Schumer Floor Remarks: Every Day That Goes By Without The Republican Party Acknowledging And Accepting The Results Of The Election Is Another Day Americans’ Faith In Our Democracy DeclinesNovember 10, 2020
Washington, D.C. — Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the Republican Party’s failure to accept the results of the election and how it is making the American people lose faith in our democracy. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
On another matter. I don’t think many of us expected President Trump to leave the office of the presidency with grace—a quality he has not once demonstrated during his long career in business or his very short career in public life. But the extent to which the Republican Party is legitimizing the president’s assault on our democracy is infuriating, and deeply, deeply wrong.
The president is not merely bringing forward well-founded legal challenges. He is not simply taking advantage of the ability to request a recount in states where one is possible. He is declaring himself to be the winner of an election that he lost. He is claiming to win states that he lost. His legal team is filing scores of frivolous, unsubstantiated lawsuits. He is undermining faith in our elections and poisoning our democracy during one of the most delicate moments in our constitutional system: something we treasure, the peaceful transfer of power.
The president has fired the Secretary of Defense, threatening the continuity of our national security policy because he’s having a temper tantrum. Not only does this put at risk a smooth transition in one of the most sensitive and critical areas of our government, it creates an opening for our adversaries to take advantage of instability and inexperience.
The current Attorney General of the United States has made a show of authorizing federal probes into supposed election fraud, lending a veneer of false credence to the president’s delusions. It violates the longstanding tradition of avoiding even the appearance of law enforcement interference in our elections. Almost immediately, Attorney General Barr’s decision prompted the chief of the Justice Department’s election’s crimes branch to resign in protest.
The Government Services Administrator has still not signed the paperwork necessary for the Biden transition team to begin its work.
And here in the Senate, the Republican leader and several Republican members are trying to give their president air cover.
Yesterday, in the same breath that Leader McConnell celebrated the re-election of certain Republican Senators, he declined to congratulate the winner of the presidential election because the election results have not been officially certified. The political right seems eager to celebrate the results it approves of while delaying judgment and casting doubt on the results it doesn’t. The Republican leader could not even mention two words—Joe Biden—who, regardless of what Republican Senators think, will be the next President of the United States.
Two Republican members of this chamber have called on their own Secretary of State, a fellow Republican, to resign—for no other apparent reason than the fact that President Trump did not win their state. They alleged that the Secretary of State did not deliver “honest and transparent elections.” That’s really a stunning charge in the United States of America. That’s the kind of thing you hear about in banana republics and dishonest elections.
Surely, United States Senators would have some evidence that, in the world’s premier democracy, an entire state’s election was not conducted “honestly” as they say. Surely, you must think those Senators have incredible substantial and weighty proof of such a scandalous and alarming allegation. But you would be wrong. The two Senators provided no evidence— not even a shred—to back up their claims.
Senators—three in total—have congratulated the next President and Vice President of the United States on their victory and called on the nation to come together. The rest have either been silent or outright sympathetic towards the President’s completely unsubstantiated claims of election fraud.
So look, here is where we are. Every major media outlet, including Fox News, has projected that Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States. Kamala Harris will be the next Vice president of the United States. Not because the media declared them to be, but because more than 76 million Americans voted them into office. There has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud or any indication that the results might suddenly flip in not one, but several states.
The country is ready to move on from four years of tumultuous and incompetent administration. The institutions of our government will ensure it, on January 20th, no matter what the current president claims, but they cannot ensure faith in our democracy in the hearts and minds of the American people. That’s a project for both parties: to confer legitimacy on an election in which, yes, half the country will be disappointed, but after which the entire country must pull together.
And every day that goes by without the Republican Party acknowledging and accepting the results of the election is another day Americans’ faith in our democracy declines.