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Press Releases

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

03.27.20

Statement On President Trump Signing The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act

Addressing a public health and economic crisis unprecedented in our time is only possible when there are no labels at the negotiating table. That is what we accomplished today. Republicans and Democrats came together to help the American people. We dealt with reality and not rhetoric. This legislation will provide significant resources to those on the front lines of this crisis, and to people in communities across the country who are making great sacrifices to protect themselves, their famil… Continue Reading


03.25.20

LEAHY: Coronavirus Emergency Relief Bill Will Bring Nearly $2 Billion to Vermont

(WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2020) - Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy announced Wednesday that Vermont is poised to receive nearly $2 billion in federal resources in the emergency spending package poised to pass Congress this week. The Senate passed it at Midnight. Leahy, as the Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, is a lead negotiator of provisions in the bill that will direct formula funding to the state to combat the spread of COVID-19 and support those on the front lines caring for … Continue Reading


03.25.20

Remarks On The Coronavirus Aid, Relief And Economic Security Act

America is at an inflection point. We are facing a public health crisis unlike any we have seen in generations. Governments at every level are racing to respond, react, and mitigate the crisis. Communities and counties are fearful their hospital systems will be overrun, and needed supplies are unavailable. States are struggling to support local and state-wide economies that are increasingly hit with store closures and business suspensions. Unfortunately, the federal government - starting wi… Continue Reading


03.25.20

Menendez, Leahy Urge President to Use Upcoming G20 Meeting to Coordinate International Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs sent a letter to President Donald Trump today, urging him to work with world leaders at this week's emergency G20 meeting to implement a powerful international response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Senators asked Trump to ensure that the United States and its partners… Continue Reading


03.25.20

Leahy Releases Appropriations Summary Of Bipartisan Coronavirus Aid And Economic Relief Agreement

(WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday released the bipartisan Senate agreement to provide relief from the coronavirus pandemic to our nation's families and working people. As Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Leahy was a lead negotiator on the appropriations title of the relief package to provide direct assistance to the American people, preserve small businesses, and distribute billions of dollars in resources to hospitals, first responders, … Continue Reading


03.24.20

Statement On Status Of Bipartisan Negotiations To Address The Coronovirus Pandemic

Today, the American people are making sacrifices to keep themselves, their family, and their communities safe. Health care providers, grocery store staff, state and local government workers, truckers, bank tellers, journalists and countless others are doing important and necessary work on the front lines of this crisis. As a Senator from Vermont, and a member of this Chamber for more than 40 years, I want to send my profound thanks. Right now, we are close to expressing our understanding of … Continue Reading


03.24.20

Leahy, Sanders, Welch Ask USDA To Buy Dairy Products For Emergency Distribution During COVID-19 Outbreak

(TUESDAY, March 24, 2020) - Vermont's Congressional Delegation -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) -- Tuesday asked that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) make immediate purchases of dairy products and distribute them to low-income Americans through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). In a joint letter, Leahy, Sanders, and Welch said: "COVID-19 will undoubtedly have widespread impacts on hunger and malnutrit… Continue Reading


03.24.20

Leahy Announces $3 Million Grant To Establish National Center On Restorative Justice At Vermont Law School

(TUESDAY, March 24, 2020) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday announced that Vermont Law School will receive a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to establish the nation's first National Center on Restorative Justice. Leahy, the Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has led a several-year effort to establish and fund the Center. Leahy also has been a leader on criminal justice reform as a leading member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Cente… Continue Reading


03.20.20

Comment On State Department Level 4 Global Health Advisory

COVID-19 has upended our normal way of life, and it is imperative that all Vermonters, and all Americans, do everything possible to protect themselves, their families, and their communities from this extremely contagious and dangerous virus. The State Department has issued a warning against all travel overseas, and I urge Vermonters to heed that warning. Vermonters who are currently in other countries and plan to return home, should do so immediately as borders are closing and air travel is be… Continue Reading


03.19.20

Statement On The McConnell/Trump Stimulus Proposal

Earlier this week I made clear that Senate Republicans' plan to proceed with a "Republican Consensus" proposal without bipartisan input from Democrats would be a waste of time and only delay aid from reaching the American people. It is extremely disappointing that my words fell on deaf ears. If ever there were a time to work directly across the aisle for the good of the nation, this is it. While I welcome direct financial assistance to American families, the McConnell/Trump Republican proposa… Continue Reading


