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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On President Biden’s Budget Proposal To Reduce The Deficit And Extend Medicare Solvency

Washington, D.C.  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor ahead of President Biden releasing his budget for the 2024 fiscal year. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

For the past two months, Democrats have highlighted the contrast between our vision and the Republican vision for our country.

Republicans, meanwhile, have spent all this time trying to prove us right.

In a few days, President Biden will release his budget for the 2024 Fiscal Year. Americans can expect the president to present a bold, optimistic, and responsible path for the nation.

The President’s plan is going to show how we can lower the deficit in a responsible manner. His plan will strengthen Social Security and keep Medicare solvent for another two decades.

And the President’s plan will preserve his promise not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year.

This isn’t just talk, because Democrats have already shown we can do these things. We have already lowered the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars.

We have already lowered the cost of prescription drugs like insulin—and we hope to build on that promise in the near future.

And the President explained this morning in an Op-Ed in the New York Times that he plans to build on the progress we made last year in the Inflation Reduction Act by making Medicare solvent through the year 2050. Isn't that great news for the American people? Even younger people, who will need it before 2050.

He’ll expand the list of drugs Medicare can negotiate. He will take profits that used to go to Big Pharma and put it towards deficit reduction.

Many Americans think it would be a great idea to take the money that normally goes to Big Pharma and put it towards deficit reduction and towards keeping Medicare solvent longer. This common-sense step will help millions of ordinary Americans.

Now, Republicans, to their credit, are being very helpful about erasing any doubt about which party is fighting for working people and the middle class.

While Democrats are for keeping taxes low for most Americans, Republicans tried to push a national sales tax that would have sent taxes surging by 30% for millions.

While Democrats want to make the wealthy pay their fair share, House Republicans passed as their first bill a proposal to carve out the IRS and make it easier for wealthy tax cheats to avoid detection.

And while Democrats will protect Social Security, Republicans like the senior Senator from Wisconsin decided to go on the radio the day after the State of the Union and call Social Security a “Ponzi scheme.” Can you imagine?

If my Republican colleagues have a problem with what I’m saying, there’s an easy solution: Speaker McCarthy needs to stop dodging and show us the Republican plan.

It is now March 7th. Two months have passed already in this year. The debt ceiling X date is approaching.

Republicans have said they will release a plan. They say they want spending cuts in return for just paying our debts, which we've already incurred. Where's their plan? What is the holdup?

The President will release his budget very soon. The onus is on Speaker McCarthy to respond with a serious plan of his own. That's a budget plan. Doesn't deal with deficit reduction, because we think that should occur without hostage-taking, without any brinksmanship, as it's been done three times in the past few years.

So, Speaker McCarthy, respond with a plan: one that can unite the fractured and chaotic fractions of the Republican Congress.