Press Room

Press Releases

Search Senator Leahy’s press releases, floor statements, and Committee speeches by date or by subject.

08.07.20

Vermont Receives $2 M. Through Leahy-Created Program Targeting Rural Addiction

(FRIDAY, Aug. 7, 2020) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Friday announced that the Central Vermont Medical Center Inc. in Berlin, Vt., and Connecticut Valley Addiction Recovery Inc. in Windsor, Vt., are each receiving federal grants of $1 million to target rural addiction challenges. The grants are from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration's Rural Communities Opioid Response (RCORP) P… Continue Reading


08.06.20

Leahy Hails Boost To Vermont Water Quality Funding

(THURSDAY, Aug. 6, 2020) - Vermont's ongoing efforts to address water quality received another significant boost Thursday as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a new initiative to address New England water quality and wildlife habitat work on a regional scale. The creation of a new Critical Conservation Area (CCA) within USDA's Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), will allow Vermont to partner with other New England states on large-scale conservation projects. Lea… Continue Reading


08.04.20

Leahy Introduces The Federal Employee Access To Information Act To Protect Federal Employees From Retaliation For Filing FOIA Requests

(TUESDAY, Aug. 4, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), along with Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney and Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, introduced the Federal Employee Access to Information Act to ensure that federal employees are able to use the nation's premier transparency law, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), without reprisal. FOIA helps expose government wrongdoing and abuses, and Leahy believes that federal employees must be free to use FOIA in the same way as other citizens. This legislation w… Continue Reading


07.29.20

Hassan, Collins, 34 Colleagues Push for Support of School Meal Programs Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME), and 34 of their colleagues are urging the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to continue critical flexibilities that have allowed students to access much-needed meals throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. If extended throughout the 2020-2021 school year, children would maintain access regardless of school opening status, and struggling school nutrition programs would benefit from additional financial relief. "The COVID-19 pandemi… Continue Reading


07.29.20

Statement On The Republican COVID-19 Proposal And The Cost Of Continued Inaction

It was 75 days ago today, the Democratic-led House passed the HEROES Act -- a comprehensive and bold bill to address the very real needs facing this country as we struggle to contain the coronavirus. For 75 days, Democrats have pressed Republican leadership to take up the HEROES Act in the Senate, and for 75 days we have been told no. For 75 days we watched the virus spread and the death toll rise as President Trump stood by denying the severity of the crisis, attacking the science, and assur… Continue Reading


07.27.20

REAX Of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy To The Inadequate McConnell/Trump COVID-19 Proposal

Since Democrats united around the Heroes Act, and it passed the House on May 15, President Trump and Republican Leadership opted for a "wait-and-see" approach, because they did not feel a "sense of urgency." Well they waited, and the American people have seen the results of their delay. In that time, confirmed cases in the United States have more than doubled and 56,000 more Americans are now dead. It is now clear that over the last 73 days while thousands more became infected and died, an… Continue Reading


07.27.20

Leahy Leads Judiciary Committee Democrats In Pressing Chairman Graham For Committee Action On The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

(MONDAY, July 27, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) led all Senate Judiciary Democrats in a letter pressing Chairman Lindsey Graham to expeditiously hold a hearing and markup on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (S. 4263) - a bipartisan bill with 48 Senate cosponsors to restore the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act that John Lewis risked his life to secure. With the late John Lewis lying in state within the Capitol Rotunda, Leahy and Judiciary Committee Democrats urged Chairman Gr… Continue Reading


07.24.20

Leahy Announces That USCIS Is Postponing Furloughs Of 13,000 Public Servants, Including 1,109 In Vermont

(FRIDAY, July 24, 2019) - Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday announced the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agreed to postpone its scheduled furlough of more than 13,000 public servants through Aug. 31. The action affects 1,109 Vermonters who earlier had received furlough notices effective Aug. 3. The announcement came after Leahy pressed the organization to reverse course on its intended furloughs after he made public the fact that new … Continue Reading


07.23.20

Statement On The Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act

The National Defense Authorization Act sets policies and priorities for the Department of Defense. The Appropriations Committee determines which of those priorities are actually funded. This year the Senate has approved an authorization bill that will support our troops, their families, and their missions. I am particularly pleased that it continues support for a project I have worked on many years to heal the wounds of the Vietnam War with an authorization for a partnership with the Vietname… Continue Reading


07.22.20

Harris, 17 Senators Demand Answers on Federal Law Enforcement Presence in American Cities

U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), member of the United States Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and 17 Senators, sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan, and Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Matthew Albence demanding answers about the use of federal law enforcement against protestors expressing their constitutional First Amendment rights. "Over the… Continue Reading


