Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the important work the Senate must complete before the end of the year. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
As we begin the first full week of December, there is much that the Senate must attend to before we reach the end of the year.
First, Senate Democrats remain committed in taking up and passing President Biden’s Build Back Better Act before Christmas.
As I outlined in a letter to my caucus this morning, Senate Democrats have been working furiously to clear the necessary steps to achieve this goal. As we all know, the reconciliation process is not an easy one.
The reason why this timeline is so important is because this legislation is about lowering costs, lowering costs, for American families.
As we enter the winter months, American families deserve a little extra help affording things like child care and pre-K.
They need help lowering costs of things like prescription drugs and making health care more affordable.
And families need to know that critical programs like the Child Tax Credit will continue uninterrupted. This program has already done immense good for millions upon millions of families. Build Back Better will make sure these benefits stay in place.
For these reasons, we are going to continue the process until Build Back Better is signed into law.
This is arduous work. It takes time, precision, and a lot of pieces moving together. It has taken months of communication, negotiation, countless late nights and weekend workdays to bring us to this point.
I want to thank my colleagues, their staff, and the parliamentarian for dedicating the full measure of their attention and talent towards this endeavor. We are close, and we will keep going until the job is done.
As we continue working on Build Back Better, Democrats will simultaneously address other priorities as well.
First, we will continue working as necessary to process President Biden’s nominations both to the federal bench and to serve in key posts within his Administration.
On that front, today we will begin consideration of a terrific nominee: Jessica Rosenworcel, tapped by President Biden to serve as Chair of the FCC.
Ms. Rosenworcel has nearly a decade of experience already as an FCC Commissioner and will soon be the first-ever woman confirmed to serve as Chair, breaking another glass ceiling in our government. She has been a fierce advocate for closing the digital divide, for protecting net neutrality and, when confirmed, Ms. Rosenworcel will oversee critical federal programs that help low-income Americans secure internet access.
There are other nominees to come this week. Regrettably, if our Republican colleagues continue their holds on various individuals, Senators should prepare for the possibility of late nights and votes on the weekend.
The President deserves to have his team, and we will spend whatever time we need to ensure that his nominees are confirmed.
Finally, Democrats will also continue addressing other issues before the end of this year. We will keep working on finding a path forward on voting rights legislation, and there are many intense discussions going on in that area.
We will also work to address the debt limit and preserve the full faith and credit of the United States, and I want to thank Leader McConnell for his cooperation in that regard.
And this week, we also anticipate we will be able to reach a final conference agreement on the NDAA. Congress has passed the annual defense bill without fail for roughly 60 years, largely on a bipartisan basis. I expect this year will be no different.
So there is a lot of work to do. It will likely take weekends and late nights to get it done. But we will continue forging ahead on behalf of the American people.