Press Room

Press Releases

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

09.30.20

Statement On The Passage Of The FY 2021 Continuing Resolution

Today the Senate will vote on a continuing resolution to keep the government funded through December 11, 2020. I strongly urge all members to vote aye. The last thing our country needs is a government shutdown in the middle of a global pandemic and an unprecedented economic crisis. The bill we are considering passed the House by a wide margin, a rarity these days in Washington. It provides funding for the government through December 11 at fiscal year 2020 funding levels and under the same te… Continue Reading


09.28.20

Leahy, Sanders And Welch Press USDA On Food Box Contract

(MONDAY, Sept. 28, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) have sent an oversight letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, following the Department's award of the Farmers to Families Food Box contract to two out-of-state entities. The Delegation's letter raises concerns about the continuity of operations in Vermont's feeding program through October, the end of the federal program. The Abbey Group, a food service company … Continue Reading


09.28.20

Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Vermont Community Lenders Net $1.15 Million In Federal Funds to Increase Lending, Investment And Business Support

(MONDAY, Sept. 28, 2020) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced Monday that three Vermont organizations have received $1.15 million in federal funds from the U.S. Treasury Department's Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. The grants will enable financial institutions to provide business development support and increase lending and investment activity in low-income and economically distressed communiti… Continue Reading


09.26.20

Comment On President Trump's Nomination Of Judge Amy Coney Barrett To The U.S. Supreme Court

Yesterday, I stood by Justice Ginsburg as she lay in state at the U.S. Capitol, honoring her life, her legacy, and our friendship. Today, barely a week after she passed, President Trump has nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill her seat on the Supreme Court. Justice Ginsburg hasn't even been laid to rest yet. There is no mystery surrounding the Republicans' mad rush to fill this vacancy before an election that is just 38 days away. Just one week later the Supreme Court will hear argument… Continue Reading


09.24.20

Statement On The Motion To Proceed To The Continuing Resolution

In a few moments we will vote on the motion to proceed to H.R. 8337, the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and other Extensions Act of 2020. I urge all members to vote aye. This bill provides funding for the government through December 11 at fiscal year 2020 funding levels and under the same terms and conditions contained in the fiscal year 2020 appropriations laws. It also includes several authorization matters to extend programs that otherwise would expire, including important health and… Continue Reading


09.24.20

Menendez, Leahy, and Kaine Unveil Reforms Restricting U.S. Arms Sales to Human Rights Abusers

Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.) today introduced the Safeguarding Human Rights in Arms Exports (SAFEGUARD) Act of 2020. With a growing list of foreign governments using U.S-sold arms and defense services in the commission of human rights abuses against innocent civilians in combat, the senators' new legislation reasserts the importance of Congress' role in the arms sales process … Continue Reading


09.24.20

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy Executive Business Meeting

I spoke on the Floor earlier this week about what Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg meant to the courts, what she meant to the struggle for equality for millions of Americans, and what she meant to me. Standing just over five feet tall, she was nonetheless a giant of the law. She was also overwhelmingly good and kind. We will forever be in her debt. It certainly is the job of this Committee to consider her replacement to the Supreme Court. But this is not how we should do it. Not before she is e… Continue Reading


09.22.20

Vermont Council On World Affairs

Thank you Tricia, and it is good to be with all of you. This is a somber time for our country. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was a towering figure on the Supreme Court, whose decisions changed our society for the better in profound ways, including for generations of women. She was also a wonderful, kind, and generous person, who Marcelle and I were very lucky to know. I mention her today not just to remember her, but because of the title of this conference - Engage The World. To me, as I wil… Continue Reading


09.21.20

Address On The Passing Of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

I stand here today with an incredibly heavy heart. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg - a tireless, legendary champion of equality who reshaped our society for the better - passed away on Friday, the first eve of Rosh Hashanah. Adherents of the Jewish faith believe that a person who passes away during the High Holidays is a person of great righteousness. Truer words couldn't be spoken of Justice Ginsburg. Standing at just over five feet tall, she was a giant among us. A moral beacon whose life and… Continue Reading


09.21.20

Statement On The Continuing Resolution

I am glad that the House introduced a continuing resolution today. I strongly urge Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate to take it up and pass it as soon as possible. The last thing our country needs is a government shutdown in the middle of a global pandemic and an unprecedented economic crisis. But make no mistake, the urgent need for this continuing resolution is a symptom of a dysfunctional Congress. It's a senseless and entirely avoidable made-in-Washington crisis. Th… Continue Reading


