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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On House Republicans’ Reckless CR Proposal And The Need For Bipartisan Legislation To Avoid A Harmful MAGA Government Shutdown

Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on House Republicans’ reckless CR and the need for bipartisanship to avoid a government shutdown. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

We are days away from another MAGA government shutdown. Avoiding one will require the House majority to quickly accept a bipartisan solution.

Yet this week, House Republicans are trying everything but bipartisanship.

Everyone knows that the GOP’s proposed CR is a non-starter here in the Senate.

Let me say that again: everyone knows that the House GOP’s proposed CR will not pass the Senate. 

Because instead of even pretending to aim for bipartisanship, this bill had zero – zero – Democratic input. It calls for a crushing eight percent cut to virtually all nondefense spending. Eight percent. The House Republican proposal, drafted and put together by the MAGA hard right wing, is slapdash, reckless, and cruel.

It includes cutting investments to the Social Security Administration, to law enforcement, to nutrition assistance, to K-12 education, to small businesses, to rural communities, to protections for drinking water, to life-saving medical research, cancer and other research, and much more.

The American people need to know just how bad this MAGA Republican CR truly is.

This slapdash CR would decimate investments in life-saving research, hollowing out the National Institutes of Health.

This reckless CR would lower public safety, cutting back on drug and food inspection, weakening wildfire prevention, and eliminating law enforcement officers in the federal government, weakening our battle against violent crime and the scourge of fentanyl.

And this cruel CR would gut investments in K-12 education, slash resources for suicide support services, upend tribal investments, and cut loans to small businesses and rural communities.

Slapdash, reckless, cruel – that is the hallmark of this MAGA Republican proposal in the House.

Then there’s Ukraine, which the House GOP bill completely abandons. At the very same time that President Zelenskyy comes to the United States to make the case for standing firm against Putin, the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives is essentially telling him you’re on your own.

Nothing would make Putin happier right now than to see the United States waver in our support for the Ukrainian people, nothing would make Putin happier. Providing aid is not just a matter of Ukrainian security, but of American security too, because a victorious Putin would be an emboldened Putin. And that would make the world less safe for democracy and for America. For MAGA House Republicans to oppose Ukrainian aid is a terrible, dangerous mistake that could come back to haunt U.S. security.

Ukrainian aid could have been an opportunity for bipartisanship, but the hard right, against what I imagine is the majority of Republicans in the House, has prevented that from happening too.

So let me say it again: the House package is slapdash, reckless, and cruel – and everyone knows it has no chance of passing the Senate. 

The more time House Republicans waste trying to pass this MAGA wish list – while ignoring chances for real bipartisanship – the greater the odds they will push us into a costly government shutdown.

The last government shutdown lasted 35 days, and began when then-President Trump said to me and Speaker Pelosi in the Oval Office, “I am proud to shut down the government.” That’s what he said.

In the two years that Democrats held the House, Senate, and White House, we didn’t have a government shutdown. We didn’t have a debt limit crisis. We didn't have the kind of chaos that we see when MAGA Republicans seem to control so much of the Republican agenda.

And this year, we have already seen both: a debt limit crisis and a looming shutdown crisis, just months apart. Only one thing has changed since last year where there was none of this chaos: a House controlled by MAGA Republicans. They’re back to their old ways.

And, of course, former President Trump is trying to add to the crisis. It’s typical of what he always does, practically commanding his MAGA House sycophants to quote “shut down the government if they can’t make an appropriate deal – absolutely.”

This is the problem with MAGA extremism: it’s not capable of governing. It is only capable of chaos. And this year, sadly, chaos has reigned in the House.

It doesn’t have to be that way. It doesn’t have to be a MAGA Republican-only bill. It doesn’t have to be the MAGA way or a shutdown.

House Republicans have a choice in the matter, between pursuing real chances for bipartisanship and catering to the hard right. Each time, they have chosen to empower the hard right. They have chosen dysfunction and chaos. They have chosen to ignore bipartisanship.

But what was true months ago remains true today: there is no scenario where we avoid a shutdown without bipartisanshipIf Democrats tried to do it only our way, there'd be no bill.  But now Republicans are trying to do it their way. Democrats are not. And there are plenty of members, on both sides of the aisle, who despite our disagreements would like to give bipartisanship a chance. And that’s what the American people would want us to do as well.

We only have a few days left for House Republicans to come to their senses and choose the more fruitful way. I urge them to reject chaos and choose to work with Democrats. 

There are real people with real lives at stake here. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers all across the country could be furloughed. 

Services that millions of Americans count on could be disrupted. Our communities will be less safe and our fellow Americans suffering from disasters less provided for. Those are a few of the tragic and unnecessary outcomes if the Republicans in the House let the MAGA-extreme control their agenda.

The matter is simple, simple: if both sides embrace bipartisanship, a shutdown will be avoided. If House Republicans reject bipartisanship, if the hard right is given license to run the show, a MAGA shutdown will be almost inevitable.