Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said now there’s an organizing resolution between the now-majority Democrats and the Republicans in the Senate, “we’re finally able to get the Senate up and running.”
“Last night the Republican Leader dropped his demand for additional provisions on the organizing resolution and will agree to the 2001 rules that last governed the 50-50 Senate, exactly what the Democrats proposed from the start,” he said in remarks from the Senate floor this morning. “My only regret is that it took so long.”
Schumer also sounded a bullish note on a Covid-19 relief funding bill, suggesting that Democrats will press ahead despite headwinds.
“I understand that recent opposition from the political right has increased now that there’s a Democrat in the White House. But the pandemic doesn’t particularly care that there’s been a change in administration. The needs of our country are still great. And the urgency to act is clearer than ever,” he said. “No doubt Congress has passed substantial relief, but we are nowhere close to filling the Covid-sized hole” of $17 trillion dollars the economy has lost, citing a CBO report.
“We want to work with our Republican colleagues to advance this legislation in bipartisan way, but the work must move forward, preferable with our Republican colleagues, but without them if we must.”
Finally, Schumer praised the upcoming confirmation vote for Anthony Blinken to serve as the next Secretary of State, saying “he’s the right man for the job.”
“Once confirmed, Mr. Blinken will also inherit a State Department workforce in desperate need of a leader that knows that everyone on the team plays a critical role in advancing America’s interests abroad,” he said. “Under President Trump, our nation’s diplomats and State Department civilians were relegated to the sidelines, and too many positions in the State Department were left vacant or relegated to irrelevance. So none of this will be easy, but I’m confident that Mr. Blinken is exactly the right person for the job.”
Schumer said that following Blinken’s confirmation, “both parties must continue working together” and thanking Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for his cooperation in confirming the nominees, and suggesting that he will tee up two more votes this week, for Pete Buttigieg and Alejandro Mayorkas.
“The pace must continue this week with the confirmation of the Secretaries of Homeland Security and Transportation,” he said.