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Press Releases

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

11.19.19

Statement Of Senator Leahy On Ocean Plastic Pollution

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, the world's oceans serve as a crucial carbon sink, a home to hundreds of thousands of known and countless unknown species of marine life, an essential source of protein for billions of people, and a facilitator of billions of dollars in tourism, fishing, shipping, and other economic activity. Today, the oceans, on which life on Earth depends, are under serious threat. Threats from climate change, habitat destruction, illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and … Continue Reading


11.18.19

Statement of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Introduction Of A One-Month Continuing Resolution

Today, Chairwoman Lowey introduced a continuing resolution to fully fund the federal government through December 20. This is a welcome development and will allow us to continue our bipartisan and bicameral negotiations on the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations process. Importantly, this continuing resolution provides the Commerce Department with the necessary funds to carry out the decennial census, provides funds for mobile centers to ensure the census reaches those in the hardest to reach area… Continue Reading


11.14.19

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Reducing Pandemic Risk

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, we do not have to be reminded of the more than 50 million lives lost in the 1918 influenza pandemic, or the many thousands lost in the SARS, Ebola, MERS, and other recent infectious disease outbreaks to recognize that far more must be done to reduce the risk of catastrophic pandemics. Rather than waiting until disease outbreaks occur, then scrambling at great expense for two or three years or however long it takes to develop a vaccine while countless people die, we ne… Continue Reading


11.14.19

Members Of Northern New England Congressional Delegations Call On Customs And Border Patrol To Disclose Criteria & Effectiveness Of Highway Checkpoints

() - Yesterday, Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) sent a letter to the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) with Representatives Chris Pappas (D-NH1), Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH2), Peter Welch (D-VT At-Large) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME1), calling on the agency to provide information on the use of temporary highway checkpoints in northern New England over the past year. In the letter addressed to Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan, the gr… Continue Reading


11.13.19

Leahy, Feinstein, And Other Senators Introduce House-Passed Violence Against Women Act

(Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and others on Wednesday led all 47 Democratic senators in introducing the Senate companion to the House-passed Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. They called on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to bring VAWA renewal legislation to the Senate Floor. The bill, whose chief sponsor is Feinstein, would reauthorize VAWA through 2024, preserves advancements made i… Continue Reading


11.12.19

Statement On The Supreme Court Argument To Decide Future Of America's Dreamers

Today the Supreme Court heard arguments in one of the most consequential immigration cases in modern American history. The future of more than 700,000 DACA recipients - our nation's Dreamers - hangs in the balance. And their fate is inherently intertwined with the fate of the American Dream itself. Dreamers, by definition, are law-abiding immigrants brought to the United States as children - through no choice of their own - now simply seeking the chance to contribute to the only country they … Continue Reading


11.07.19

Sens. Tillis And Leahy And Reps. Roby And Jeffries Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation Supporting Art Students

Today, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Representatives Martha Roby (R-AL-2) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-8) introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation that directs the Register of Copyrights to waive the copyright registration fee for winners of the Congressional Art Competition and the Congressional App Competition. Currently, the Register of Copyrights, Karen Temple, does not have the authority to waive the registration fee. Both of these competitions, sponsored and le… Continue Reading


11.07.19

Leahy And Grassley Reintroduce Patents For Humanity Act

(THURSDAY, Nov. 7, 2019) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Thursday reintroduced the Patents for Humanity Act of 2019. Their bipartisan bill encourages and rewards the use of patented technology to address humanitarian needs. Patents for Humanity is the United States Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) awards competition which recognizes innovators who use game-changing technology to meet global humanitarian challenges. Winners of the program receive a certific… Continue Reading


11.07.19

Remarks on Opposing Steven Menashi Nominee to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit

Whether senators on this Committee agree that a nominee is extreme or within the mainstream, whether a nominee is well-qualified or woefully unprepared for a lifetime judgeship, I think we all agree that every nominee should be willing to answer our most basic questions. If a nominee refuses, and that nominee is nonetheless rewarded with confirmation, our constitutional role to provide advice and consent to is rendered meaningless. Steven Menashi failed this test. And he failed it repeatedly.… Continue Reading


11.06.19

Statement On Hearing Of The Senate Judiciary Committee On “Reauthorizing the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015"

This is an important hearing and I am grateful that Chairman Graham agreed to my and Senator Lee's request to hold it. I remain proud of our successful efforts in 2015 to pass the USA FREEDOM Act. This law was the first major overhaul of government surveillance powers in decades. It added significant privacy protections for the American people. Now we have the opportunity to assess, learn from, and respond to what has happened over the past four years. So what have we learned? We know that… Continue Reading


