01.09.13

Comments of Senator Patrick Leahy On Continuing His Chairmanship Of The Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee On The Department of State, Foreign Operations, And Related Programs

“Vermonters are outward looking and have a long history of working to make life better here at home and across the globe.  I have been privileged to serve as a voice for Vermont on foreign policy matters.  That is why I have chosen for so many years to head one of the two Senate committees responsible for U.S. foreign affairs and protecting our global interests.

“This panel is where American values are put into action and funding decisions are made to advance our national security interests, to improve the lives of the world’s poor, and to make the world safer, healthier, cleaner and more prosperous.  I am proud that Vermont will continue to have a center seat at the table as these decisions are made.  And now, as the most senior member of the Appropriations Committee, I will play an even more active role in the full scope of the committee’s work, and in every aspect of particular importance to Vermont.


“I especially look forward to helping John Kerry in the new role I expect him to assume as our next Secretary of State.  These are uncertain times, requiring steady hands at the tiller.  From Afghanistan, Iran and Syria to the Horn of Africa and the Far East, the need for clear-eyed U.S. leadership and responsiveness has never been greater.” 

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[Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is the Senate’s President Pro Tem and the most senior member of the Appropriations Committee.  Having the choice for many years of heading any one of several Appropriations panels, he has long chosen to chair the Subcommittee on the State Department, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, which he has headed since 1989.  As chairman he has led in Congress on issues ranging from protecting human rights and fighting corruption to supporting sustainable development.  He has focused on innocent victims of war through such efforts as the Leahy landmine export ban, the Leahy War Victims Fund, and civilian assistance programs in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He has championed significant increases in funding for global health programs, environmental protection, refugee assistance efforts, and U.S. disaster and famine relief contributions around the world.  He authored the new human rights conditions on U.S. military aid to Egypt, and the permanent “Leahy Law” remains the single most potent human rights tool in U.S. relationships with foreign military and police forces across the globe.]


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