Press Room

Press Releases

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

10.13.20

Reaction To The Decision By The Trump Administration To Grant A Visa To Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo

"Indonesian Minister of Defense Prabowo has been credibly implicated in gross violations of human rights, including kidnapping, torture, and disappearances, and under our law he is ineligible to enter this country. By granting him a visa, the President and Secretary of State have shown once again that for them 'law and order' is an empty slogan that ignores the imperative of justice. The State Department should apply the law and deny him a visa, and the Pentagon should reaffirm its commitment … Continue Reading


10.12.20

Leahy Highlights Health Care Story And Effects Of Supreme Court Overturning ACA In Vermont

WASHINGTON (MONDAY, Oct. 12, 2020) - Just now, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) shared the story of Martha Richards, a Vermonter who is enrolled in the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) expanded Medicaid program. Senators are highlighting the devastating effects of the Supreme Court potentially overturning the ACA in the midst of a global pandemic. The ACA provides insurance for more than 20 million Americans and protections for the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. … Continue Reading


10.12.20

Opening Statement On The Nomination Of Justice Amy Coney Barrett To Be Associate Justice Of The United States Supreme Court

I have served in the Senate for 46 years, a span that includes 20 Supreme Court nominations and 16 confirmation hearings. None - not one - looked anything like this one. We are less than two weeks removed from Justice Ginsburg being laid to rest. It is true that it is the responsibility of this Committee to consider her replacement on the Supreme Court. But this is not how we should do it. We should not have had a nomination ceremony before Justice Ginsburg was even buried, while the nation… Continue Reading


10.09.20

Leahy Joins In Letter To Postmaster General DeJoy Requesting Immediate Action To Address Impacts To Election Mail Delivery Caused By USPS Failure To Update Voter Address Changes

(FRIDAY, Oct. 9, 2020) - On Friday, U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) and Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Ranking Member of HSGAC, led 17 of their Senate colleagues in a letter to Postmaster General DeJoy raising concerns about recent reports that for three weeks in August, the United States Postal Service (USPS) failed to update address changes in the National Change of Address Linkage database (NCOALink), which most state… Continue Reading


10.09.20

Leahy, Booker, Harris Press Chairman Graham Not To Conduct Supreme Court Hearings Without COVID-19 Testing Procedures In Place

(FRIDAY, Oct. 9, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) Friday pressed Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) not to proceed with Supreme Court confirmation hearings next week unless stringent COVID-19 testing procedures are implemented immediately. Pointing out that two Judiciary Committee members have tested positive for COVID-19 and others have thus far refused to be tested, the senators told Graham that without … Continue Reading


10.05.20

Leahy Tests Negative For Covid-19

"Senator Leahy was tested for COVID-19 earlier today since he attended the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, where it is now known that two senators were present who have tested positive for the virus. While he did not come into close contact with these two senators for an extended period of time, he took the test at the advice of the Capitol Physician. The test was negative and Senator Leahy continues to exhibit no symptoms for the virus. "Given the potential exposure of the … Continue Reading


10.03.20

Judiciary Committee Democrats to Chairman Graham

(SATURDAY, Oct. 3, 2020) - Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today led all 10 Judiciary Committee Democrats in calling on Chairman Lindsey Graham to delay the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett after President Trump and committee members Senators Mike Lee and Thom Tillis tested positive for the coronavirus. "To proceed at this juncture with a hearing to consider Judge Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court threatens the health … Continue Reading


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

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