Press Room

Press Releases

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

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


03.02.20

Leahy Secures $100,000 To Support The Farm To School Institute At Shelburne Farms

(MONDAY, March 2, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced Monday that Shelburne Farms will receive $100,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Office of Community Food Systems to support the Northeast Farm to School Institute. Leahy, long the Senate's leader in advancing the Farm to School movement, included language in the 2019 and 2020 federal budget bills directing USDA to fund a farm to school institute with the ai… Continue Reading


02.27.20

Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Housing Vermont Receives $2 Million In U.S. Treasury Support For Affordable Housing Development

(THURSDAY, Feb. 27, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced Thursday that the U.S. Treasury awarded Housing Vermont a $2 million grant to support affordable housing production and preservation of roughly 900 affordable rental units. The grant was provided through the Capital Magnet Fund program. The grant was provided by the Community Development Financial Institutions' (CDFI) Capital Magnet Fund program. As Vice Chair … Continue Reading


02.27.20

Blumenthal, Capito Lead Bipartisan Group Of Senators Working To Save Minor League Baseball Teams

(THURSDAY, Feb. 27, 2020) - U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) today led a bipartisan group of United States Senators introducing a resolution supporting Minor League Baseball (MiLB) and their efforts to fight Major League Baseball's (MLB) proposed elimination or demotion of 42 MiLB clubs, including the Norwich (CT) Sea Unicorns, Lowell (MA) Spinners, West Virginia Power, Bluefield (WV, VA) Blue Jays, and Princeton (WV) Rays. "Our resolution sends a sharp sig… Continue Reading


02.27.20

Leahy, Pascrell, King Introduce Crime Gun Tracing Modernization Act

(THURSDAY, Feb. 27, 2020) -- U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Peter King (R-NY-02) Thursday introduced the Crime Gun Tracing Modernization Act which will finally give the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) the ability to electronically search for the records of guns used in crimes across the country. Sen. Leahy said: "When law enforcement finds a gun at a crime scene, they contact the ATF to determine who last owned the fire… Continue Reading


02.14.20

Leahy And UVM Officials Announce Renewal Of Northern Forest Research Initiative

BURLINGTON, Vt. (FRIDAY, Feb. 14, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and University of Vermont officials on Friday announced new federal funding for research on the region's forest ecosystem and economy. The Northeastern States Research Cooperative (NSRC), first created by Leahy in the 1998 Farm Bill, received $2 million in the fiscal year 2020 appropriations bill for research on the Northern Forest and its 26 million acres of working la… Continue Reading


02.14.20

Appropriations Vice Chair Patrick Leahy And 40 Other Senators Fight To Protect People With Pre-Existing Conditions In The FY2021 Appropriations Bills

(FRIDAY, Feb. 14, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) joined Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and 40 other senators Friday in a letter to the Administration urging President Trump to direct the Department of Justice (DOJ) to protect the law of the land, which provides health care coverage protections for people with pre-existing conditions. The Administration's Fiscal Year 2021 proposed budget continues to fund DOJ's efforts to repeal the Affordable … Continue Reading


02.13.20

Statement On President Trump’s Latest Raid On The Military

It is Congress - the representatives of the American people - who hold the power of the purse under the Constitution. Time and again, this President has subverted that constitutional authority and bipartisan majorities of Congress to pay for his vanity wall. Let us see whether congressional Republicans will brush off this diversion of funds from military programs that they support, or continue the inaction that has led this President to become increasingly brazen. Today, he stole from our Na… Continue Reading


02.13.20

Senate Judiciary Democrats to Chairman Graham: Investigate Political Interference at DOJ

(THURSDAY, Feb. 13, 2010) -- All 10 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote Chairman Graham asking that the committee immediately initiate an investigation into political interference at the Justice Department, to include this week's reduction in the sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone. "The Justice Department's mission 'to ensure fair and impartial justice for all Americans' requires that its prosecutorial decisions remain free from political influence. It's becomin… Continue Reading


02.13.20

Statement On Risch Amendment to Joint Resolution 68

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, earlier today we voted on an amendment to S. J. Res. 68 that was offered by the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Risch. That amendment consisted of one sentence, as follows: "The President has a Constitutional responsibility to take actions to defend the United States, its territories, possessions, citizens, service members and diplomats from attack." On its face, the Risch amendment seems reasonable. The President does have a responsibility to … Continue Reading

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