Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on Senate and House Republicans doubling down on their embrace of MAGA extremism. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
At the start of this Congress, I urged Republicans in both the Senate and the House to rid themselves of MAGA extremism and work with Democrats for the good of the country and even for the good of their own party. We believe MAGA Republicanism hurts their party, because so many Americans on both sides of the aisle reject it.
Well over three months later, Republicans have failed in so many ways to abandon MAGA extremism. If anything, they have double downed and embraced it even more tightly. Again, to the detriment of the country and their party.
If you want to know just how extreme the GOP has become in the Majority, look no further than what’s happening on the House floor today and tomorrow.
As early as this afternoon, House Republicans will try resurrecting their doomed attempt to prevent retirement investors from considering governance ESG factors when making investment decisions.
Republicans talk a lot about their love of free markets and letting the private sector do its work, but their obsession, obsession with eliminating ESG would do the opposite. By turning ESG into a dirty new little acronym, Republicans are trying to force their own views down the throats of every company and every investor.
President Biden has already vetoed this nakedly partisan measure, and it’s clear the votes do not exist to override this veto in the House. It won't even come close.
So it’s bad enough that House Republicans are wasting time on show votes, but it’s even more astonishing that this show vote, of all things, is designed to restrict the private sector on purely ideological grounds.
It’s a sad sign of how radicalized and divisive the GOP has become over the past few years.
But Mr. President, that’s not all, today’s potential vote on the ESG override is the appetizer. Tomorrow’s main course is even more horrifying.
As we speak, House Republicans are also considering a sweeping piece of legislation that would nationalize school policy, endanger billions in nutrition funding, and accelerate the trend of book bans across the nation.
The House Republicans’ school control bill is Orwellian to the core, and it will not see the light of day here in the Senate.
If passed, schools across the nation would be forced to adhere to a panoply of federal regulations that take power away from parents and school districts. Again, let me repeat that: it would take power away from parents and school districts, away from educators, and put it in the hands of elected politicians. Again, the GOP that treasured small government, local control, is long since gone, replaced once again, by hard right MAGA ideologues.
The bill could be devastating to our communities. According to one report from CBO, schools that fail to comply with these MAGA mandates would be excluded from child nutrition programs, impacting over 9 million kids who rely on schools for their meals. That's it, punish the poor kids, make sure they don't have a meal, if the school board doesn't comply with these extreme provisions.
The GOP would also expose school districts to even greater risks of book bannings, censorship, and intimidation.
Last year alone, there were over 2,500 book bans across the country, on titles that oftentimes aren’t remotely offensive, but which still draw the ire of the hard right.
One school librarian in Pennsylvania—listen to this, it’s crushing—was reportedly forced to remove a poster quoting Holocaust Survivor Elie Wiesel for violating district policy. Elie Wiesel, violating district policy.
What was the quote in question? “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” That was removed. What is going on here with the extreme right? They’re just losing it.
There is something deeply malicious going on within the hard right when even the quotes of Holocaust survivors are seen as too woke or offensive. Again, rather than abandon the MAGA hard right, the Republican Party as a whole seems to be doubling down.
Legislation like the GOP’s radical school control bill would only make matters worse, and I will assure people—the American people, school children—that if this bill passes, it will meet a dead end when it comes to the Senate.