Majority Leader Schumer Dear Colleague On Senate Democrats' Focus On Lowering Costs

March 7, 2022

Today, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sent the following letter to Senate Democrats ahead of this week’s Senate Democratic Caucus retreat on Wednesday. In his Dear Colleague letter, Sen. Schumer says Democrats will focus the discussion at the retreat on our plans to fight rising costs for American families. Additionally, Leader Schumer also provides an update on the work done over the weekend to reach an omnibus agreement.

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March 7, 2022

Dear Colleague:

As Senate Republicans debate their plan to increase taxes on millions of working Americans, Senate Democrats have focused on ways to get rising prices under control to help working families.

This week at our Caucus retreat, we will spend a great deal of time going over the numerous proposals that Democrats have to lower costs for working families.

Whether it’s prescription drugs, semiconductor chips, or filling up the gas pump or the grocery bag – Democrats are coming up with solutions to address these issues.

I am following up with you today to outline what Senate Democrats will do during the this work period to affect lower costs for Americans on the things that are most hurting their pocket books.

Last week, Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan joined our DPCC lunch. She discussed the Commission’s work to address corporate price gouging in areas like oil and gas, prescription drugs, and more. While we pressed her to do more to go after these bad actor corporations that are raising prices despite record profits, the FTC also needs our help. Democrats have proposed $1 billion in new funding to bolster FTC’s competition bureau and consumer protections to crackdown on companies who use market concentration to gouge consumers.

This month and in April, many Senate committees will hold new hearings and mark-ups on Democrats’ cost-cutting proposals. The Senate Finance Committee will kick this off next week with a new hearing on lowering the cost of prescription drugs, one of the most important issues to the American people. Other hearings on our proposals to lowering costs will follow.

And we will continue the conversations with our Republican colleagues on a number of bipartisan legislative efforts. Following President Biden’s call in his State of the Union address, negotiations are underway with Senate Republicans on legislation to lower the cost of insulin, curb rising meat prices due to industry manipulation, and reform unfair ocean shipping practices. And last week, Speaker Pelosi and I met to outline the path forward on competitiveness and jobs legislation that will strengthen domestic supply chains and bring manufacturing jobs back to America.

And this week we will pass legislation to reform the U.S. Postal Service, which will help keep the cost of shipping down for American families.

In reconciliation, Senate Democrats have introduced additional legislative proposals to lower the rising cost of energy, prescription drugs and health care, and the costs of raising a family. Senate Democrats are focused on delivering on our promise to fight these rising costs.

Our goal is to have the wages that have increased continue to go up and see costs go down so the average American has more money in their pocket.

And I wanted to update you on the status of negotiations on the omnibus and Ukraine assistance and COVID supplemental. This is an important week as the United States remains strong and ready to face the immense challenges of our time. The president’s leadership has rallied the democracies of the world in a way not seen since World War II, and we stand unified with the people of Ukraine and against the immoral invasion by Putin.

We have been working on a bipartisan, bicameral basis through the weekend to finish work on an omnibus package that includes robust assistance to the people and government of Ukraine and additional funds to ensure our country is prepared if and when the next COVID variant strikes. Democrats have made a reasonable global offer to Republicans and it is my hope that we will reach an agreement very soon so that we can meet the March 11 government funding deadline.

Thank you for your hard work and leadership as we work to confront and overcome the serious challenges our country faces at home and abroad.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

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