Transcript: Sen. Chuck Schumer’s remarks on the government shutdown – Oct. 4, 2013

Partial transcript of press briefing remarks by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on the government shutdown on Oct. 4, 2013:

…I have three points that I want to make. The first relates to what happened yesterday. I spoke this morning to Officer Carter – he’s the police officer who was injured. He’s a 24-year veteran of the Capitol Hill police force, and it looks like – Thank God – he’ll be back on the job in two days. But here’s the point – these people were not furloughed because obviously they’re involved with our safety. But the fact that they weren’t getting paid and they’re not getting paid didn’t for one little jot interfere with their professionalism and diligence, and they did a great job. And the belittling of – the federal government [shutdown] belittles all federal employees, including Officer Carter and the people who did the job.

Second point I want to make is related to security. Some Americans are saying, “Oh, it didn’t affect me.” It affects every American because our national security has decreased because of the Tea Party shutdown.

Harry mentioned the intelligence agencies, and Sen. [Dianne] Feinstein has talked about those, where 72% of the people are not working. They are very vital people. These are not slackers or people not doing their job – “the federal government”. They’re diligent hardworking people protecting us.

And the area I’ve chosen to focus on here is Iran and its sanctions. We have finally seen something of a change in at least the way Iran talks. We don’t know if it’ll lead to some good but it’s certainly an opening. And that occurred because of the sanctions – the legislation – bipartisan – that passed both chambers but the diligence of the men and women who are enforcing these sanctions. There are all kinds of rogues that want to get around these sanctions. They look for every which way to do it. But our federal government employees in the Treasury Department have done a great job.

And I just want to reiterate Harry’s numbers to show you how bare – how naked – those offices are.

The Office of Intelligence Analysis, the Office of Financial Crimes and Enforcement together have 30 of their 345 employees. The Office of Terrorist Financing and Intelligence has 10% – one employee is left; they had 10. And the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets control, the primary office for enforcing these sanctions and punishing those who violate the sanctions is operating with a skeletal staff.

So just at the time when sanctions are biding and maybe Iran is giving up the ghost of nuclear weapons, the Tea Party shutdown lightens those sanctions far more than any negotiations could do. It lightens those sanctions and the rogue people who want to sell oil to Iran, who want to trade with Iran are back in business.

So this is another – there are so many bad aspects of the Tea Party shutdown.

Now, I think I’ll know what Sen. [Ted] Cruz will do tomorrow. Because we mentioned Iran sanctions today, he’ll put a bill on the floor that says, “Fund these offices.”

And maybe if we talk about middle-class families getting help for student loans being hampered by the Tea Party shutdown, they’ll put a bill on the floor to do that. It’s getting ridiculous!

And so we have something to say to our Republican colleagues. Today, their talking point when they spread it around is “Let’s talk.” Well, we’re happy to talk, but talking is not going to undo the damage to our economy and to so many American citizens with the Tea Party shutdown.

Their talking point leaves out what should be said first, “Just vote.” Once they vote, bring back the government workers and all the people who are vital to our security and our health and our well-being, then let’s talk.

So we want to modify the Republican talking point. We don’t want to change it. We want to say your talking point is missing a vital, vital piece. Just vote, then let’s talk.


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2 Comments on “Transcript: Sen. Chuck Schumer’s remarks on the government shutdown – Oct. 4, 2013

  1. Pingback: Transcript: Sen. Patty Murray’s remarks on the government shutdown – Oct. 4, 2013 | What The Folly?!

  2. Pingback: Transcript: Press briefing Q&A with Sen. Harry Reid on the government shutdown – Oct. 4, 2013 | What The Folly?!

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