Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer admitted on Sunday that it will be difficult to pass the multi trillion dollar spending bills currently in Congress, but stressed that he is optimistic that the task can be accomplished.
Speaking on “The Cats Roundtable” radio show on WABC 770 AM hosted by John Catsimatidis, the New York Democrat said the spending bills would “be a huge shot in the arm for New York in a whole lot of ways,” specifically to build the [the Northeast corridor] Gateway.
The senator added that there will also “be money for other things that New York needs: For infrastructure. For jobs. To deal with child poverty. You name it.”
Schumer stressed that there are many items in the spending bills that will make “our country and our people a better stronger people and the country a better, stronger place.”
Reminiscing on the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, Schumer said that he visited Ground Zero in Manhattan the day after the attacks.
“We get there and it’s awful. You can smell the smoke of the flesh,” Schumer said. “The most sad thing that I will never forget, that I think of every day, is that there was a line of maybe 1000 or 2000 people with forlorn looks on their faces holding up pictures. ‘Have you seen my husband, Bill?’ ‘Have you seen my daughter, Mary?’ Because no one knew who was alive and who wasn’t.”
Schumer went on to say that he returned to Washington the next morning to meet with President George W. Bush and emphasized to him that “New York really needs $20 billion for New York in addition to the money you’re allocating for the rest of the country.”
Schumer said that “I thought he’d say, ‘Okay. Let me study it.’ He looked at me and said, ‘You really need $20 billion?’ I said, ’At least that Mr. President.’ He said, ‘You’ve got it.’ And I saw the collective jaws of his staff just drop … But he delivered it … to his credit.”