Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the Senate unanimously voting to strongly condemn the Chinese Communist Party’s belligerence, endless escalating tactics, and scornful disregard for American Sovereignty. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
As the Senate closed business last night, we did something that I think would make the American people proud. The Senate spoke in one voice condemning the Chinese Communist Party for brazenly violating American sovereignty with their surveillance balloons earlier this month.
Our resolution, bipartisan, championed by Senators Tester and Collins, sends a clear message that China’s belligerence, their near endless escalating tactics, and their scornful disregard for American sovereignty is unacceptable.
I want to thank Senator Tester, above all. He’s been the leader in this whole country on this issue. And I appreciate Senator Collins working with him. I appreciate both of them for their good work putting this resolution together with strong bipartisan unity.
This resolution condemning China is precisely the kind bipartisanship Americans expect at a time like this. Instead of each party attacking each other, we are united in this resolution, in condemning China, exactly as we should be.
And last night’s resolution is just one step—Senator Tester is also taking the lead on a bipartisan effort to get to the bottom of why we didn’t learn about these balloons sooner. This is a very important question that the American people deserve answers to, and I’m fully, fully supportive of this effort.
Again, this is the kind of bipartisanship the country expects. When China is pushing the boundaries, they don’t want Democrats and Republicans pointing fingers at each other. They don’t want any premature attacks. They want us to come together to respond to the threats posed by the CCP, and that’s just what we did last night.
Now, yesterday’s resolution was not the only way the Senate was focused on standing firm against the CCP.
We also yesterday had a briefing from the Department of Defense on our ongoing competition with China. I want to thank the briefing team for their hard and ongoing work.
While all the details are classified, I want to make a few points:
First, the United States is competing with China at every level—economically, militarily, geopolitically, technologically, in terms of our fundamental values, and more. It won’t be enough to outcompete China in any single area—we must be ready to compete with them on all of these fronts, because that is what China is trying to do.
Second, China’s main goal with respect to the U.S. is to displace us. Their main goal with respect to the U.S. is to displace us, displace NATO and Europe, and displace our allies as the world leaders on the military and geopolitical side, and in driving the innovations of tomorrow, many of which affect our national security: AI, quantum computing, 5G and other advanced communications technologies, bio manufacturing, clean tech, and especially, especially the next generation of semiconductors.
China wants to be ahead of us on everything, because if they are, they’ll be the ones writing the rules of the road on these technologies. An autocracy writing these rules—an autocracy that often uses these technologies to oppress its people and spy on them. That would have dangerous consequences for the world’s democratic nations. Changing those rules with China in the lead would make the world a safe haven, unfortunately, for autocracy.
And finally, the Chinese Communist Party is not constraining itself in pursuit of these goals. They’re all in. They’ll do whatever it takes to beat us. And if we do not respond in kind, we won’t be able to keep up.
Yesterday’s briefing made a couple of things exceedingly clear for the Senate and for the House.
Most importantly, yesterday’s briefing on our competition with China reaffirmed the need for Congress to work together and pass a clean debt limit without brinkmanship, without hostage taking.
Few things would hand the world over to the Chinese Communist Party more than a first-ever default by the United States.
Defaulting would send a loud and clear message to the world that America cannot be trusted, that squabbling democracies are incapable of governing, and that the best days of our country are squarely behind us.
To prevent China from overtaking us, we must raise the debt ceiling on a bipartisan basis as soon as we can. No chaos. No brinkmanship. No default.
Yesterday’s briefing also made clear that the kind of cuts that MAGA Republicans are pushing would be a disaster for staying ahead on China. China would love to see the kind of cuts that the MAGA wing of the Republican party is pushing. It would guarantee that they’d overtake us across the board: on defense and military preparedness, on innovation, on American manufacturing, science and workforce,
, and so much more. So much more.
So let me say it again: China would love nothing more than to see the kinds of cuts across the board that MAGA Republicans are pushing.
The kind of cuts Republicans are talking about are dangerous. Instead, Congress must complete the appropriations process, as we have the last two years. China is all in on beating us. They are going to do whatever it takes. As the Chinese Communist Party drives their country forward, the worst thing we can do is put America in reverse with funding levels from two years ago. It would be malpractice given what’s at stake.
Now we’ve done some good, important work to out-compete China in the last few years under this Democratic-led Senate—infrastructure, CHIPS and Science, the IRA, and last year’s omnibus bill. But we shouldn’t stop there. We need to ensure all of those bipartisan efforts are funded. We need to redouble our efforts. We need to keep pushing ahead.
There’s no doubt that the U.S. and our allies and partners remain the world leaders militarily, economically, and in innovation.
But if that is to continue, the United States must be all-in, all-in, on outcompeting China, and make it clear to President Xi that his autocratic campaign to dominate the 21st century will not succeed.