TRANSCRIPT: Majority Leader Schumer Remarks On Press Call To Discuss How The Build Back Better Bill Will Help The American People

September 8, 2021

New York, NY   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today delivered remarks on a press call with Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Chair of the Senate Budget Committee, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), laying out how the budget reconciliation package will help the American people by creating jobs, lowering costs, and delivering the largest tax cut for American families in a generation. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:

As you know, last month, Senate Democrats in the Senate took a giant step towards restoring the middle class in the 21st century by passing the budget resolution to advance President Biden's Build Back Better agenda.

It used to be in America that if you worked hard, you would do better, and pass on even better opportunity for your children. Unfortunately, today this is not true for far too many Americans. Those in the middle class are struggling to hang on to the middle class. Those who are trying to get to the middle class are finding it more difficult to get there.

So Senate Democrats have been working around the clock for weeks and months with our House colleagues and the Biden administration on the Build Back Better agenda.

We know the American people are facing challenges of monumental proportions, so we must and we will pass legislation that meets the moment.

Build Back Better budget bill is that legislation. It will transform how our economy works to meet the needs of all Americans, not the wealthiest few. The Build Back Better agenda is so popular with the American people when they learn about it, but most don't know of its strength and its breadth. So today, we are describing that in some detail because the public needs to know all of the fine things in the bill.

Let me be clear: the legislation Democrats are working on will be the largest tax cut for the middle class in a generation.

Elections have consequences. The American people elected Republicans in 2016, and the first thing they did was to try and take away health care from people and shower the wealthiest and biggest corporations with tax cuts. In the most recent election, the American people gave Democrats the House, the Senate, and the White House, and we've been delivering historic levels of much needed help to those in the middle class and those striving to get there. That work continues in Build Back Better.

There are four main points here: it will cut taxes for American families; it will lower costs for everyone; it'll create good paying jobs while tackling the climate crisis; and it will be paid for by making our tax code more progressive and more fair, which means asking corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share. The American people overwhelmingly support these goals, as I mentioned, and as Senate Majority Leader, I'm working really hard to make them a reality.

And after a summer of devastating storms and extreme weather events, I commit that this bill will act on climate in a way that's commensurate with the crisis. It'll take big, bold action to reduce emissions, make our infrastructure more resilient, and create green jobs—good paying jobs—for the future.

At the same time, throughout the process, Democrats will concentrate on how to help the communities that have too often been neglected, including communities of color. We want every person to feel as though they can achieve.

That's truly what's at the heart of this bill—strengthening the backbone of the middle class and building ladders of opportunity so others can climb up there too. By making education, health care, child care, and housing more affordable, we can give tens of millions of American families a leg up by making sure that we can get our children out of poverty.

Many of the policies in the budget resolution were part of President Biden's American Jobs and Families Plan. Some go beyond, like expanding Medicare to cover dental, vision and hearing benefits. These benefits are undeniably important to our nation's seniors and were left out of Medicare at the beginning when they shouldn't have been. Democrats are working to rectify this, and thanks in large part to Senator Sanders, this budget reconciliation package will include a robust and historic expansion of Medicare to cover dental, vision, and hearing.

We believe that these types of investments that are in Build Back Better will restore the sunny, hopeful American optimism; faith in the future. Americans want to believe that if they work hard they'll be doing better ten years from now than they're doing today and their kids will be doing still better than them. That dream is beginning to fade. We want to restore it in a bold and comprehensive way.

And that's our mission – that's our goal.

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