Today, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sent the following letter to Senate Democrats on continuing to work in a bipartisan way in the 118th Congress. In his Dear Colleague letter, Senator Schumer says he hopes the non-MAGA Republicans will reject the extremists in their party and work with Democrats to deliver real results for American families.
January 13, 2023
The Senate Democratic majority is in a stronger position to tackle the challenges facing our country than anyone ever expected. As we did these past two years, we will look for opportunities to reach across the aisle and work in a bipartisan way to lower costs for American families, create good paying jobs, fund our government, protect our national security and more.
Unfortunately, what we’ve seen this week from House Republicans is more chaos and ultra MAGA proposals. I want to work with Speaker McCarthy to get things done, but so far, House Republicans have been focused on delivering for wealthy special interests and the extreme wing of their party.
- Their first action this week was to allow large corporations and wealthy individuals to continue to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. Republicans perpetuate the myth they’re protecting the middle class, just as they did with the 2017 Trump tax bill. It didn’t work then and it won’t work now. Americans know in reality Republicans are pushing tax breaks for tax cheats and the wealthiest Americans and businesses.
- House Republicans have made clear that they will roll annual Appropriations funding for FY24 back to FY22 levels. That means significant cuts to funding for NIH, opioids and mental health, housing assistance, child care and child nutrition, law enforcement and public safety, science and innovation, and veteran assistance programs. Combined these cuts put America’s security at risk. Democrats won’t let that happen. That’s why Appropriations Committee Chair Patty Murray and Ranking Member Susan Collins announced this week they are beginning a bipartisan appropriations process for FY24.
- They have also signaled their plan to slash essential programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and federal student loan programs. Republicans can’t say they want to help middle class Americans while simultaneously attacking the bedrock programs that families rely on. Senate Democrats will protect those essential programs.
- House Republicans continued their all-out assault on women’s health, proposing legislation that once again shows they are hell-bent on enacting a nationwide abortion ban. Their extreme views are dangerously out of touch with mainstream America, and Senate Democrats will ensure women will have their health care strengthened, not undermined.
- We’ve seen them impanel a conspiracy committee to undermine and threaten law enforcement, showing they’re more interested in defending January 6th insurrectionists and carrying water for the disgraced former president than protecting democracy. Senate Democrats will be a firewall against this extremism.
- At a time when we should be working together to bring down costs for families, Republicans have proposed a national sales tax bill that would raise taxes on middle class Americans. Meanwhile, the Inflation Reduction Act Democrats passed last year has lowered costs and put more money in Americans’ pockets.
Americans care about what House Republicans do not what they say. This week they’ve seen the House actions as part of the same ultra MAGA agenda voters rejected in the last election.
It is always my first choice to try and find common ground and work in a bipartisan way to enact meaningful legislation, just as we did in the previous Congress; and it is my hope that the non-MAGA Republicans will reject the extremists in their party and work with us to deliver real results.
But if Republicans follow the extreme wing of their party off a cliff and continue caving to election deniers and those who threaten our democracy and help the wealthy at the expense at the of the working class, Democrats must make clear to the American people that we will fight tooth and nail against these attacks.
I look forward to continuing this work with all of you in the 118th Congress.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator