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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Urgent Need To Pass National Security Supplemental Funding Legislation To Support Our Friends And Allies And Defend Democracy

Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on his intention to bring President Biden’s emergency supplemental bill including aid to Ukraine, Israel, and humanitarian assistance to Gaza as soon as the week of December 4th. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Let me welcome all my Senate colleagues back to Washington for the final work period of the year. I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving surrounded by family and by friends.

Speaking personally, Thanksgiving is a bittersweet time for my family. It is my birthday; it occurs once every seven years and it occurred on Thanksgiving this year. But it’s also two years since my dad passed away on Thanksgiving eve in 2021. It’s still hard to fathom that I can no longer hop on the phone with him, or go over to his house on Sundays for dinner. We miss him dearly.

But I’ve learned since his passing that those we love never truly leave our side. They endure through the lessons they imparted us in life. My dad taught me to always fight for what you believe is right, and if you persist and persist and persist, God will reward you in the end.

And there is a lot over which the Senate must persist in the upcoming month.

Almost two weeks ago, Congress came together to avoid a painful government shutdown. The task now is for Democrats and Republicans to reach an agreement on yearlong funding legislation, and the only way that will happen is with bipartisan cooperation. Both sides are going to have to give a little on important issues to them.

Over the Thanksgiving break, both parties in both chambers held talks about the appropriations process, and we hope to be well positioned to pass the first tranche of funding bills before the January 19th deadline.

But before the year is out, there’s a lot of other work we must do here in the Senate, and members should be ready to stay here in Washington until all our work is complete.

We must, for one, finish the task of passing an emergency supplemental bill with aid to Ukraine, aid to Israel, humanitarian assistance to innocent civilians in Gaza, and funding for the Indo-Pacific.

Time is short for us to act, so it is my intention to bring the president’s national security package to the floor as soon as the week of December the 4th.

I want to be clear that aid to Israel, Ukraine, humanitarian aid for civilians in Gaza, and the Indo-Pacific are all related and demand bipartisan cooperation. We don’t have the luxury to pick and choose our national security challenges. And on the other side of the world, Iran has been willing to prop up Hamas and is helping Russia’s campaign in Ukraine. The Chinese government is closely watching what we do in Europe just as much as we do in the Middle East and the Indo-Pacific.

Russia, China, and Iran have grown closer over these past few years, working together to counter the U.S. at every turn. They see these conflicts as interconnected, so we must too.

I implore my Republican colleagues to work with us on aid to Ukraine. For the most part, Democrats and Republicans largely agree that we must help Ukraine – including my friend the Republican Leader – so I hope we can come to an agreement on an aid package soon.

The worst thing we can do right now – the worst thing we can do – is to make something as bipartisan as Ukraine aid conditional on partisan issues that have little chance of becoming law. Sadly, that’s what may well be happening right now, because the biggest holdup to the national security supplemental is an insistence by some Republicans, just some, on partisan border policy as a condition for Ukraine aid. This has injected a decades old, hyper-partisan issue into overwhelmingly bipartisan priorities.

Now, Democrats stand ready to work on common-sense solutions to address immigration, but purely partisan hard-right demands, like those in H.R. 2, jeopardize the entire national security supplemental package.

And I urge my colleagues as they think about that to remember what President Zelenskyy told us when he spoke in the Old Senate Chamber. He said: “If we don’t get the aid, we will lose the war.”

Let me repeat that. President Zelenskyy said: “If we don’t get the aid, we will lose the war.”

That’s what’s at stake with Ukrainian aid: the possibility of victory or defeat for the Ukrainian people and ultimately our Western way of life.

And let’s be clear: a victorious Putin would be an emboldened Putin. If Ukraine falls, Putin will keep going. Russia’s authoritarian influence will expand. Other autocracies may feel emboldened, and democracy around the world could enter decline.

History will look harshly upon those who let partisan politics get in the way of defending democracy. Nothing would make Putin, Xi, and the Iranian regime happier than to see the United States abandon a democratic partner in its hour of need. So, Democrats and Republicans need to stand together and pass Ukrainian aid, along with the rest of the supplemental package. If we allow Putin to prevail, it will come back to haunt us.

For the information of Senators, in the coming days we will hold an all-Senators classified briefing on the situation in Ukraine, so we can get the latest update about the situation on the ground and see the immense importance of passing another aid package. I urge everyone to attend.