine so much of the progress we’ve made to lower costs, grow our economy, and restore the tens of millions of jobs lost during the worst days of COVID. It would also derail Congress from our work on so many important things, like lowering the cost of insulin and prescription drugs, aiding our fellow Americans hurt by natural disasters, outcompeting the Chinese government, and so much more.
All of this would be undermined by a government shutdown.
We certainly don’t need to go down that road. The Senate has shown that bipartisan compromise is entirely possible even in these divided times.
When the House gavels back into session tomorrow, I implore House Republicans to follow the Senate’s example, reject all-or-nothing tactics, reject unrealistic extreme demands, don’t let thirty people way out on the extreme dictate what the House does, and instead, the House should work in a bipartisan fashion to keep the government open beyond September 30th.
The only way we will avoid a shutdown is through bipartisanship in both houses and time is short to get it done.