Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Budget Committee member Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) tonight appearing with Democratic members of the Senate Budget Committee announced the Budget Committee has come to an agreement on the budget resolution that would lead to the biggest investment in the middle class in decades and act on the climate crisis. A transcript of their remarks is below:
SCHUMER: The Budget Committee has come to an agreement. The budget resolution with instructions will be $3.5 trillion. If you add that to the $600 billion bipartisan plan, you get to $4.1 [trillion], which is very, very close to what President Biden asked us for.
Every major program that President Biden has asked us for is funded in a robust way. And we are making some additions to that. Most important, something that Senator Sanders has led, and convinced America is so important, which is a robust expansion of Medicare, including money for dental, vision and hearing.
Joe Biden is coming to our lunch tomorrow to lead us on to getting this wonderful plan that affects American families in a so profound way, more than anything that's happened to generations.
We are very proud of this plan. We know we have a long road to go. We're going to get this done for the sake of making average Americans’ lives a whole lot better.
SANDERS: Let me just thank Chuck Schumer and all the members of the Budget Committee and the chairmen of the various committees for the incredibly hard work they have done and are doing.
This is in our view a pivotal moment in American history. And for a very long time, the American people have seen the very rich getting richer and government developing policies, which allow them to pay, in some cases, not a nickel in federal income taxes. They've seen corporations make huge profits – in some cases, they're not paying a nickel in taxes. And what this legislation says, among many, many other things, is that those days are gone.
The wealthy and large corporations are going to start paying their fair share of taxes, so that we can protect the working families of this country. And all over America, in Vermont, Washington, Michigan, wherever it may be, your mom and dad going to work but they can't afford childcare; they're scared to death about whether or not they can afford to send their kids to college: and they go to work over a bridge which is crumbling. And what this legislation does is says we're going to create millions of good paying union jobs rebuilding this country not only from a physical infrastructure, but dealing with the human needs of our people which are many, and which have long been neglected.
And, last point – anybody who watches what's going on in California, the West Coast today, what's going on around the world, understands that if we do not get our act together in transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels that the planet we're going to be leaving our children and our grandchildren will be increasingly unhealthy, and uninhabitable. And our grandchildren are going to look us in the eye 30 years from now, and say – what did you do? – didn’t you know? – how’d you let that happen? And today, we begin the process of having this great country lead the world in transforming our energy system.
This is a big deal. And I’m just very proud of the entire committee and good work that they have done.
WARNER: Well, let me follow Bernie and echo what he said. And thank Chuck Schumer for his leadership, and the whole committee.
There are times to do really big things. This is one of those times. A time to think about, in the 21st century is America going to lead the way, or are other nations like China going to outcompete us, out-invent us, out-invest us?
The plan we put together, which is fully paid for, will make the investments in American families. Will take on what Bernie, frankly led mostly by Sheldon Whitehouse, the existential threat of climate change, in a way that will meet the needs, leading the world on this critical issue. I make no illusions how challenging this is going to be and I want to thank all of the members in both parties who are working on the bipartisan infrastructure plan, we have ways to go on that, but huge progress has been made. I have been in this job for now, about 12 years. I can't think of a more meaningful effort than what we're taking on, than what we're doing right now, probably more meaningful than anything I have done in my public service record.
A lot of us and realize this is that moment where we rally this country to dream big, and do big things. I think over the next couple of weeks, you're going to see that executed on the floor. Thank you .
SCHUMER: If we pass this, this is the most profound change to help American families in generations.