Press Room

Press Releases

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


Statement On GAO Ruling The Trump Administration Violated The Impoundment Control Act By Withholding Aid to Ukraine

The GAO opinion is forceful and it is unambiguous: When President Trump froze congressionally appropriated military aid to Ukraine, he did so in violation of the law and the Constitution. The Constitution grants the power of the purse to Congress, not the President. Congress chose to provide military assistance to an ally which is literally under attack by Russia, and the law required that aid to be delivered. But instead of executing the law and standing with our ally, the President withhel… Continue Reading


Disaster Funds Appropriated By Congress Are Not Discretionary

[More than 850 days after the first of two category five hurricanes struck the island of Puerto Rico, Politico reported that the Department of Housing and Urban Development will be lifting its unjustifiable hold on $8.2 billion in disaster aid appropriated by Congress. For more than two years, Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has repeatedly called out President Trump and his administration for dragging their feet and prolonging the suffering of the American ci… Continue Reading


Statement On The Transmission Of Articles Of Impeachment

Now that the House has transmitted its Articles of Impeachment against President Trump, it is essential that the Senate conduct a trial that lives up to our constitutional duty. Impeachment is the only constitutional mechanism Congress has to hold presidents accountable, and the Framers entrusted us with the "sole power to try impeachments." It is now up to each senator to validate and honor the trust that has been placed in our hands. This will be the seventh time I have taken the special oa… Continue Reading


Statement On The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement

Today the Committee considers the "new NAFTA" - the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement. We are the seventh Senate Committee to consider this proposal. When we report this measure, more than 85 Senators will have served as members of Committees that reported this bill. That has to be some kind of record. This Committee talks a lot about the needs of border states. It seems in recent years, that discussion has primarily focused on the southern border. But I represent a border state - and Ver… Continue Reading


Press Conference On The Death Of Mustafa Kassem

We are here to remember Mustafa Kassem, an American citizen who died in an Egyptian prison for no reason. His death should be ruled a homicide. It was as preventable as his imprisonment was unlawful. Over the past several years, I and other U.S. officials urged President Sisi to release Mr. Kassem. He was convicted, along with 700 others, after a sham trial. He was innocent. No evidence was presented to support the charges against him. This is an unforgiveable travesty, for which Preside… Continue Reading


Reaction To Reports That President Trump Will Divert An Additional $7.2 Billion For His Ineffective Border Wall

[Monday night, the Washington Post reported that President Trump and his administration intend to confiscate $7.2 billion appropriated for military construction projects and counter-narcotics programs to build his ineffective wall along the Southern border. In fiscal year 2019, President Trump confiscated $6.3 billion from the military and military families to fund his vanity wall. For fiscal year 2020, the President requested $8.6 billion for his wall, and Congress specifically chose to provi… Continue Reading


Reaction To The Death Of Mustafa Kassem In An Egyptian Prison

"Repeatedly over the past several years, I, Secretary of State Pompeo, Vice President Pence, and other U.S. officials urged President Sisi to release Mustafa Kassem, an innocent American citizen who was falsely arrested, unjustly convicted along with 700 others after a sham trial, and sentenced to 15 years in prison. According to the Department of State, no credible evidence was presented to support the charges against him. "This is a monumental, unforgiveable travesty, for which President Sis… Continue Reading


Sanders, Khanna (Including Senator Leahy) Lead Dozens of Lawmakers In Introducing The No War Against Iran Act

, January 9 - Today, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced the No War Against Iran Act, which denies the Pentagon of any funds for unauthorized use of military force against Iran. A measure to prohibit funds for an unconstitutional war with Iran passed by a bipartisan 251-member vote in the House of Representatives last year, though it was later stripped from the National Defense Authorization Act enacted in December. In the Senate, the No War Against Iran Act is cosponsored by Senators Schum… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins In Introducing Anti-War Crimes Resolution That Denounces Trump Threats to Attack Iranian Cultural Sites

(WEDNESDAY, Jan. 8, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday joined Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) in introducing a Senate resolution condemning President Trump's threats to attack cultural sites in Iran and demanding the President refrain from violating the laws of armed conflict. The resolution responds to President Donald Trump's repeated threats on Twitt… Continue Reading


As Senate Session Resumes, Leahy Joins In Introducing Resolutions To Halt Trump’s Conflict With Iran

[As the U.S. Senate came back into session this week after the Christmas break, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) cosponsored three resolutions aimed at preventing further U.S. military strikes against Iran. Leahy is a cosponsor of a resolution headed by Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va..), which would direct the removal of U.S. armed forces from hostilities against Iran that have not been authorized by Congress. Leahy is a cosponsor of legislation that will be introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders D-Vt.), … Continue Reading


