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Entries in Chuck Schumer (12)

Sunday
Apr072013

Senator Schumer Hopes to See Deal on Immigration ‘By the End of the Week’

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Senator Chuck Schumer, speaking on CBS’s Face the Nation, announced that he is hoping to see a bipartisan deal on immigration by the end of the week, though other senators are less optimistic.

“There will be a great deal of unhappiness about this proposal because everybody didn't get what they wanted,” said Senator John McCain, also appearing on Face the Nation. “There are entrenched positions on both sides of this issue are far as business and labor.”

That doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any progress, though. Appearing on NBC's Meet the Press, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said that the GOP has been able to unite itself on at least one front of the debate.

“Every corner of the republican party from libertarians to the RNC, house Republicans and the rank-and-file Republican party member is now understanding there has to be an earned pathway to citizenship,” the senator said.

The bipartisan deal hopes to create an immigration bill that will secure the border and allow for eventual citizenship to an estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally.

“I am hopeful that we get a good vote on both sides of the aisle,” Schumer said. “We don't want this bill to be fifty-three Democrats and just a handful of Republicans because we need broad bipartisan support particularly to get a bill done in the house.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep132012

Schumer Welcomes Paul Ryan Back as a Deficit-Reduction ‘Fraud’

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Democrats haven’t exactly rolled out the red carpet for Rep. Paul Ryan now that the GOP vice presidential nominee is returning to his old stamping grounds to cast a vote at the U.S. Capitol Thursday.

“It’s nice to see Paul Ryan back here in Congress,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY., said. “It will be even nicer to see him back here as a full-time member in January.”

Ryan returns to the House of Representatives for the first time since being chosen as Mitt Romney’s running mate,  to cast his vote on a sequester replacement bill coming out of the budget committee.

But Schumer took to the Senate floor first to disparage Ryan’s budget plan, declaring Ryan a “fraud” for the “unrealistic” and “rosy” assumptions on which his deficit plan is based, in his opinion.

“In terms of deficit reduction, the Ryan plan – there’s no other way to state it – is a fraud,” Schumer said. “Perhaps the least credible claim of all about Congressman Ryan is the idea that he’s a serious deficit hawk and that his budget is a serious attempt at deficit reduction.

“He’s not and it’s not. The Paul Ryan budget is about ideology rather than commonsense solutions to the country’s economic and fiscal problems.”

Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck said, “With President Obama’s failed leadership leaving us with 43 straight months of unemployment above 8 percent, another trillion-dollar deficit, and looming defense cuts that will devastate our military, do his allies in the Senate have nothing better to do than engage in stale political attacks?

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul242012

Stronger Gun Laws? Schumer Points to Lack of Political Will

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Chuck Schumer was one of the biggest cheerleaders for the assault weapons ban back when it passed the House. The New Yorker helped usher it through Congress and in part built his senate campaign on passing the Brady Bill.

But Tuesday, in the wake of the Aurora, Colo., massacre, Schumer suggested there is no political will for new gun laws or re-instating the assault weapons ban, which lapsed in 2004. Under the ban it would have been illegal for James Holmes to purchase the deadliest of the weapons he used - the AR-15 assault rifle.

Schumer blamed the NRA and the Republicans who control the House of Representatives for blocking any legislation. But Schumer held a press conference today on tax measures, not gun laws, and he made clear that he thinks the political mandate for gun laws needs to come from the people before politicians will change anything.

"I am still an advocate of the assault weapons ban. I was the author of it in the House," he said, adding that it could potentially have kept the AR-15 away from Holmes. "But we see what's in the House and we see the power of the NRA around here and it's something we ask, the way to overcome it is for citizens, the silent majority, who believe in the right to bear arms, the majority of Americans including myself."

"I believe in the right to bear arms. I think the 2nd amendment has validity. I thought the Heller decision was appropriate. But there can be reasonable limitations on those rights to bear arms. We limit the 1st amendment, you can't falsely scream fire in a crowded theater, or anti-pornography laws. The 2nd amendment can have reasonable limits as well," he said.

