Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding Speaker Johnson’s proposed continuing resolution and the need to avoid a government shutdown. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
It is a critical week here in the U.S. Capitol. This Friday at midnight, the federal government is going to shut down unless Congress acts first.
The last thing the American people want to see is another unnecessary and painful government shutdown.
Democrats certainly don’t want to have a shutdown. And many of our Republican colleagues have likewise claimed they don’t want to see one either. Even the mere act of approaching a shutdown is damaging: last Friday, Moody’s announced they lowered the U.S. credit rating to “negative”, citing “continued political polarization” as one of its reasons.
The answer for avoiding a government shutdown is what I’ve been saying all along: bipartisanship is necessary. I’ve said on multiple occasions that if we are going to work together to keep the government open, Speaker Johnson will have to avoid pushing steep cuts or poison pulls that Democrats can’t support.
For now, I am pleased that Speaker Johnson seems to be moving in our direction by advancing a CR that does not include the highly partisan cuts that Democrats have warned against.
The Speaker’s proposal is far from perfect, but the most important thing is that it refrains from making steep cuts, while also extending funding for defense in the second tranche of bills in February, not the first in January.
Today, the House Rules Committee will take up the Speaker’s bill, and that will give us the first indication of how committed Republicans are to keeping the government open.
The next few days will tell all in the House, and I hope the Speaker does not buckle to the loud voices on his hard-right flank to add partisan cuts as the price for keeping the government open.
In divided government, extremists on one side cannot expect to dictate the agenda for the rest of Congress, especially when their views are so out of line with the majority of Congress and the majority of the American people.
I hope Speaker Johnson recognizes that he will need support from Democrats in both chambers if he wants to avoid causing a shutdown. He needs to stay away from poison pills and steep hard right cuts for that to happen.