Reaction To The Assassination Of Qasem Suleimani, Commander Of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps

"No one here will shed tears over the death of such a ruthless killer as Qasem Soleimani. His name is synonymous with the central role that Iran has played in promoting terrorism and instability in the Middle East and beyond, and many of his victims were Americans. "But killing Soleimani in response to Iran's recent provocations against U.S. targets in Iraq is not going to end Iran's support of terrorism or attacks against Americans. It is more likely to embolden hardliners in Iran and to tri… Continue Reading


Comments on Congressman John Lewis

As are Americans everywhere, Marcelle and I are heartsick about the new challenge facing our dear friend John Lewis. John Lewis has been called our apostle of quiet strength, and the best of humanity. I have called him a hero for our time, of our time. Of the thousands of leaders I have served with, his contributions of conscience have been living examples to us all. He has certainly nourished mine. He spent an eventful day with us in Vermont late this year, forging memories and sowing ins… Continue Reading


Comment On The Detention Of Senator De Lima By The Government Of The Philippines

"The imprisonment of Senator De Lima, and the threats against renowned journalist Maria Ressa, have been criticized around the world, including by the U.S. Department of State and the United Nations. Rather than responding by irrationally threatening to deny visas to American citizens, the Duterte government should either release Senator De Lima immediately or provide her the fair, public trial she is entitled to. And rather than try to silence a journalist who has bravely dared to expose offici… Continue Reading


Leahy’s Bill To Cut Billions Of Dollars In Prescription Drug Costs Goes To President’s Desk

(THURSDAY, Dec. 19, 2019) - The Senate Thursday passed legislation authored and sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that will bring down prescription drug costs by removing obstacles to lower-cost generic medicines. Leahy said President Trump will sign it into law by this weekend. The Creating and Restoring Equal Access To Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act is designed to deter pharmaceutical companies from blocking cheaper generic alternatives from entering the marketplace. The nonparti… Continue Reading


Statement On The FY 2020 Domestic Priorities & International Assistance Appropriations "Minibus" Bill And The FY 2020 National Security Appropriations "Minibus" Bill

This week we reached a bipartisan, bicameral agreement to fund the federal government in fiscal year 2020. The agreement rejects the devastating and short-sighted cuts proposed by President Trump, and makes historic investments in the American people and working families. It fully implements the bipartisan budget agreement and allows us to invest an additional $27 billion in non-defense programs that will benefit our nation's children, improve our educational institutions, protect our environ… Continue Reading


Comment On The House Vote To Impeach President Donald J. Trump

This evening the U.S. House of Representatives exercised one of its most significant powers by impeaching President Donald J. Trump, making him just the third president in U.S. history to be impeached. The House did not make this historic decision lightly. After a deliberate, months-long investigation involving hundreds of hours of testimony from more than a dozen witnesses and multiple public hearings, the House concluded that President Trump abused the powers of his office for purely personal… Continue Reading


Leahy Releases Summary Of Vermont Highlights In The State Department And Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill

(WEDNESDAY, Dec. 18, 2019) -- As Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) secured key wins for Vermont in each of the 12 annual Appropriations bills that fund the federal government. All 12 bills are included in the budget agreement that he and the other top Appropriations leaders negotiated, which groups the 12 bills into two omnibus packages of bills. The House passed them Tuesday, and the Senate is now debating them and will vote ahead of the Midnight… Continue Reading


Leahy Secures Key Victories For Vermont In Appropriations Agreement

(TUESDAY, Dec. 17, 2019) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tuesday announced several key victories for Vermont in the fiscal year 2020 appropriations agreement reached late Monday. The $1.4 trillion bipartisan, bicameral agreement rejects the devastating and shortsighted cuts proposed by President Trump, and it makes historic investments in the American people and working families. The agreement took shape late last week when Chairman Shel… Continue Reading


Leahy And Grassley Hail Inclusion Of Their CREATES Act In The Year-End Spending Agreement

(MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2019) - Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) Monday hailed the inclusion of their legislation to combat anticompetitive practices used by some brand-name pharmaceutical and biologic companies to block entry of lower-cost generic drugs in the domestic appropriations package filed today in the House. The Creating and Restoring Equal Access To Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act wou… Continue Reading


Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy Releases Fiscal Year 2020 Funding Agreement

(MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2019) - The House Monday evening released a $1.4 trillion bipartisan, bicameral agreement to fund the federal government through fiscal year 2020, rejecting the devastating and short sighted cuts proposed by President Trump, and making historic investments in the American people and working families. The agreement took shape late last week when Chairman Shelby, Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairwoman Lowey, and Ranking Member Granger met in Leahy's Capitol office, mirr… Continue Reading

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