House Speaker John Boehner, meanwhile, resisted calls Tuesday from other congressional Democrats to tighten gun control laws in the wake of the shooting in Aurora last week, couching his lack of enthusiasm for new legislation to President Obama's decision not to push for new laws either.

"We had a shooting by a deranged person in Colorado and our hearts and souls go out to the victims and those who were killed and those who were injured, and their families," Boehner said. "The president has made clear that he's not going to use this horrific event to push for new gun laws. I agree."

Pressed whether there is anything the government should do to make it harder for someone to purchase such large amounts of ammunition, the speaker stuck to his script.

"Listen, the White House had made clear they're not going to use this horrific event to push for new legislation," he repeated. "I agree with them."

Over the weekend, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One that President Obama believes the government should protect the Second Amendment while also ensuring that weapons do not fall "into the hands of individuals who should not, by existing law, obtain those weapons."

"The president's view is that we can take steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them under existing law," Carney said Sunday. "And that's his focus right now."

James Holmes, 24, is suspected of killing 12 people and wounding another 58 in Friday morning's shooting at opening night of the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. With no significant police record, law enforcement sources say he acquired all four of his guns, body armor and thousands of rounds of ammunition legally.

House Democrats including Reps. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Carolyn McCarthy of New York, both long-time gun control advocates, point to the shooting in Colorado and other mass shootings as proof that the country's gun laws are insufficient.

Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, the No. 3 Republican in the House, said that Congress "should get all the facts" before moving any new legislation "because you want to make sure it is done right."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May172012

Senators to Unveil ‘Ex-Patriot Act’ in Response to Tax ‘Scheme’

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has a status update for Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin: Stop attempting to dodge your taxes by renouncing your U.S. citizenship or never come to back to the U.S. again.

In September 2011, Saverin relinquished his U.S. citizenship before the company announced its planned initial public offering of stock, which will debut on Friday.  The move was likely a financial one, as he owns an estimated 4 percent of Facebook and stands to make $4 billion when the company goes public.  Saverin would reap the benefit of tax savings by becoming a permanent resident of Singapore, which levies no capital gains taxes.

At a news conference Thursday morning, Sens. Schumer and Bob Casey, D-Pa., will unveil the “Ex-PATRIOT” (“Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy”) Act to respond directly to Saverin’s move, which they dub a “scheme” that would “help him duck up to $67 million in taxes.”

The senators will call Saverin’s move an “outrage” and will outline their plan to re-impose taxes on expatriates like Saverin even after they flee the United States and take up residence in a foreign country.  Their proposal would also impose a mandatory 30 percent tax on the capital gains of anybody who renounces their U.S. citizenship.

The plan would bar individuals like Saverin from ever reentering the United States again.

“Eduardo recently found it more practical to become a resident of Singapore since he plans to live there for an indefinite period of time,” Tom Goodman, Saverin’s spokesman, told Bloomberg News in an email.

Last year 1,700 people renounced their U.S. citizenship.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb022012

Reid Warns Payroll Conference Committee: ‘I Want to See Some Action’

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The pressure is mounting on the payroll conference committee to strike a compromise to extend the payroll tax cut for a year before a Feb. 29 deadline.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on Thursday issued a stern warning to members of the committee to move toward a deal or Senate Democrats will move on a bill without them.

“I want to see some action,” Reid said at a news conference Thursday afternoon. “I want everyone to be put on notice that we are not going to walk away from this without having some serious votes. If they are unwilling to do something on a bipartisan basis, then we’re going to do something to move the bill forward.”

The conference committee met Thursday morning for the third time in as many days. Tasked to broker a deal that remained elusive late last year, the hurdles are many and the gulf on how best to pay for the tax cut is still large between the two parties.

Reid said he would remain “patient” but clearly is prepared to offer a backup plan, meaning many long votes in the Senate, if the conference committee fails to strike a deal under deadline.

“In short, hope they get their work done,” Reid emphasized, adding that he would be hopeful it would be a bipartisan bill. “If not, we’re enacting legislation.”

