Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the importance of enacting President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda into law and expressed frustration with the parliamentarian’s decision last night, insisting the fight for immigration reform will continue. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Democrats continue to make good progress towards enacting our Build Back Better agenda into law.
Last week, the House completed their markups on the legislative text that underpins Democrat’s reconciliation bill. Here in the Senate our caucus held a long and productive discussion last week about the substance of our bill. We’ll continue those discussions as this week progresses.
No one expected it would be easy to pass legislation to transform the American economy and provide the biggest tax cut for the middle class in a generation. But no one in this body was elected to only do the easy stuff. We have a lot of work to do it and we’re to keep at it until we get the job done.
Now, I just want to say something brief about news we received last night from the Senate parliamentarian.
Last night’s ruling was extremely disappointing. It saddened me, it frustrated me. It angered me.
But make no mistake: the fight continues.
Senate Democrats have prepared alternate proposals and will be holding additional meetings with the Senate parliamentarian in the coming days. I’ve been working closely with my colleagues in the Senate—including Judiciary Committee Chairman Durbin, Senators Padilla, Menendez, Lujan and Cortez Masto—and we will continue our fight to find the best option available to provide immigrants with the chance at one day obtaining lawful residence here in America.
The last year-and-a-half have shown how vital our immigrants have been to keep our economy going during a time of crisis. So many risked their lives on the front lines of this pandemic, but remain excluded from the very same federal benefits that have kept millions of others secure during these hard times.
We are short of workers from one end of America to the other. One of the reasons: the Trump administration dramatically cut back on immigrants in this country. We need them. We need them in our labor force. We need them to continue our vitality. We need them because they are part of American Dream.
It is estimated in my city, by some, that one-third of the health care workers at the height of the pandemic risking their lives for us were immigrants. Having a strong law that helps our immigrants is vital.
The American people understand that fixing our broken immigration system is a moral and economic imperative. Immigration reform has been one of the most important causes of my time in the Senate, and I will not stop fighting to achieve it.