03.18.20

REAX To Senate Passage Of The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Today the Senate took a crucial first step to meet the American people where they are in this crisis by ensuring emergency, paid sick leave, enhancing unemployment insurance, and providing new funds to support nutrition programs, which will come under increasing strain during this crisis. Importantly, the bill also guarantees affordable testing, which is a necessary step to finally understanding the full scope of this disease in our country. But we must view our response to this crisis in pha… Continue Reading


03.16.20

Statement On Senate Consideration Of The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Families across the country are facing an unprecedented challenge, and we must act, and act now, on solutions that put families and the American people first. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act takes a substantial step toward providing the relief and assurance communities need as we face this public health crisis. Families should not be forced to choose between a paycheck and their own health and safety, or the health and safety of their community. A restaurant worker in Vermont cann… Continue Reading


03.16.20

Bipartisan, Bicameral Group Release GAO Report Finding Increases in FOIA Backlogs and Continued Delays in Agency Compliance

(Mar.16, 2020) - Today, House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck E. Grassley (R-IA), Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), released the findings of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report entitled "Freedom of Information Act: Federal Agencies' Recent Implementation Efforts." The lawmaker… Continue Reading


03.13.20

Statement On President Trump's National Security Declaration

I am glad that President Trump took the responsible step this afternoon of making an emergency declaration under the Stafford Act. This will free up billions of dollars to assist the government-wide response to the coronavirus and provide states and local governments with the resources they need. But this is not a substitute for Congress acting and the President signing legislation to provide assistance to families and the American people as they confront this crisis at home and in their commu… Continue Reading


03.11.20

Leahy Announces $4.9 Million In Emergency Grants To Combat Coronavirus In Vermont

(WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Wednesday announced that Vermont will receive $4.9 million in grants to combat the novel coronavirus. Leahy was a lead negotiator of the $8.3 billion emergency coronavirus supplemental appropriations package that was signed into law last week. The grants were awarded from the nearly $1 billion in Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program… Continue Reading


03.10.20

Leahy and Lee Introduce Bipartisan FISA Reform Bills

Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Mike Lee (R-UT) Monday introduced the "USA FREEDOM Act" and the "USA FREEDOM Extension and Amici Curiae Reform Act," two bills that provides federal law enforcement the tools they need to protect Americans from foreign powers while also better protecting the civil liberties of all Americans. "I have been working with Senator Lee for years to rein in our nation's surveillance authorities, which are still clearly too susceptible to abuse," Sen. Leahy said. "Our … Continue Reading


03.05.20

Statement On Senate Passage Of The Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental

This week, Congress showed strong, decisive leadership in addressing the novel coronavirus. As Appropriators often do, and as members of Congress proved they are still capable of doing even in the most partisan times, we put our labels aside and came together for the American people. Unfortunately, this is something the President has not done. By actively spreading misinformation on national television and downplaying the potential risks to the American people, I am concerned the President… Continue Reading


03.04.20

Senate Floor Statement On The Emergency Coronoavirus Supplemental Request

Chairman Shelby and I are pleased to announce that we have reached a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on an emergency supplemental to address the spread of the novel coronavirus and protect the health and safety of the American people. I want to thank my friend, Chairman Shelby, Chairwoman Lowey, and Ranking Member Granger for their cooperation in reaching this agreement. As so often happens in the Appropriations Committee, we left our labels at the door. We worked together, both Republicans a… Continue Reading


03.04.20

Leahy Releases Bipartisan Coronavirus Supplemental Appropriations Bill

(WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2020) - Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) WEDNESDAY released the bipartisan, bicameral, coronavirus emergency supplemental Appropriations bill. Leahy was a lead negotiator in the $7.8 billion package to address the expanding public health crisis as the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States and the globe. The agreement also includes a $500 million authorization for a telehealth program over a 10 year period. Leahy said: … Continue Reading


03.03.20

Statement Regarding The 55th Anniversary Of "Bloody Sunday" And The Urgent Need For Leader McConnell To Allow A Vote On VRAA

Fifty-five years ago, a courageous band of civil rights activists, including the fearless John Lewis, began a march for the sacred right to vote. They marched from Selma to Montgomery, and they marched in the face of unspeakable violence. They shed their blood for access to the ballot. While much has changed in the last 55 years, this struggle for voting equality, and this march for progress, continues. On Sunday, I was inspired yet again by my hero and dear friend, now-Congressman John Lewi… Continue Reading

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