 Adding to the chorus pressuring the committee to work harder was Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

“What the heck is going on here?” Schumer asked of the perceived slow-moving committee. “They don’t seem to be moving quickly at all.”

The bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers was chosen by Senate and House leadership after both chambers failed to pass one bill for a year-long extension of the payroll tax cut, opting to pass the short two-month deal and leave the larger negotiation to the conference committee.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec012011

John McCain Apologizes to Long Island after Joke

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Deep in debate over detainee policy on the Senate floor Wednesday, Sen. John McCain, R-AZ., made an offhand joke which later led him to, rather grudgingly, take to the Senate floor for a public apology.

“Isn’t it true that Justice O’Connor was specifically referring to a case for a person captured on Long Island?” McCain said on the Senate floor, referring to a Supreme Court decision.  “Last I checked, Long Island was part -- albeit sometimes regrettably -- part of the United States of America.”

McCain was discussing if the Supreme Court had ever ruled on a specific matter of law dealing with detainees detained within the United States and being held indefinitely without constitutional rights.

But the comment about Long Island, which had nothing to do with the specific detainee debate, ticked off New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, who demanded an apology almost instantaneously for part of his state being the brunt of his joke.

“@SenJohnMcCain – All of America saw how heroic Long Islanders were on 9/11. #LongIsland deserves an apology,” the twitter account of Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY., tweeted to McCain.

McCain then returned to the Senate floor and gave a perfunctory apology -- suggesting that maybe Sen. Schumer needed to have a better sense of humor.

“I made a joke,” McCain said.  “I’m sorry there’s at least one of my colleagues that can’t take a joke and so I apologize if I offended him and hope that someday he will have a sense of humor.”

This half-hearted apology didn’t sit well with Sen. Schumer who again took to twitter to chastise McCain.

“NYers can take a joke. But if @SenJohnMcCain wants to mock parts of America, stick to Arizona,” Sen. Schumer’s office tweeted.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep152011

Democrats Say Loss in NY Not Indicative of 2012 Election

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Democratic National Committee chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and Sen. Chuck Schumer, who once represented New York’s 9th Congressional district, dismissed a Republican victory there Tuesday as a meaningless indicator for the coming presidential election.

“If you’re looking for predictions about results in 2012, you should really be looking at the president’s standing against the Republican candidates in battleground states, not the results of two House special elections,” Wasserman Schultz told reporters on a conference call.

The other special election the DNC chairwoman was referring to was the one for Nevada's 2nd Congressional district, also held on Tuesday.

Schumer said, “I’ve never heard the ninth CD referred to as a bellwether.  It is among the most conservative districts in New York City and changing rapidly demographically as it has over the years."

“It’s become very different in terms of the Jewish population -- much more orthodox than it used to be,” he said.  “It’s also changed in terms of it’s much more of an immigrant district with a lot of eastern European immigrants who tend to be more conservative, having left the old Soviet Union.”

Both expressed unwavering optimism Obama will be competitive in the district -- which he carried with 55 percent of the vote in 2008 -- and the rest of New York next year.

“As the scene focuses from cutting [spending] to jobs, the president will do better and better in this district, in New York and in the country,” Schumer said.

Wasserman Schultz, citing the latest CNN poll that found a majority of Americans support Obama’s job-creation plan, said, “We know the president’s vision is resonating."

“We’re building an unprecedented grassroots organization,” she said.  “We’re not waiting until next year to go into the battleground states.  That’s where this campaign is going to be won.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul122011

Schumer: Cantor’s Debt Ceiling Proposal Immoral

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The fierce rhetoric on the Senate floor Tuesday continued with Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY., who pointed a finger at the Republicans for being “dragged so far to the right by its ideological fringe,” that they are not able to get actually compromise to get a deal to raise the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.

“They would sooner end Medicare as we know it than ask millionaires and billionaires to pay a little more in taxes,” Schumer said, quipping that House Speaker Boehner “balked” at a Grand Bargain because of pressure from within his own party. “That's the nub of it. They would sooner end Medicare as we know it than ask millionaires and billionaires to pay a little more in taxes.”