11.06.19

Harris And Leahy Lead Judiciary Democrats Urging Briefing Following President Trump’s Alarming FY2020 Refugee Presidential Determination

(WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6, 2019) - Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday led all Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan, in which they urgently request a briefing to understand the potentially devastating consequences of President Trump's Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2020 - the lowest refugee admissions cap in the hist… Continue Reading


11.04.19

Statement On President Trump’s Withdrawal From The Paris Climate Agreement

Today, President Trump formally notified the United Nations that the United States is withdrawing from the Paris Agreement on climate change - an agreement that the United States played an instrumental role in negotiating. This decision is nothing more than the fulfillment of a cynical and reckless campaign promise made for the sole purpose of currying favor with the fossil fuel industry. It comes in the wake of the latest National Climate Assessment, by our country's top scientists, which was… Continue Reading


11.04.19

Isakson, Blumenthal, Leahy Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Recognizing 40th Anniversary of Iran Hostage Crisis

ATLANTA - In advance of the 40th anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis, U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., introduced a bipartisan resolution recognizing today, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, as a national day of remembrance. "The victims of the Iran hostage crisis were treated brutally, and their suffering and sacrifice should be remembered," said Isakson. "Similarly, this resolution and our continued efforts on behalf of the victims are an impo… Continue Reading


11.02.19

Statement on International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists

Nearly one year ago, speaking about the dangers facing journalists who are harassed, threatened, and killed for simply doing their job, I said I was more concerned than ever before about the state of press freedom around the world, including in our own country. You can read that statement here. As we commemorate International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on November 2nd, while reflecting on the hundreds of journalists who have been killed in retaliation for their work, I … Continue Reading


11.01.19

Senate Passes Leahy, Collins, Brown, And Perdue ‘National Farm To School Month’ Resolution

(FRIDAY, Nov. 1, 2019) - The Senate Thursday night approved a resolution sponsored by Senator Leahy (D-Vt.) and cosponsored by Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Senator David Perdue (R-Ga.), to designate October as National Farm to School Month. Farm to School programs across the country increase access to local foods in schools, which helps enhance food education for children while also boosting economic opportunities for farmers. Led again by Leahy, in June… Continue Reading


10.31.19

Leahy Announces $8.8 Million in Federal Funding To Support Victim Services Throughout Vermont

(THURSDAY, Oct. 31, 2019) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday that Vermont organizations will receive 10 grants totaling nearly $8.8 million from the U.S. Department of Justice to support crime victims and strengthen services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. The announcement comes as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month draws to a close. Leahy worked to introduce a Senate resolution this week "expressing the sense of the Senate that Congress should contin… Continue Reading


10.31.19

Statement Opposing the Motion to Proceed to the Defense, LHHS Appropriations Bills

Today, the Senate will vote on whether to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to a package of appropriations bills that will include the Senate Defense Appropriations bill and the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-HHS) Appropriations bill. I strongly urge all Senators to vote "no." I am disappointed that the Republican leadership by taking this step - bowing to the demands of President Trump - is continuing to delay funding for our troops. This delay is because… Continue Reading


10.25.19

Bipartisan Trio Of Leahy, Grassley And Cornyn Tout Bipartisan Process Significantly Improving Interior Dept.’s FOIA Regulations

(FRIDAY, Oct. 25, 2019) - A bipartisan trio of key senators -- Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) - Friday sent a letter to Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) David Bernhardt expressing appreciation for the changes reflected in the agency's final rule, published today, updating its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) policies. In March, the senators, alongside the late Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight a… Continue Reading


10.25.19

Leahy And Others Press Trump Adm. For Answers On Use Of Chemical Weapons & U.S. Munitions In Syria

(FRIDAY, Oct. 25, 2019) -- U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) Friday sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pressing for information on reports of the use of chemical weapons against civilians in Syria. They are also seeking information regarding the use of U.S.-origin arms and equipment by Turkey in their fight against our allies, the Syrian Kurds. The senators request that Secretary Pompeo p… Continue Reading


10.24.19

Statement On The United States and Cuba Today

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, the Travel Section of the New York Times on Sunday, October 6, 2019, included a lengthy article about the extraordinary music of Cuba, and the rich culture that has developed over many generations around the creation and performance of music in that country. The article is too long to insert into the Record, but I encourage all Senators to read it as it describes in colorful detail the unique creativity, ingenuity, and complexity of Cuban music that derives from the … Continue Reading

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