Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor following a failed vote on the House-passed continuing resolution to prevent a government shutdown and suspend the debt limit. Senator Schumer made clear that although Senate Republicans have just voted to drive our country straight towards a government shutdown and the first-ever default in our history, the Senate will be taking further action to prevent this from happening. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
I want to make sure everyone understands exactly what has happened here on the Senate floor.
The Republican Party has now become the party of default, the party that says America doesn’t pay its debts.
Our country is staring down the barrel of two totally Republican-manufactured disasters: a government shutdown and a first-ever default on the national debt. The impacts of both would gravely harm every single American in this country.
Republicans would let the country default for the first time in history.
A few moments ago, the Senate had an opportunity to begin solving these problems right away. Democrats did their part and voted yes.
But Senate Republicans, meanwhile, voted to drive our country straight towards a government shutdown and the first default in our country’s history.
Let me be clear: what the Republicans in the Senate did tonight is not normal. This isn’t your typical Washington fracas and it shouldn’t be treated as such. It has far more severe consequences than the typical political catfight.
Republicans know the consequences of their obstruction. They know a default will likely create a recession. They know that middle class families will suffer immensely. They’ve heard the same warnings that we have.
And by many calculations, the Republican default will raise the deficit by more than the American Rescue Plan.
And yet the Republicans still obstructed tonight.
It is one of the most reckless and irresponsible votes I have seen take place in the Senate, and it should send a signal to every family, small business, and market-watcher about who in this chamber is in favor of endangering the economic stability of our country, and who isn’t.
Let me repeat: the Republican Party has solidified itself as the party of default, and it will be the American people who pay the price.
Social Security checks, Medicare benefits, veterans’ benefits, small businesses: all this and more are now on the chopping block because Senate Republicans are playing games with the Full Faith and Credit of the United States.
Now, despite Republican intransigence, this matter cannot be set aside even for a moment.
Before the vote closed, I changed my own vote from yes to no in order to reserve the option of additional action on the House-passed legislation.
Keeping the government open and preventing a default is vital to our country’s future, and we will be taking further action to prevent this from happening this week.