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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks After Republican Senator Rick Scott Delayed Bipartisan Postal Reform Legislation

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor after Republican Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) delayed Senate consideration of bipartisan postal reform legislation. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:

What we heard is why people really are frustrated, angered at the United States Senate: a broad bipartisan bill, months and months in the making with large amounts of discussion, has the support of the Democratic Chair of the Committee, the Republican [Ranking Member] of the Committee, was voted on in the House with a majority of Democrats and a majority of Republicans—and would finally fix the Post Office.

I hope my colleague from Florida has heard from his constituents about snail mail, about everything coming late: prescription drugs coming late, Social Security checks coming late, birthday cards arriving weeks after the birthday occurred.

And finally both parties coming together in both the House and Senate to pass this legislation and the senator from Florida's using a technical detail to hold us up.

It's the same bill that was on the floor Thursday, where we had agreement to move to vote on it tonight, but the House sent us a bill with a technical change. And five times in the past this has happened and each time no Senator had the temerity to get up and block it on a technical issue, and it just passed on by U.C. and we moved ahead and went forward.

Our constituents want us to fix the Post Office. A majority – overwhelmingly – of Democrats and Republicans want us to fix the Post Office. All the postal workers are for this bill. My colleague from Florida says he's defending postal workers. As for the people that represent them: I dare say it's the head of the Letter Carriers and the head of the Postal Workers and the head of the Mail Handlers who represent the postal workers more than the Senator from Florida, and they are overwhelmingly for the bill, as is the Postmaster – an appointee of President Trump.

So everyone tries to come together and get something done, and the arcane rules of the Senate allow one person to stand up on a bill that's been out there—and discussed repeatedly—and at the last minute and raise objections.

It's regrettable and it's sad.

There's good news, though: even though this will delay the bill, we will pass it. We will have to just go through this elaborate process with the old-fashioned and often discredited rules of the Senate that the senator from Florida's employing.

We'll have to use them, but we will pass this bill because America needs it. Rural people need it. Senior citizens need it. Veterans need it—80% of the veterans' prescriptions are sent through the mail. Nobody should be standing in the way of this bill. It's a sad day that just one member has.