Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on moving forward with a package of three bipartisan appropriations bills next week. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Yesterday, Appropriations Chair Patty Murray, Vice Chair Susan Collins announced they are ready to move ahead with the first three appropriations bills here on the Senate floor: MilCon-VA, Agriculture, and Transportation-HUD.
This is extremely good news for what has already been a fruitful and bipartisan Senate appropriations process. Chair Murray and Vice Chair Collins have done an outstanding job negotiating this difficult work, so I thank them as well as my other colleagues, particularly those on appropriations, on both sides of the aisle.
To keep the bipartisan momentum alive, I will file cloture on this package today, with a plan to hold our first vote early next week.
The Senate appropriations process is a lesson in how governing should work. All twelve appropriations bills have been passed with bipartisan support, through regular order. Nine of them were either unanimous or just had one no vote.
That doesn’t mean parties have agreed on everything. We know that won’t happen. But what it means is that our disagreements have not paralyzed the process. That’s the mark of good governance.
Of course, the work is far from over. When the House gavels back into session next week, time will be short for both parties in both chambers to unite around a plan to keep the government open beyond September 30th.
There’s only one way, one way, that this will happen: through bipartisanship. Neither party can afford to go at it alone if we want to avoid a shutdown.
We’re going to have to work together, just as we’ve done in the Senate, without resorting to extremism and unseemly tactics. And that message is intended for the House, the House Republicans and the House Republican leadership in particular. When I last met with the Speaker at the end of July we had a good conversation on the matter, so I hope he sticks to his guns as this process begins in earnest.
Both parties, in both chambers, must come together on passing emergency supplemental funding to help our fellow Americans reeling from natural disasters, to stand with our friends in Ukraine fighting against Putin, and to fight against the fentanyl crisis, among other priorities.
Later this morning I’ll attend a classified briefing on the state of the war in Ukraine, where I expect we’ll see precisely why now more than ever our friends abroad need our help. We must continue to show Putin and the forces of autocracy that the U.S. stands firmly behind Ukraine. The worst thing we could do right now for our own national security, and for our democratic values, is to waver or hesitate in our support.
What is the point in cutting off support now when we are at a turning point in the war, an inflection point, after we have invested such a large money of resources to get us to this inflection point? It’s a crucial moment right now.
So one more time, let me implore my House colleagues: follow in the Senate’s example when you return next week, and work with Democrats in a bipartisan way, so we can avoid a costly, pointless, and very harmful and unnecessary government shutdown. We do not need to go down that road. And we cannot follow the lead of the mindless few who believe a shutdown is a good thing and who want it and who openly admit they want it. They're hurting the American people, plain and simple. We should not follow them. Democrats, Republicans in both the House and Senate should not follow this small band of people who are at the extreme.
Instead, let’s keep our economic recovery going, let’s keep our investments in infrastructure and manufacturing flowing, and let’s make sure we help Americans with disaster aid, help our friends in Ukraine, deal with fentanyl, and fulfill our other needs too.
The Senate, as I said, is off to a very good start. I hope the House gets off to a good start next week as well, by embracing bipartisanship. We’ll know very soon whether they’re ready or not to follow through on this very important responsibility
. they have to the American people.