Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the House Republicans and Speaker McCarthy refusing to provide a plan to raise the debt ceiling and pushing our country closer to a first-ever default. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Each day that passes in Washington two things hold true: we keep getting closer to default, but no closer to a Republican plan to lift the debt ceiling. I repeat once again, House Republicans, Speaker McCarthy: show us your plan.
It has been more than a month since Speaker McCarthy and House Republicans began threatening the entire US economy in order to secure drastic spending cuts that, in all likelihood, will hurt the American people badly.
But in all this time, nobody can seem to get an answer to the $64,000 question: what cuts, exactly, are the Republicans proposing? Show us your plan!
Some of the things we are hearing from the MAGA wing is the stuff of nightmares. Later this afternoon, I will join with a number of Senate colleagues to shine a light on how devastating the Radical MAGA cuts would be for American families if the MAGA Republicans got their way.
But where is the House Republican plan? How are they going to lift the debt ceiling?
After months of no answers, now Speaker McCarthy has recently claimed Republican leadership is trying to come up with a plan right now. I’m glad he's at least saying he wants to answer our question.
Frankly, it’s a lot easier said than done, and I do not think Speaker McCarthy will be able to unite his conference.
It takes 218 votes, as we know, to pass anything in the House, and with a razor-thin GOP majority paralyzed by internal division—and with the stronghold the MAGA Republicans have on the Speaker—Speaker McCarthy will have a very difficult time getting everyone on the same page, if he can do it at all.
To quote from Punchbowl this morning: House Republicans “face an intractable political math challenge as they seek to reduce the $1.4 trillion deficit.”
For one, Speaker McCarthy has insisted Republicans will only preserve the full faith and credit of the United States if they secure drastic spending cuts first.
MAGA Republican hardliners have demanded Speaker McCarthy release a proposal to balance the budget over the next ten years—one of the conditions for having supported his leadership.
At the same time, Speaker McCarthy has also claimed Republicans won’t touch Social Security and Medicare. Now, I’ll believe that when I see it, because so many Republicans—not just a handful—so many have spent years going on record calling for cuts and changes and privatization of these programs.
All this leads to a terrible conclusion: If Speaker McCarthy is going to meet these goals, Republicans would need to cut 85% of all discretionary spending in order to balance the budget in 10 years.
Let me say that again: If Speaker McCarthy and House Republicans are serious about balancing the budget in their 10-year plan without touching Medicare and Social Security, they will need to cut 85% of all discretionary spending.
That would be Republican austerity at an apocalyptic level. Teachers, nurses, firefighters, student loan borrowers, police officers would all kiss federal funding goodbye. Funding for scientific research—so vital in our competition with China—would likely disappear. Child hunger would spike without federal nutrition programs. Housing Programs would be starved of resources. We’d be thrust into a greater housing crisis than we now have.
So, my point is this: Speaker McCarthy is not going to be able to keep his promise to balance the budget in 10 years while at the same time leaving Social Security and Medicare untouched. The math doesn’t add up.
Very soon the MAGA brigade will see that the Speaker made a bunch of promises that he won’t be able to keep. And I worry greatly that the dangers of slipping into default will only increase as the toxic dynamic within the House GOP gets worse day by day.
That’s why it’s so important that now, early on, the House Republicans show us their plan.