09.18.20

Comment On The Passing Of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Marcelle and I are overcome with sadness. Almost exactly a year ago Marcelle introduced Justice Ginsburg during an Action For Cancer Awareness event, a memory that Marcelle will always treasure. Justice Ginsburg was brilliant and was a legend of the law. She has become a heroine and even an icon to millions of Americans. She was also unmistakably kind and funny, and a fundamentally decent human being. Difficult days are ahead. And Senators McConnell and Graham must not treat this President… Continue Reading


09.18.20

Leahy Co-Leads Letter Pressing DHS Inspector General For Swift Investigation Into Alleged Forced Hysterectomies

(FRIDAY, Sept. 18, 2020) - On Friday, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), joined by 37 senators, called on the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general to expeditiously investigate a whistleblower complaint alleging forced hysterectomies at an ICE facility and conduct a nationwide review of reproductive health policies and practices at ICE facilities. Senator Leahy said: "Forced sterilizatio… Continue Reading


09.17.20

Leahy Joins In Urging Trump To Work With Congress To Provide Emergency Rental Assistance, Protections

Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, led 30 of his Senate colleagues in sending a letter to President Trump urging him to work with Congress on a bipartisan basis to enact legislation that provides the emergency assistance and protections renters need to stay in their homes. Millions of children and youth are at risk of being evicted from their homes due to the Trump administration's refusal to support criti… Continue Reading


09.17.20

Leahy And All Judiciary Committee Democrats Call For Review Of Political Interference In The Durham Investigation

(THURSDAY, Sept. 17, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday joined Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and all 10 committee Democrats in calling on the Justice Department inspector general to review whether U.S. Attorney John Durham's probe into FBI activities is violating longstanding rules that protect criminal investigations from political influence. Their letter follows reports that Durham's top deputy resigned due to concerns that Durham is being p… Continue Reading


09.17.20

As New School Year Begins, Leahy Joins Senators Markey, Schumer, Cantwell, Van Hollen, Bennet, Hassan, Schatz And Other Senators In Demanding Urgent Action By FCC To Connect Students To Online Learning

(September 17, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) Thursday joined Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), and Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) led 29 of their colleagues in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging it to immediately utilize the E-Rate program to provide internet connectivity to students at home. Due t… Continue Reading


09.15.20

Leahy Joins Rosen, Peters, Murray, Casey, Wyden And Other Senators In Calling On Postmaster General To Immediately Reverse Operational Changes To The U.S. Postal Service That Are Causing Delays Of Critical Medications To Americans

(TUESDAY, Sept. 15, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) Tuesday joined Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) Ranking Member Gary Peters (D-MI), Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), Special Committee on Aging Ranking Member Bob Casey (D-PA), and Committee on Finance Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) led 30 of their Senate Colleagues in a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy calling on h… Continue Reading


09.15.20

Leahy And Other Leading Democratic Senators Decry Trump Administration On Expulsion Of Asylum Seekers From Venezuela, Cuba, And Nicaragua

(MONDAY, Sept. 14, 2020) - Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today was joined by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) in calling on the Trump administration to end its anti-immigrant policies denying access to asylum for Venezuelans, Cubans, Nicaraguans, and others forced to flee their countries. In a letter addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Department of Homeland Security Under Secreta… Continue Reading


09.10.20

Schatz, Senators Demand Answers From Census Bureau On How They Will Ensure Fair Count, Accurate Apportionmen Of Congressional Representation In 2020 Census

Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai'i) led a group of 19 senators in calling on the Census Bureau to provide more details on how they plan to use data from the 2020 Census to apportion congressional representation. This comes after multiple attempts by President Trump to interfere with the count for political purposes, as well as the limitations on conducting the census in full during the coronavirus pandemic. "With the president's unconstitutional memorandum excluding undocumented people… Continue Reading


09.10.20

Leahy And The Green Mountain National Forest: Construction Of Long-Sought Forest HQ Will Begin This Month

(THURSDAY, Sept. 10, 2020) -- The U.S. Forest Service will begin construction this month of a new Forest Supervisor's Headquarters building for the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests (GMNF). The $6 million facility will be built on Route 4 in Mendon. Senator Patrick Leahy and the GMNF made the announcement on Thursday. Leahy has worked for years to support and advance this project, using his key roles as Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and as the senior memb… Continue Reading


09.08.20

Statement On Need For COVID Relief Bill

We are in the middle of a public health crisis, and the American people are hurting. Nearly 190,000 people have died. Millions have lost their jobs and are struggling to make ends meet. People are being evicted from their homes and struggling to feed their families. And the virus is still not under control. The need for another emergency funding bill to address the COVID crisis is clear. Yet four weeks ago, the Trump administration and Senate Republican Leadership walked away from the neg… Continue Reading

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