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Senator Chuck Schumer Comments on Jefford Decision to Leave Republican Party

Aired May 24, 2001 - 12:15   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to take you now to Washington.

You see Senator Chuck Schumer of New York.

Let's listen in.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: ... moderate and bipartisan.

On the issue that I was asked to talk about -- judges -- we will not have nominations of right-wing after right-wing after right-wing judges. Judges will have to be moderate. The president will get some he wants. We will get some we want. And there will be a compromise that overall the bench will be a moderate bench.

The idea of rushing through appointments will not happen. We will wait for the ABA reports before any judge has a hearing and is voted upon. And the same will happen on other issues. In energy, we will not have just supply side. It will be supply and demand. Everything will be moderated and moved to the middle.

And the wisdom of the founding fathers in creating a system that doesn't let you veer too far one way or too far the other is just amazing and awe-inspiring to me, and I think to all of us.

To say we're excited would be an understatement. The ability to move an agenda forward and work with the president in a bipartisan way and not be ignored is just wonderful.

That's it.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

SCHUMER: I think on our agenda, and I know our leader will come out and speak about this, but patients' bill of rights, prescription drugs in Medicare, saving Social Security, and a real education bill with real funding.

QUESTION: What's the political lesson here?

SCHUMER: The political lesson... KAGAN: We've been listening to Senator Chuck Schumer of New York commenting on the news that you saw. If you were with us earlier today, Senator James Jeffords of Vermont announced he will leave the Republican Party. This upsets the balance of power the U.S. Senate.

It changes all the committee chairmanships, including that of judiciary. It was Orrin Hatch. It should be -- it probably will be Patrick Leahy, also of Vermont, to be the new committee chairman, and that will affect how judicial appointments are handled and selected. Just one of the many changes taking place from one man's decision in Washington, D.C.

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