07.22.20

Leahy Leads 47 Senators In Introducing The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

(WEDNESDAY, July 22, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a senior member and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Wednesday led 47 other senators in introducing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, a bipartisan bill to restore the landmark Voting Rights Act, end the scourge of minority voter suppression, and help preserve the legacy of John Lewis - one of America's greatest civil rights heroes. In 2013, the Supreme Court's Shelby County v. Holder decision gutted critic… Continue Reading


07.21.20

Leahy And Lee Demand Answers From Trump Administration On Potentially Unauthorized And Illegal Mass Surveillance Programs

(TUESDAY, July 21, 2020) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) wrote to Attorney General William Barr and Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Tuesday, demanding information on whether and how the Trump administration has halted mass surveillance programs authorized by now-expired Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) provisions under the USA FREEDOM Act. The senators also demanded information on whether the administration is conducting surveillance that b… Continue Reading


07.21.20

Statement On Ocean Plastics

Mr. Chairman, this is an extremely important issue and we have excellent witnesses here to discuss it. Senator Whitehouse and I were in Vietnam last year where we met with Vietnamese officials and scientists to discuss ocean plastic pollution, which is a serious problem for that country with a 2,000 mile coastline. We - and by that I mean human beings - are causing potentially irreparable harm to the oceans and marine wildlife, which are the primary source of protein for billions of the world… Continue Reading


07.21.20

Statement On The Global Response To COVID-19

Mr. LEAHY. I have spoken many times about the need for another COVID-19 supplemental. The frightening trajectory of this virus, and the terrible human suffering, loss, and economic devastation it is causing families, businesses, and public services in every state and municipality in this country, have greatly accentuated the urgency of that need. As the coronavirus continues to outpace the White House's appallingly belated, incompetent, inadequate, and incoherent efforts to contain it, the n… Continue Reading


07.21.20

Sens. Coons, Leahy Introduce Bill To Block Pres. Trump’s Attempt To Withdraw From World Health Organization

Today, U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Appropriations and Foreign Relations Committees, and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, introduced the No WHO Withdrawal Act to block President Trump's attempt to withdraw the United States from the World Health Organization (WHO) and prohibit congressionally appropriated funds from being used to execute a withdrawal. The United States has been a member of the WHO since its founding in Ne… Continue Reading


07.21.20

Leahy, Durbin, Murray And Tester Call On President Trump To Increase PPE And Testing Capacity

(TUESDAY, July 21, 2020) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) Tuesday released a letter calling on president Trump to utilize resources already passed by Congress and signed into law to increase production of personal, protective equipment (PPE) and testing capacity. Leahy is Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee and Durbin, Murray and Tester also are leading Democratic members of the panel. In a letter to President Trump, … Continue Reading


07.20.20

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy Highlights Urgent Need For Coronavirus Supplemental

(MONDAY, July 20, 2020) - Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday highlighted the urgent need for a fourth coronavirus supplemental appropriations package. Ahead of the anticipated release of Leader McConnell's bill this week, Leahy released nine documents outlining the need for additional funding for the Census, child care, domestic violence programs, education, election aid, food insecurity, foreign aid, rental assistance, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigr… Continue Reading


07.20.20

Statement On The Persecution Of Falun Gong Practitioners

Today marks 21 years since the Chinese government launched a brutal campaign to eliminate Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese religion based on a philosophy of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. Since July 1999, the Chinese government has arbitrarily detained millions of Falun Gong practitioners, effectively exiled many who have traveled abroad, and revoked the licenses of lawyers who defend Falun Gong in court. As I and others have described before, Falun Gong practitioners have been int… Continue Reading


07.20.20

Statement On The 5th Anniversary Of The Restoration Of Diplomatic Relations With Cuba

"Five years ago today, the United States and Cuba restored diplomatic relations, opened embassies, and began a process of engagement to promote people-to-people exchanges, economic investment, and dialogue to address issues in disagreement. That decision was supported by large majorities in both countries. Two years later, the Trump Administration reversed all that, curtailing Americans' right to travel, harming Cuban small businesses, limiting remittances, and abandoning agreements for dialog… Continue Reading


07.18.20

Statement On The Passing Of John Lewis

John Lewis was an American hero among us, a lodestar who drew us closer to our ideals. He was a dear friend and mentor to me on civil rights and so much else. I felt honored when he called me his brother and when he came to Vermont last year for a night at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington that none of us will forget. Our work together on the bill to restore the Voting Rights Act that I've introduced in the Senate, as John and others have done in the House, has also genera… Continue Reading

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