Intentionally highlighting the divide between Republicans Cantor and Boehner, Schumer added that it seems that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor “is now the leader of these negotiations for the Republicans” after it was reported he did the plurality of talking on the Republican side at the White House debt meetings Monday.

Schumer called House Majority Leader Cantor’s proposal, made at the White House on Monday, which outlines $353 billion in health care cuts, with $250 billion in reductions in Medicare “troubling.”

“This approach is not balanced, it's not fair, it's not moral, and it will not be accepted. The proposal by Leader Cantor is very troubling.”

He repeated that an agreement “cannot be considered bold or comprehensive” unless it asks “millionaires, billionaires and wealthy corporations to contribute to deficit reduction.”

Schumer warned that time is running out to cut a deal with enough time before the Aug. 2 deadline for action set by the administration.

“This is crunch time. The clock is ticking” he said, “if we don't reach an agreement in the next few weeks, we risk roiling the financial markets and our nation's fragile economy will suffer a serious setback.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May182011

Chuck Schumer Praises Gingrich's 'Candor' on Ryan Plan

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY., bludgeoned Newt Gingrich with praise for the "candor" he showed when he criticized Rep. Paul Ryan's Medicare plan Sunday.

"Newt and I are considered political opposites, but I couldn't agree more about what he said Sunday about House Republicans' plan to end Medicare," Schumer told reporters on a conference call.

Schumer said Ryan's Medicare plan would throw seniors out into the market and not keep pace with rising health care costs; he said Gingrich acknowledged this in a "straight shooting way."

Speaker Gingrich has since publicly reversed himself on the comments, after near instantaneous blowback from fellow Republicans, including Ryan himself, to whom Gingrich since called to apologize.

But Schumer sent a warning to the GOP: their attack on Gingrich is leading to the implosion of the Republican Party.

"It was refreshing to hear such candor from a top Republican but it's equally startling to then see the hard right turn so quickly on him for his comments," Schumer said.  "The whole episode leaves you scratching your head.  The far right seems to be causing the Republican Party to implode before our very eyes."

"The litmus test within the Republican Party will be how you come down on Paul Ryan's Medicare plan," Schumer said.  "It's a no win for them."

Many supporters of Ryan's plan are labelling Schumer's words of praise about Gingrich a kiss of death for former House Speaker's new-and-already-troubled White House run.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
May022011

Osama bin Laden's Death Brings Praise from Capitol Hill

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- News of the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. Special Forces striking inside Pakistan Sunday brought praise from both sides of the political aisle in Washington, D.C., but all agree the U.S. must remain vigilant in the war on terrorism.

Here is what some lawmakers are saying:

Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, top Republican on Senate Armed Services Committee:

“I am overjoyed that we finally got the world's top terrorist.  The world is a better and more just place now that Osama bin Laden is no longer in it.  I hope the families of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks will sleep easier tonight and every night hence knowing that justice has been done.  I commend the president and his team, as well as our men and women in uniform and our intelligence professionals, for this superb achievement.  But while we take heart in the news that Osama bin Laden is dead, we must be mindful that al Qaeda and its terrorist allies are still lethal and determined enemies, and we must remain vigilant to defeat them.”

Sen. John Kerry, D-MA, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

"The killing of Osama bin Laden closes an important chapter in our war against extremists who kill innocent people around the world.  We are a nation of peace and laws, and people everywhere should understand that our ten-year manhunt was in search of justice not revenge.  Terrorists everywhere must never doubt that the United States will hunt them down no matter where they are, no matter how long it takes.

"We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the men and women of our intelligence agencies and our military for their tireless dedication and enormous sacrifice to bring justice to a man responsible for the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11 and thousands more men, women, and children around the world.

"I commend President Obama and his national security team for never forgetting the need to secure justice for those who lost their lives nearly 10 years ago and for those who have lost their lives in the war against extremism that continues today.

"A single death does not end the threat from al Qaeda and its affiliated groups.  We must remain vigilant and committed to keeping the world safe and secure."

