Washington, D.C.– Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the need to pass bipartisan legislation to avoid catastrophic default following yesterday’s White House meeting with President Biden and Congressional leadership. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Yesterday, I joined Congressional Leaders to meet with President Biden for a good meeting about this year’s spending priorities, while also affirming the need to protect the full faith and credit of the United States.
The meeting was the most positive we’ve had; there was goodwill, an openness to work together, and it was a promising step forward. Everyone agreed to a few important points: we must work to take default off the table and a bipartisan bill in each chamber – that can get enough votes to pass in each chamber – is the best solution for averting default. Bipartisanship is needed. It's the only way to go. It's the only way we've solved these problems in the past.
No bill premised on brinksmanship or hostage taking can pass through both the House and Senate, and the other side recognized that yesterday. Instead, we must focus on a bipartisan bill that can get the votes to actually become law. We still have a lot more work to do between now and the day we bring legislation to the floor, but yesterday’s meeting was a promising step in the right direction.
I asked the Speaker if he agreed that this needed to be a bipartisan process, and he said yes. Again, this I believe is a promising step in the right direction.
Nobody will get everything they want in these discussions, and I hope nobody – nobody – draws red lines in the sand.
Nobody should ever use default as a hostage, where they say, unless you do this, we will default, because the consequences would be disastrous.
Bipartisanship was the key to averting default under President Trump, it has been the key to averting default under President Biden, and it will be the key to averting default before June 1st.
I am hopeful we can reach an agreement as soon as possible. Defaulting on the debt would be the worst outcome for this country, as I have outlined repeatedly in speeches in this body.
There is no need – none – to subject the American people to the anguish of default, and I am glad both sides are making a good effort for now of removing default from the table.