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TRANSCRIPT: Majority Leader Schumer Remarks At The White House Inflation Reduction Act One Year Anniversary Celebration

Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today released the following transcript after speaking at the one-year anniversary celebration of the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act:

Thank you, everybody. And I was going to do it, but you preempted me. I said, “I have an applause line, Nancy Pelosi!” But I have a few more applause lines too. And I really, I see so many people in the audience, whether they were from government, whether they were from the staffs of our Senate and House members who worked so hard on this bill, whether they were from labor, whether they were from business, whether they were from the environmental community and so many of the groups that lobbied. I want you to stand up if you helped make this happen and it should be everyone of you. Stand up so Nancy and I can give the greatest applause line of all for all of you.

Because this was such an amazing effort to pass one of the great legislative feats of the 21st century! It was amazing, just utterly amazing, how much was done in this piece of legislation.

But I can say this, as all of the great things from this bill roll out over the next few years—and over the next decades frankly—when it comes to the Inflation Reduction Act, as great as it has been, the best is yet to come!

I want to thank Nancy. Nancy has a whole bunch of colleagues, the only one I see here is Ed Markey. Any other senators hiding there?

But I have to give credit to every one of my 50 Senate colleagues. Could you believe it? With a Senate caucus running from Bernie Sanders to Joe Manchin, with only 50 votes, and we needed every single one. And to have to do it under the circumstances of which we did - all the rules of Reconciliation - and all of that, to pass such an amazing piece of legislation is one of the great legislative feats that has ever occurred, and it wouldn't have happened without 50 Senators, each of whom—everyone of them should be here today, and they're here in spirit—each of whom knew that they weren't going to get everything they want. That they had to all pull together as a team. And we were a greater team - I could have said the New York Yankees - but we're a greater team than the Baltimore Orioles are today. But seriously, I'd like you to give an applause to every one of my colleagues who deserve such amazing credit for getting this done.

And of course, President Biden, as Nancy well outlined, he envisioned this a long time ago. But let me tell you, as we went through this, month after month, week after week, even hour after hour, the ups and downs were incredible. On some days, we thought we were going to get something real done and in other days, we said it won't happen.

But there was one sort of beacon who always had that optimism, who always propelled us forward, who always said we can get it done and he would do whatever it took.

And that was the man we will hear from in a few minutes, our great president who presided over one of the greatest legislative sessions and legislative accomplishments in history, the great president, Joseph Robinette Biden.

And I would like to do a special acknowledgement to my own staff, some of whom are here and many of whom are not. I cannot tell you how amazing they were. As we went through this, particularly during those nine days, when all of you called me and I said “I can't tell you anything.”

But the amazing work they did, working really 24/7, constantly, was incredible. A few of them are here, but I would like to acknowledge them because without my wonderful staff, this wouldn't have happened.

So the Inflation Reduction Act: the largest climate investment in U.S. history. And we always had a North Star, through all the yin and yang, through all the pushes and pulls. The one thing I did tell you all when you called me, I had to tell the president too, I couldn't even talk to him, that we would keep our North Star, which was 40% reduction of carbon into the atmosphere by 2030. And we got it done!

It was also one of the few pieces of legislation where we said for every dollar we spend, we're going to put $1 away to reduce the deficit. Republicans talk about it. They just do tax cuts for very well-to-do people and increase the deficit, but we actually did something. And now, in part because of it, inflation has slowed from 8.3% to 3.2%.

That's an amazing accomplishment. Over 170,000 clean energy jobs already have been created and announced in state after state, in city after city. Every week there's another announcement of more jobs, good-paying jobs, jobs with a future that have come because of the IRA. 170,000 clean energy jobs already and there’s going to be many, many, many more, many more. Clean energy investments are so popular. We put $369 billion as the amount that we would put in for tax deductions to encourage wind and solar and clean energy. It's now over $500 billion and it could go as high as $1 trillion because clean energy is economically sound and politically popular from one end of the country to the other.

Look, having done this, this we had to do with only Democratic votes. And the contrast between the parties is glaring, is stark, is instructive.

Today the President is celebrating one of the most significant bills in decades. A bill that lowers costs, creates jobs, makes the very, very wealthy pay some of their fair share.

But Republicans can't seem to go one week without chaos. It's almost as if chaos is their natural state of being.

And the contrast between it all, I hope Americans look at this, is so glaring. The former President and Republicans talked and talked and talked about infrastructure week. Every week when Nancy and I went to the White House was a new infrastructure week or infrastructure month. They got nothing done.

It was President Biden and Senate and House Democrats that passed infrastructure and every week, in that regard as well, we're traveling the country cutting ribbons, breaking new ground, opening bridges and factories, and putting Americans to work. So this is really good news.

We have focused on all of America, in rural America, in small towns, rural communities. This is happening. We didn't write this law just to help blue states or red states. We wrote it to help all the states, everyone everywhere and that's just what it's doing.

And if you want proof that the Inflation Reduction Act is working and is broadly popular, well just look around. Republican after Republican is actually showing up at the groundbreakings and taking credit for jobs in solar and EV’s and wind, even though they voted against these bills in Congress. They're coming to the ribbon cutting ceremonies aren't they! Because they know it’s right.

So, Republicans: next time we want to do something more, and we want to do more, we haven’t finished yet, there’s more to go, join us not only at the ceremonies but in voting with us for a clean, green energy bill.

So, this is amazing. I’ve always said—Nancy, Hakeem, and I—we’ve always said we want to work with Republicans side by side to get things done whenever we can, we always try to be bipartisan because we want to benefit this country. We love this country. We want people to understand that we can do good things to make their lives better, and that’s how we made this Congress so consequential. So, the bottom line is that we welcome bipartisanship. We did many of the other bills, the Infrastructure bill, the CHIPS and Science bill, the PACT Act, the gun safety law, bipartisan.

We couldn’t do it in this one with them, unfortunately too many of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle were in the grip of the oil lobby and big pharma, but we’re going to fight and fight and fight to make these issues as bipartisan as we can, because America needs them.

So, we are going to find more opportunities to keep going in the months ahead. Americans don’t want chaos, they don’t want extremism. They want better jobs, higher paychecks, lower costs of living.

That is just what Democrats accomplished in the Inflation Reduction Act a year ago, and you can bet, we’re going to keep it going.

As I said, when it comes to the IRA, when it comes to all the things we were able to do about growing the middle class with good-paying union jobs, with cutting costs, we’ve accomplished a lot, but the best is yet to come.

Thank you everybody! Thank you, Mr. President! Thank you all for making this happen. This is a great day for our country, for the Congress, and for President Biden, but the best is yet to come!