Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding progress made on the reconciliation bill that will turn President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda into law. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Today, the Senate Democrats will also continue work to turn President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda into law.
It bears repeating that this is a historic effort. This is not just another piece of legislation. We are laying the foundation for another century of American Prosperity — just like the Great Society and the New Deal before it, our legislation will bring transformational change to help build ladders so that those can climb up into the middle class, while making it easier for those already in the middle class to enjoy that middle-class life and stay there.
Too many in the middle class worry they're going to slip out with all the changes occurring in our society. We strengthen their ability to stay. And too many who are trying to climb those ladders find the ladders steep and unavailable.
We are providing those ladders so they can get there, too. It's strong, bold, important legislation, and it's really a privilege to be here in the Senate and consider something as strong and bold as this.
Later today, our caucus will discuss the latest elements of the Reconciliation bill. Working with our colleagues in the House, we will have met the target date of September 15 set in the Budget Resolution for producing text to review.
I expect our committee chairs will provide an overview of all the work that each of their committees have done over the last four weeks in drafting legislative text, and the entire caucus will have the chance to offer feedback so we can continue to move this process forward.
This will continue to be a collaborative process. Everyone – everyone – is going to have input into this legislation. But, of course, our unity is our strength, and if we're not unified with 50 votes, we can't get anything done, so we all must come together.
I am pleased to say that after weeks of working over the summer on our Reconciliation bill, we are making great progress towards bringing a bill to the floor.
Now, while Democrats are fighting to strengthen the middle class, our Republican colleagues, unfortunately, are resorting to the same tired, predictable objections they raise about practically any Democratic proposal.
Rather than explain why they oppose supporting families, or expanding health care, or taking action on climate change, they’ve spent the last several months recycling old accusations about “liberal wish lists.” And rather than engage our policies on the merits and have a real debate, too often they have raised unwarranted and incorrect points about how these programs will impact inflation.
I remind my colleagues of a report released not long ago by the Chief Economist at Moody’s Analytics, Mr. Mark Zandi.
When Mr. Zandi examined Democrats’ two main legislative proposals—our infrastructure bill and our Build Back Better legislation—he concluded these packages would provide a massive boost to our economy.
Specifically he said our program would “lift the economy’s longer-term growth potential” and would “lift productivity and labor force growth.”
That is, our proposal will do exactly what we say it will do, according to this impartial arbiter, Mark Zandi.
And as for the Republicans’ overheated rhetoric on inflation, Mr. Zandi dismissed such concerns as “overdone,” and said our two infrastructure bills are designed to “ease”— his word—inflation pressures.
Let me repeat that: according to Moody’s top economist, hardly a fervent liberal, the Democrats’ proposals will actually ease inflation pressures, not raise them.
When you strengthen worker productivity, when you increase supply chains, the push to inflation decreases. Decreases.
And, he also says, in the long term it would help grow our economy so that more Americans can get to—and stay in—the middle class.
Compare that to the signature accomplishment that Senate Republicans pushed when they were in charge: a massive tax break for corporations and the wealthy that did little to help everyday Americans.
That’s the difference between a Democratic majority and a Republican one. We are fighting to strengthen American workers and American families. Republicans seem only worried about protecting those at the very top.
And in addition, for those with inflationary concerns, we are going to pay for our proposal. The Trump tax cuts, which every Republican voted for, created a $2 trillion deficit.
So let’s be realistic here. Let’s be honest here. The charges of runaway inflation are just wrong. Especially when you consider we are paying for it and Republicans were so willing to do tax cuts for the rich without paying for them at all.