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Senate reaches deal to transfer power to Democrats, Schumer say they’ll focus on climate

Chuck Schumer
Posted at 11:20 AM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 11:24:50-05

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Wednesday that leaders of both parties have reached a deal to transfer control of the evenly split chamber’s committees to the Democrats and he highlighted climate change as one of his caucus' priorities.

"I am happy to report this morning that the leadership of both parties have finalized the organizing resolution for the Senate," said Schumer.

The New York senator says the Senate will pass the resolution sometime Wednesday, meaning the committees can get to work with Democrats holding the gavels. The resolution will end a two-week standoff that prevented the new Democratic majority from setting up some operations.

Schumer said his caucus isn’t going to waste time taking on the biggest challenges facing our country and he specifically highlighted the work they plan to do to combat climate change, an issue that was rarely addressed when Republicans controlled the Senate.

“I’ve already instructed the incoming Democratic chairs of all relevant committees to begin holding hearings on the climate crisis, in preparation for President Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ agenda, which includes major climate legislation,” he said.

In his speech on the floor, Schumer argued that it’s long past time for the Senate to take a leading role in combating “the existential threat of our time.”

With climate change affecting nearly every aspect of the economy and public policy, Schumer promised that any legislation passed will have the climate in mind.

“I promise that any action we take on infrastructure in particular will prioritize green infrastructure and the creation of green jobs, and create many jobs, good paying jobs,” he said.

As the Senate sets up its new committee structures, with Democrats holding a narrow majority in the 50-50 chamber, Schumer says he looks forward to speaking with his GOP colleagues about finding some common ground on climate.

“And most importantly, I look forward to propelling this chamber into action on a crisis that concerns not only all of our futures, but the futures of our children and grandchildren,” said Schumer. “It’s our solemn obligation to leave behind a planet upon which future generations can grow and prosper.”