U.S. Senate Sen. Schumers Floor Remarks CSPAN February 2, 2021 1:17pm-1:27pm EST
quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: now, mr. president, the capitol attack on january 6 unleashed many, many horrors, but it also revealed many heroes. one such hero was capitol police officer brian sicknick, a new jersey native, a national guard veteran, 12-year police officer
for the capitol, his body will arrive at the capitol and he will lie in honor beneath the capitol rotunda. we will formally pay our respects of officer sicknick. i, along with my colleagues, grieve his loss. may his memory live forever as a model of service to our nation, selflessness in the line of duty, and courage in the face of danger. on another matter entirely, the senate this week will continue confirming president biden's cabinet nominees, closing the book today on the nomination of alejandro mayorkas to be the secretary of homeland security. mr. mayorkas's qualifications are unassailable. he is a seven-year veteran of the d.h.s. and has already been confirmed by this chamber three -- three times. like most of president biden's
cabinet nominees, his nomination is also history making. he will be the first latino and first immigrant to hold the top job at d.h.s. i look forward to confirming mr. and we have a second outstanding nominee to confirm today as well. pete buttigieg for secretary of judge for secretary of etary of transportation. mister buttigieg is known to many as mayor pete and demonstrated april impressive familiarity with our nations entire transportation challenges. challenges which are pronounced in states like my own. or projects like the gateway tunnel, our top national priority. i know mister buttigieg is committed to working with members from both sides to improve rail and transit, highways and more in urban centers and everywhere in between. i'm excited to call him secretary pete by the end of
the day. getwith him immediately on helping the mta, the nation's largest transit network in the country and moving gateway forward after years of cynical obstruction in the trump administration . on covid. even as we continue to confirm president biden's nominee, the senate will turn this week to the historic task of preparing a rescue package to lift our country out of the depths of the awful covid-19 pandemic. and set our country back on the path to normalcy. despite the best efforts of congress over the past year, the needs in our country are still great and still urgent. the disease has been with us for nearly a year and yet this january was officially the worst month to date. nearly 100,000 americans died. just in the last month. unemployment insurance claims
were remain at nearly 1 million a week. schools remain closed. businesses unvisited and all the familiar fixtures of daily life still remain on hold . all of us in this chamber are tired of seeing our constituents, our friends, our country suffer. it's time to meet the challenges of the moment with boldness, with courage, with urgency. came together to pass an interim emergency relief billin september we all knew thejob was not complete . economic experts and the president elect at the time called it an important down payment . cause that's what it was, a down payment. not the final act. no one should be surprised that the first legislative act of the new democratic majority is to build on that foundation and help the country defeat covid-19 once and for all.
so the senate is going to move forward this week with a process for producing the next bold rescue package. yesterday, speaker pelosi and i file a joint budget resolution for the 2021 fiscal year totaling 1.9 trillion which will give us another legislative tool to y. pass a covid relief bill quickly anddecisively. the senate will vote to proceed on the budget resolution this afternoon . time is a luxury our country does not have and let me be very clear , mister president, we are not going to dilute, to dither or delay . we are not going toemdilute, dither or delay. the needs of the american peopleare so demanding , we need to think big , we need to act quickly. the senate must move forward today. with the vote to begin debate on the budget resolution and
i'm optimistic that the motion to proceed will pass. i would say to my republican colleagues that we want this importantwork to be bipartisan. we welcome your ideas, your input, your revisions . we welcome cooperation. there is nothing about the process of a budget resolution or reconciliation for that matter that forecloses the possibility of bipartisanship . i'd remind this chamber that since 1980, the budget process has been used 17 times. 17 times to pass serious bipartisan legislation. this process is open to bipartisanship. so let me be clear to my colleagues this morning there will be a part process on the budget resolution this week . democrats legally encourage participation from both sides of the aisle through this proposal. again, there's nothing about the process itself that prevents bipartisanship.
what has made recent reconciliation efforts by senate republicans so partisan was not the process. but the legislation they sought to pass. the former senate majority i heard the senator from texas crying crocodile tears about using reconciliation but just a few years ago he was an active participant in using it twice to pursue expressly partisan and deeply unpopular legislation. first to repeal our nations health care law and kick millions of americans off their healthcare coverage and second, 2/taxes for big corporations and the wealthy to the tune of a $1.7 trillion bill and hole in our deficit. s.of course democrats oppose those efforts on the merits. at the moment however, we are talking about using the process to help small
business, something we all support. we're talking about using the budget process to speed the production and distribution of a vaccine that everyone championed and everyone knows is the key to ending the crisis . we're talking about getting our country back on its feet and our economy back on track an . we want this entire effort to be bipartisan. we do. but helping the american people with the big bold relief they need mister president, that is job number one. that is job number one which is so, so important. so again, we are not going to dither or delay because the demands of the american people are so real and so large. we need to think big and think quickly. helping millions of americans who are still without work by extending the unenhanced on employment benefits that are
now slated to expire in march. helping parents waiting for the day that kids can finally go back to school safely. helping teachers, firefighters, bus drivers and other essential public employees at the state and local level from the risks preventing them from the risk of layoffs. helping restaurants and bars and theaters who were the first to close and maybe lithe last open, helping every american struggling to make ends meet, to pay the rent, pay the mortgage, pay the groceries . keep up with that utility bill by sending them direct assistance in the form of a check . that is job number one. helping the american people survive the toughest months of this crisis while hastening the end of the crisis itself.in the months to come, millions of americans will be vaccinated and slowly but surely life will return tonormal once again . the rescue plan proposed by
president biden, the rescue plan we begin to work on this week will lay the foundation for our country's long-awaited comeback while giving american helping hand to stay safe and stay financially secure in the meantime. i look forward to proceeding with this budget resolution and on the work of making this historic and vital rescue package a reality. so it works for the american people. i'd yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. >> the senate will vote on alejandro mayorkas, president biden's nominee to the director of homeland security. up to this point i voted in favor of the president's key nominees and i'll have my differences kewith secretary austen, yellen and blake and on policy but they remain mainstream choices from the president. mister