Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor highlighting the extraordinary legislative accomplishments under this Senate Democratic majority. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:
Twenty months into the Democratic Majority, I want to take a moment to highlight the many, many accomplishments we have secured in this chamber—the most in recent memory. This is one of the most productive Congresses we’ve had in a very long time, and we’ve worked hard every step of the way to improve the lives of the American people, to help those in the middle class stay in the middle class, to help those struggling to get into the middle class, making it a little easier for them to get there.
A few months ago, for instance, after the tragedies in Uvalde, Buffalo, and so many others, the Senate came together—on a bipartisan basis—to break the grip of the NRA and pass the first gun safety bill in three decades.
It was the first gun safety bill since the Brady Act I was proud to author as a member of Congress 30 years ago. It took 30 years to get some real progress made, but we did, and we have to continue.
A few weeks later, we passed the largest expansion of veterans benefits in a generation, to help veterans suffering from cancers, lung diseases, and other ailments stemming from toxic exposure. Again it was a bipartisan bill. Senators Tester and Moran led the way: it was a really good bill and thousands and thousands and thousands of veterans, who risked their lives for us, are now getting the help they always needed and deserved.
And as Ukraine fights for survival, we strengthened NATO, again bipartisan, by adding Finland and Sweden to its ranks, sending Putin a clear message he can’t intimidate America or Europe.
And as the Chinese Communist Party continues its drive to outcompete the U.S., we passed the Chips and Science Act, the largest manufacturing, science, and jobs bill we’ve seen in decades, bringing jobs back to America in high-end manufacturing, in research, to keep us number one on into the 21st century as the leading economy, free and democratic in the world.
Our efforts, of course, culminated in the crowing jewel of them all, the Inflation Reduction Act: a groundbreaking bill that will lower prescription drug costs, lower the price of insulin for seniors on Medicare, and help Americans save on energy costs with the largest clean energy investments in American history. I am so proud that my caucus stuck together in getting this important bill done. We needed every vote, we got them.
And that’s only what we’ve done since June.
Over the past year, we enacted the first Infrastructure Law in decades, the largest, biggest infrastructure law in decades.
We revamped our Post Office, finally and put it on a good track.
We reinstated VAWA, Violence Against Women Act.
After years of trying, we finally declared lynching a federal hate crime after a century of delay.
And we unanimously ended forced arbitration for sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.
And then of course, we have confirmed over eighty qualified nominees to the federal bench, including Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman ever to sit on the Supreme Court. Roughly three quarters of the President’s judicial nominees have been women, two-thirds people of color. One nominee at a time we are making our federal bench a better reflection of our great country.
All of these accomplishments will echo for years in the lives of the American people. They were hard to get done, especially in a 50-50 Senate. And while we have gotten much done, there is a lot certainly more we have to do.
I have always said, from my first days as Majority Leader, that Democrats would be willing to work in a bipartisan way to get things done whenever we could. But of course, on such important issues like climate, when we’re unable to find common ground, Democrats will hold firm in our defense of our values and show the American people the choice before them in the coming election, as we did in the IRA.