Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor ahead of a Senate vote on bipartisan legislation to fund the government and provide emergency aid to Ukraine. Senator Schumer also reflected on the significant bipartisan accomplishments this week. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:
In the last four days alone, the United States Senate has passed a sweeping postal reform bill, unanimously approved anti-lynching legislation, approved emergency aid to Ukraine, and now we are about to fully fund the government. From start to finish, it’s been a very productive and very bipartisan week in the Senate.
If we could boil down this week in the Senate to three words, they would be productive, bipartisan, successful.
In a few moments, the Senate will pass the strongest, boldest, and most significant government funding package we’ve seen in a long time. This bipartisan funding package is a significant and far-reaching win for the American people, and I am glad the Senate moved as quickly today as I had hoped we would. To my colleagues on both sides of the aisle I say bravo; a job well done.
We’re keeping our promise to support Ukraine as they fight for their lives against the evil Vladimir Putin. With nearly $14B in emergency aid, Congress will approve more than double what the Administration originally requested. We took the President’s original request for Ukrainian aid, examined it, and added to it, and every last penny of the money will be well spent.
We’re giving the Ukrainians billions for food, medicine, shelter, and support for the over two million refugees who have had to leave Ukraine, as well as funding for weapons transfers like Javelins and Stingers. We’re going to reassure and strengthen NATO, and add teeth to our defenses against Russia’s malicious cyber warfare. We promised the Ukrainian people they would not go at it alone in their fight against Putin, and once we pass this funding in a short while, we will keep that promise.
On the domestic front, this funding bill is awash with good news for our country.
We’re about to give our troops a pay raise.
We’re increasing funding for our schools and Head Start Programs and Pell Grants.
We’re reviving—at last—the Violence Against Women Act.
We’re kick-starting the President’s cancer moonshot.
And with this package, we will unlocking billions upon billions to fully fund the bipartisan infrastructure law.
Of course, we didn’t get everything we hoped for. In the weeks ahead we must – we absolutely must – work to secure more COVID money. COVID funding is about being prepared; by funding vaccines and therapeutics and testing, we’ll be ready for the next variant and stand a better chance of keeping schools open and preserving normality in our daily lives. We’re going to keep working on this – it is too important to ignore.
Now, as we reach the finish line, I want to sincerely thank Chairman Leahy and Ranking Member Shelby. What a fitting and worthy accomplishment as they near the end of their tenures in office.
I have always said, from my first day as Majority Leader, that Democrats would be willing to work in a bipartisan way to get things done whenever we could. Once the omnibus passes, the Senate will have sealed the deal on three major bipartisan accomplishments this week alone. Of course, whenever we’re unable to find common ground, Democrats will hold firm in defense of our values and be willing to work alone if needed.
But this week, bipartisanship has propelled us over the finish line. It has not been easy to put this package together, but we’re moments away from getting it done and I thank my colleagues from both sides of the aisle.