Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the Senate continuing to make good progress to advance the bipartisan continuing resolution, and how devastating a harmful, MAGA shutdown would be to the American people. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Today, the U.S. Senate will continue its pursuit of a bipartisan bridge CR to avoid a devastating government shutdown.
In a little over an hour, we will vote on the motion to proceed to the FAA reauthorization, which will serve as a vehicle for the CR I announced with Leader McConnell two days ago.
Once we are on the bill, I will be introducing the substitute amendment which will contain the legislative text of the bipartisan bridge CR bipartisan, which the Appropriations Committee worked so hard on.
Again, I salute Senators Murray and Collins for the good job they have done. I will file cloture on the substitute and the underlying bill, so members can expect to vote for cloture on Saturday, if not sooner.
Things are coming down to the wire. As I have said for months, Congress has only one option, one option, to avoid a shutdown: bipartisanship. It was true yesterday, it is true today, it will be true tomorrow.
With bipartisanship, we can responsibly fund the government and avoid the sharp and unnecessary pain for the American people and the economy that a shutdown will bring.
With bipartisanship, we can speed along this process here in the Senate. We can come to an agreement on voting on amendments, and allow the Senate to work its will in a timely fashion.
With bipartisanship, we can make good on the deal reached earlier this summer to avoid default.
Remember: bipartisan majorities agreed to funding levels back in June. The leaders of the House, the Senate, the White House – we all shook hands on this deal. But now the Speaker, and only the Speaker, is going back on his word. He is the only one of the five to go back on his word.
What he is saying, by being the only one to go back on his word, Speaker McCarthy is saying that he cares more about the whims of the hard right – the hard, hard right – than avoiding a shutdown.
We cannot have that. We need bipartisanship.
If he persists in partisanship, which he's doing now by always looking over his hard right shoulder, he will create a shutdown.
Sadly, every move the Speaker has taken since the bipartisan deal in June has been to shred any prospects of bipartisanship.
By focusing on the views of the radical few instead of the many, Speaker McCarthy has made a shutdown much more likely.
Let me say that again: by focusing on the views of the radical few instead of the many, Speaker McCarthy has made a shutdown far more likely.
Despite the fact that many on both sides want to work together, despite the fact that here in the Senate we are pursuing bipartisanship, the Speaker has chosen to elevate the whims and desires of a handful of hard-right extremists, and has nothing to show for it.
We saw a glaring example last night. Last night, on the floor of the House, the House voted twice, with overwhelming bipartisan majorities, to keep Ukraine funding in the House defense appropriations bill. Each time with over 330 votes, a majority of both Democrat and Republican members.
And yet, after the vote, the Republican leadership in the House subverted the will of the House by going to the Rules Committee and cutting the aid to Ukraine anyway.
Can you believe that? Ten or so extremists – who don’t care at all about governing, or about preserving democracy, or America’s strength in the world – hold more sway in Speaker McCarthy’s mind than the majority of his party and the vast majority of the House of Representatives, which he leads.
We need to be showing strength against Putin, not weakness. We need to be defending Democracy, not abandoning our friends abroad.
Speaker McCarthy is letting a small band of very extreme members override the views of everyone else. It’s the tail wagging the dog.
That’s the crux of the entire shutdown mess. And if Speaker McCarthy continues on his path it will have consequences for years to come. If we’re forced to abandon Ukraine by a handful of extreme people who seem to have no sense of the reality of the world, we will pay a price for years to come. How can Speaker McCarthy let that happen? How can he let that happen?
A divided government demands compromise. By ignoring this, Speaker McCarthy is driving the country straight to a shutdown. And the longer he resists bipartisanship, the greater the damage of a shutdown will be to the American people.
It’s been alarming over the past few days to listen to some of my House colleagues on the hard right talk so casually about shutting the government down. Some of them seem proud to do it. They sort of brag about it. It’s incredible.
They seem completely unbothered that in a shutdown, over a million active-duty military members won’t get their pay.
A shutdown would degrade troop readiness and devastate our Southern border, something our friends on the other side – who claim to care about border security – conveniently ignore.
Small businesses would lose access to capital, homebuyers would be unable to secure loans, our supply chains would be imperiled, and costs for American families would go up and up, all because of a needless shutdown caused by a few extremists and Speaker McCarthy’s obeisance to them.
This will all become a reality, unfortunately, in less than three days unless Speaker McCarthy abandons his doomed mission of succumbing to the MAGA radicals. The only way – the only way, once again, I have to keep repeating it because maybe it will sink in over there – the only way we prevent a government shutdown is by voting on legislation that can get bipartisan support.
That is what we will work on here in the Senate today. As I have said, the bill before us later today is a bridge, not the final destination. I urge my colleagues to continue to work to advance this bipartisan bridge CR and to avoid a reckless and devastating government shutdown.
The Senate, once again, is called on to lead by example, to lead the House and the Speaker by example.