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

02.27.19

Address Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Urgent Call For Real Action On Climate Change

More than 30 years ago, when cooperation and bipartisanship were a hallmark of the United States Senate, a bipartisan group of Senators sounded the alarm about climate change. They made a modest request of the Office of Technology Assessment: study the issue of climate change, and make recommendations to avert global disaster. Those Senators were concerned that human activity might directly cause permanent, destructive, and widespread changes to our planet's climate system -- changes that would … Continue Reading


02.26.19

Leahy Leads 46 Senators In Introducing The Voting Rights Advancement Act Of 2019 To Restore & Strengthen The Landmark Voting Rights Act

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a leading member and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, led 46 senators Tuesday in introducing the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019, alongside Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), who led more than 200 House members in introducing companion legislation in the House of Representatives. In 2013, the Supreme Court's Shelby County v. Holder decision gutted Section 5 of the landmark Voting Rights Act, consequently crippling the federal governmen… Continue Reading


02.26.19

Senate Floor Address Of Senate Appropriations Vice Chair Patrick Leahy On President Trump’s Declaration Of A National Emergency

When President Trump declared a national emergency two weeks ago in order to build his pet project - and in the process declared his intent to siphon billions of dollars that Congress had appropriated for our men and women in uniform- I am not sure which lawyers he consulted, but those lawyers seemed to overlook our nation's founding document, the United States Constitution. I know the President likes to communicate in 280 characters or less, so I'll point him to a 77 character phrase he may wa… Continue Reading


02.26.19

Senate Floor Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Introduction Of The Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019

Nearly 54 years ago, a courageous band of civil rights activists - including my friend and hero, Congressman John Lewis - began a march for the right to vote from Selma to Montgomery. They marched non-violently in the face of unspeakable violence. They shed their blood for the ballot. Their march - and that struggle for voting equality - lives on to this very day. Just months ago, during our midterm elections, several states methodically attempted to disenfranchise minority voters. Their tacti… Continue Reading


02.25.19

Leahy And Vermont State Police Announce Victory Over The Trump Threat To Withhold Anti-Crime And Anti-Heroin Task Force Funds

(MONDAY, Feb. 25, 2019) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, in a victory following a two-year long dispute with the Trump administration, on Monday announced that approximately $2.3 million in Department of Justice grants to fund public safety needs and combat the opioid epidemic in Vermont will finally be released. In 2017, the Vermont State Police was awarded a $1.3 million COPS Anti-Heroin Task Force (AHTF) grant that, in addition to two-ye… Continue Reading


02.21.19

Leahy Announces Statewide Expansion of Economic Development Effort

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. (THURSDAY, February 21, 2019) - During a Thursday event at the Middlebury Town Offices, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced that all communities in Vermont are now eligible to apply for funding from the Northern Border Regional Commission's (NBRC) grant programs. The NBRC is a federal-state partnership with a mission to help alleviate economic distress and encourage private-sector job creation throughout portions of Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire and New York. Leahy inc… Continue Reading


02.15.19

Senate Appropriations Vice Chair Patrick Leahy Delivers Weekly Democratic Address

Following the passage of a bipartisan, bicameral compromise to fund the government, Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) delivers the Weekly Democratic Address, outlining how the agreement reins in the extreme immigration policies of the Trump administration and makes investments in the real priorities of the American people. The agreement includes significant increases in the programs and investments on which American workers, families, farmers and communities rely… Continue Reading


02.15.19

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy, Vice Chair Of The Appropriations Committee, On President Trump’s Declaration Of A National Emergency

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law. Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution. There is no national emergency. No one who subscribes to reality can claim otherwise. Crossings are historically down, billions are being spent on border security, and Congress yesterday appropriated still more. President Trump simply failed to get a deal to build his wasteful vanity wall. He failed to get a deal with Mexico, despite promising his suppor… Continue Reading


02.15.19

Statement Of Senator Leahy On The President's State Of The Union Address

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, like many of my fellow Americans I listened to the President's State of the Union address Tuesday evening, and while there are any number of the President's false or misleading assertions that I could refute, I want to take a minute to highlight just a few. The President began his remarks with a focus on cooperation and compromise, calling for unity among both political parties to work together and break what he described as "decades of political stalemate." The … Continue Reading


02.15.19

Statement Of Senator Leahy On Anti-trafficking And The Southwest Border

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, in his tortuous attempt to make a case for billions of taxpayer dollars to wall off our southern border, President Trump claimed that a wall would stop human trafficking, which has been touted as a priority of this Administration. On several occasions, the President has depicted human trafficking as women and girls smuggled across the border with their hands and legs tied and duct tape across their mouths. No doubt there are such cases. But the overwhelming majorit… Continue Reading


