Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding continuing to work to lower costs for American families. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Over the last twelve months, the economy has rebounded at levels that we have not seen in decades: a 5.7% GDP Growth rate, 6.6 million new jobs.
This is the fastest our economy has grown since 1984, and the new jobs we added to the economy were the most ever for a President’s first year.
After former President Trump botched our national response to COVID, America is now on the right track under President Biden.
But we still face serious challenges that demand action from Congress. The cost of living has come up for families across the country, and around the world as well. The destruction unleashed by COVID has decimated supply chains, strained the labor supply, and the effects of a global pandemic that began two years ago still reverberate today.
These challenges demand action—and Democrats remain laser focused on lowering costs for American families.
Yesterday our caucus met for our weekly lunch, where we held a spirited and enthusiastic discussion about ideas from our members on how we can take action.
We talked about how we can continue working to lower childcare costs, prescription drug costs, the cost of semiconductors—which is a huge driver of price increases across a wide variety of products—and things as basic and vital as the cost of food and meat.
Lowering costs will continue to be a caucus-wide effort. We’re not going to agree on everything, but we are all on the same page that we need to tackle the issue head on.
That’s the difference between Democrats and Republicans. Rising costs, of course, impact all of us, whether we come from blue states or red states. But Democrats are the ones laser focused on showing where we stand and offer solutions that aim squarely at the problem.
Republicans seem to have no solutions, just rhetoric. The other side sadly seems oftentimes motivated by something else: rather than working with us in a bipartisan spirit, our Republican colleagues seem more comfortable giving speeches that go on and on about rising costs, without offering any solutions.
Complaining about the problem doesn't make inflation better; proposing solutions does.
And that’s precisely what Democrats will continue focusing on.
Over the next month and beyond, members from our side will continue offering a number of solutions—solutions—that will lower costs and leave more money in people’s pockets.
We need to help working families build wealth after the pandemic. We need to lower the cost of medications like insulin, which can still reach $600 a month. We need to relieve our strained supply chains and increase domestic manufacturing on things like chips—and on that front I am hopeful that we can take bipartisan action soon.
Our Republican colleagues—we hope will join us in these efforts—our members would welcome it.
We’ve come a long way from the start of COVID, but we still have more to do. Democrat’s goals are to make sure that job creation and wage increases of last year carry into this year. We are going to keep working on that this spring, and I hope to see our colleagues from the other side work with us to improve the lives of the American people. If we can keep wages growing and get costs down, the average American will have more money in his or her pocket to live a better life.