Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the critical work of the Senate in the coming weeks and the need to confirm President Biden’s well-qualified, essential nominees, including those facing Republican obstruction despite their qualifications. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
The Senate begins this week with a lot to accomplish in very little time.
This week and in weeks to come, Senate Democrats will continue our work to pass historic legislation to strengthen our economy and renew America’s middle class for the 21st century.
Very soon we will also take up a continuing resolution to avoid a needless government shutdown and provide emergency funding necessary to settle Afghan evacuees and aid those devastated by this summer’s natural disasters.
We must also work on a bipartisan basis to extend the debt ceiling to preserve the very important and cherished full faith and credit of the United States.
The Senate will also consider
recently-introduced voting rights legislation, and advancing President Biden’s
nominees to the judiciary and to his administration.
So the next few weeks will be critical weeks for the Senate. Members should be prepared for the possibility of working late nights and into the weekend.
On the nominations front, we will begin the week by confirming Ms. Veronica Rossman of Colorado to serve on the Tenth Circuit. Ms. Rossman has spent the majority of her career in public service, representing criminal defendants who cannot afford counsel oftentimes. She would be one of the very few federal public defenders in the entire federal bench, bringing both personal and professional diversity to our courts at a time when we need to strengthen the public’s trust in the federal judiciary.
In addition to Ms. Rossman’s confirmation, Senate Democrats are working to confirm many other nominees for a critical number of agencies, including the Departments of Defense, State, and Treasury. Now unfortunately, some of our Republican colleagues have chosen to play cheap political games and stonewall the confirmation of these uncontroversial—but essential—nominees.
Let’s be clear – by blocking these perfectly qualified public servants, my Republican colleagues are deliberately hindering our government’s ability to protect our country and to work with our allies abroad. These nominees should be the work of a few hours at most; many of them have been reported out of committee with bipartisan support and under normal circumstances would be confirmed without any trouble.
So, while my Republican colleagues won’t be able to stop these nominees from reaching final confirmation, their stonewalling will drag out what would normally be a routine and easy process. The few obstructionists on the Republican side who are leading this charge are deliberately derailing the confirmation of these important nominees in an all-out effort to gain the support of the hard-right elements of their party. In the process—a nasty political process they are engaged in—they are making Americans less safe at home and abroad.
They should stop immediately, and the Republican leader should admonish them.