House Speaker John Boehner:

"This is great news for the security of the American people and a victory in our continued fight against al Qaeda and radical extremism around the world.  We continue to face a complex and evolving terrorist threat, and it is important that we remain vigilant in our efforts to confront and defeat the terrorist enemy and protect the American people.  I want to congratulate -- and thank -- the hard-working men and women of our Armed Forces and intelligence community for their tireless efforts and perseverance that led to this success.  I also want to commend President Obama and his team, as well as President Bush, for all of their efforts to bring Osama bin Laden to justice."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi:

“The death of Osama bin Laden marks the most significant development in our fight against al-Qaeda.  I salute President Obama, his national security team, Director Panetta, our men and women in the intelligence community and military, and other nations who supported this effort for their leadership in achieving this major accomplishment.  It is a testament to the professionalism of our dedicated national security professionals that no American lives were lost in this operation.

“As we approach the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I hope that today’s action provides some comfort to the 9/11 families who lost loved ones in the devastating attacks on our shores.

“Though the death of Osama bin Laden is historic, it does not diminish our relentless pursuit of terrorists who threaten our country.”

Rep. Peter King, R-NY:

“Today, the American people have seen justice.  The leader of the United States’ top enemy has gotten what he deserves for orchestrating the deaths of nearly 3,000 innocent Americans on Sept. 11, 2001.

“In 2001, President Bush said ‘we will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.’  President Bush deserves great credit for putting action behind those words.  President Obama deserves equal credit for his resolve in this long war against al-Qaeda.

“This great success would not have been possible without the tireless work of countless brave men and women who have served around the world in this War on Terror.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY, top Senate Republican:

"The death of Osama bin Laden marks a long-awaited end to the work of the man responsible for the 9/11 attacks.  No one who remembers the horror of that day can help but feel relieved that Osama bin Laden is dead.  This is a great victory in the War on Terror and for all who have worked so tirelessly over the years to thwart the monstrous designs of this madman and his disciples.  On Sept. 11, 2001, America came together and vowed that we would never forget the memory of those whose lives were lost on that terrible day.  Tonight's announcement shows that we have made good on that pledge.  It is proof that no matter how difficult or how long it takes, our military, intelligence forces and law enforcement officials will never stop until the job is done.  America celebrates tonight, and is grateful for the heroic efforts of the many men and women around the world who have fought and who are still fighting to protect the world from terrorism.  Though they may never make the headlines, we are ever mindful of their many sacrifices.  This war on terror continues, but we can be happy tonight that with the death of Osama bin Laden, the world is a better place.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY:

"This is a thunderous strike for justice for the thousands of my fellow New Yorkers -- and citizens from all over the world -- who were murdered on 9/11.  It took close to ten years, but the world's most wanted terrorist has finally met his deserved fate.  New York's heart is still broken from the tragedy of 9/11, but this at least brings some measure of closure and consolation to the victims and their families.  This is a massive accomplishment for the countless military and intelligence personnel who have been urgently dedicated to this task for the past decade.  Because bin Laden's evil dogma has poisoned the minds of so many others, we cannot let up in the war on terror.  This successful mission sends a definitive message to those who would test the resolve of the people of the United States of America: do not doubt our resolve; if you do us harm, we will find you, we will mete out justice, and we will prevail."

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-IL, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate:

“I was advised by Vice President Biden this Sunday evening that Osama bin Laden has been killed.  Though this is not the end of the threat of terrorism, it is a clear warning to our enemies that when they threaten and kill Americans, they will be pursued and held accountable.  Our nation owes a great debt of gratitude to our intelligence community and military for pursuing this manhunt for almost ten years and successfully eliminating the most high profile terrorist on earth.  Those who believed bin Laden and his network were invincible will now awaken to a new reality.”

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-GA, top Republican on U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence:

"This is a historic moment for the U.S. special operations and intelligence communities.  I highly commend the special operations units who undertook this mission and carried it out with no injuries to women or children inside the compound.  The CIA and others in the U.S. intelligence community did a phenomenal job over several months in carrying out this assignment."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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