Washington, D.C. – Today, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) outlined their efforts to pass President Biden’s American Rescue Plan to deliver relief for American families still struggling through the COVID economic and public health crisis. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks as delivered, which you can also view here:
We just finished, our caucus just finished a really fine virtual discussion with President Biden and Senate Democrats are committed to passing the American Rescue Plan to crush the virus, recover our economy, and deliver help to Americans who need it the most.
President Biden made his pitch today to our entire caucus, and he said we need to pass this bill, and pass it soon. That's what the American people sent us here to do and we have to get America the help it needs.
We've had the worst health care crisis in a century, the worst economic crisis in 75 years, and we need to deliver.
We're on track to send the American Rescue Plan to the President's desk before the expiration of the enhanced unemployment benefit, which occurs on March 14.
We could take it up as soon as tomorrow.
I expect a hearty debate. I expect some late nights on the floor.
But the American people are overwhelmingly in support of this legislation. A majority of Democrats, Independents, and, in many polls, Republicans support this bill.
It seems the only group that doesn't support this bill are Senate Republicans and House Republicans. But the American people, including Republicans, show very strong support for this bill and they know and the reason is simple: we have to crush the virus, we have to get our economy back on track. We have to get Americans back to work.
And we all know how the bill delivers $1400 in additional direct payments to struggling Americans. That's the $2,000 check that we promised, the $600 from before and the $1400 now.
It'll help our schools reopen as safely and quickly as possible.
It'll help small businesses get roaring back.
It'll keep teachers and firefighters and bus drivers who work for governments to continue to work.
It continues the assistance for the jobless and the hungry.
And it funds, in a far more robust way than President Trump even contemplated, distribution of life saving vaccines, the linchpin to overcoming and ending this pandemic.
Every member of our caucus, I believe, has that input into the bill we will put on the floor.
We are working in concert with the President and the House. And we all know that job number one is pass this bill.
So we'll begin consideration of the American Rescue Plan as early as tomorrow and we'll have the votes we need to pass the bill.
Our message to the American people is very simple: help is on the way.