02.15.19

Statement of Senator Leahy On The Freedom To Export To Cuba Act

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I want to commend Senator Klobuchar for introducing the Freedom to Export to Cuba Act, of which I and Senator Enzi are cosponsors. I urge other Senators to join us. This bill is about ending the anachronistic prohibitions in U.S. law that for decades have limited U.S. engagement with Cuba, including preventing American companies from exporting their products to Cuba. The fact that legislation to do so is even necessary is illustrative of the absurdity of the situat… Continue Reading


02.14.19

Menendez And Leahy, Joined By Other Senators, Ask Sec. Pompeo For Briefing On Adm.’s Failure To Comply With Magnitsky Act, About Saudis’ Role In Khashoggi Murder

Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee; and all Democratic members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sent a letter today formally requesting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo brief Congress on why the Trump Administration refused to comply with a legal requirement to determine whether Saudi government officials and members of the Royal Family, including Crow… Continue Reading


02.14.19

BREAKING: Statement Of Appropriations Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Seven-Bill Appropriations Conference Report, As Senate Passes The Measure 83-16

This week, Republicans and Democrats from the House and Senate came together, ignoring the distractions and tweetstorms coming from the White House, and reached an agreement to fund our government and make responsible investments in the American people. This is not the agreement I would have reached on my own. There are things in this bill that I support, and things that I disagree with, but that is the nature of a negotiation. Everyone had to give something to reach a bipartisan compromise. … Continue Reading


02.14.19

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chair Patrick Leahy Releases Border Security & Govt. Funding Agreement

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday night released the bipartisan conference agreement to make responsible investments in border security and finish work on the remaining seven appropriations bills to fund the government. The $333 billion bipartisan package funds the nine remaining federal departments and their agencies, rejects President Trump's demand $5.7 billion border wall and a deportation force, and makes responsible investments in border securit… Continue Reading


02.13.19

Coventry Village School

On February 13, 2019, Senator Leahy continued his series of online chats with Vermont students - this time, with Coventry Village School's 7th and 8th grade class, taught by Ms. Dawn Walls-Thumma. Senator Leahy enjoyed the students' timely questions about his working relationship with President Trump, and other current issues such as immigration and gun safety. Senator Leahy, who is the Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee, also told the students about his recent experience as one of the… Continue Reading


02.13.19

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Nomination Of William Barr To Be U.S. Attorney General

The last time William Barr was before the Senate - 28 years ago during the George H.W. Bush administration - I voted for him to be Attorney General. I did so despite having some reservations that I shared with him and the Senate at the time. Mr. Barr and I do not see eye to eye on many issues. We did not then and we do not now. But he was clearly qualified for the position, and he had earned the confidence of the Senate. Today we are considering Mr. Barr's nomination under extraordinarily d… Continue Reading


02.13.19

Sanders and Leahy Highlight Important Provisions for Vermont in Public Lands Legislation

Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced that the Senate passed the Natural Resources Management Act on Tuesday evening by a 92-8 vote. This comprehensive public lands bill includes two provisions of particular importance to Vermonters. The bill permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Congress created the LWCF in 1965 to fund local, state and federal conservation and recreation efforts using the royalties collected from oil and gas compan… Continue Reading


02.08.19

BREAKING: Leahy REAX On Report That The President Will Ignore Filing Deadline For Magnitsky Act Report On The Murder Of Jamal Khashoggi

The Magnitsky Act that requires a president to report back to Congress within 120 days is not a 'request.' It is a legal mandate. It was triggered, under law, by a letter from the chair and ranking members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined by Senator Graham and me, as the leaders of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the State Department and Foreign Operations. If the President ignores the clear mandate of the Magnitsky Act in a case involving premeditated murder perpetrated b… Continue Reading


02.08.19

Jericho Elementary

On February 6, 2019, Senator Leahy conducted his first online chat of the 2019 calendar year with Vermont students -- this time, with fourth graders from Jericho Elementary, taught by Mr. Ben Brezic. Senator Leahy enjoyed answering the students' questions about his daily routine and about legislation and issues that he is currently working on in the Senate. He was also asked about the most difficult votes he has had to make during his tenure in the Senate, and about how the partial government … Continue Reading


02.08.19

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Passing Of Congressman John Dingell

"John Dingell once said that he wants his tombstone just to say that he did his damndest. And that he did. He gave his all to help expand health insurance to millions of vulnerable Americans, earning him the well-deserved honor of presiding over the House when Medicare was passed, and of sitting next to President Obama as he signed the Affordable Care Act. "John's towering presence and force of will were a fixture in the House for nearly 60 years, but he never fell behind the times. He was a… Continue Reading

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