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Press Releases

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


Wyden And Leahy Request Ethics Investigation Of AG Barr’s Approval Of Illegal DEA Mass Surveillance Program

(THURSDAY, Dec. 5, 2019) - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Thursday asked for an ethics investigation of Attorney General William Barr's decision to approve an illegal mass surveillance program by the Drug Enforcement Administration in a letter to the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility. Barr approved the DEA program in 1992, during his first stint as attorney general, without conducting any analysis of whether it was legal, according to an Insp… Continue Reading


Leahy, Whitehouse Query DOJ About President Trump’s Controversial War Crimes Pardons

(TUESDAY, Nov. 26, 2019) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) are asking the Department of Justice's Office of Pardon Attorney what role it played in President Trump's extraordinarily controversial decision to pardon U.S. soldiers charged or convicted with serious war crimes. In light of U.S. military leaders' vocal opposition to President Trump's interventions in these cases, Leahy and Whitehouse are seeking answers about what advice the President received - and fro… Continue Reading


Whitehouse, Leahy Share New Information Implicating Justice Department Official In False Statements

(TUESDAY, Nov. 26, 2019) -- Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) have shared with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Professional Responsibility a Justice Department letter correcting statements by John Gore, former Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division. The Justice Department letter confirms that Gore was not truthful in a sworn declaration in ongoing open records litigation between the Department and a watchdog group. The sena… Continue Reading


Senate Passes Leahy Bill To Formalize National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium, With Norwich University As A Key Training Center

(FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2019) - The U.S. Senate Thursday night passed legislation written and introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) to formally charter a National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium (NCPC), which includes Norwich University. Norwich University is a key player in NCPC, a cooperative effort of universities with expertise in cybersecurity that work with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop and carry out training and other activit… Continue Reading


Statement On Israeli Settlements

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I vividly recall the feeling of optimism that people in this country and around the world felt on that day in Washington in 1993 when Israeli Prime Minister Rabin and PLO Chairman Arafat signed the Oslo Accords. For those too young to remember, the Oslo process began as secret negotiations in Oslo, resulting in the recognition by the PLO of the State of Israel and the recognition by Israel of the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people for the purpose of … Continue Reading


Statement On The Passing Of Jake Burton Carpenter

Marcelle and I join all Vermonters in mourning the loss of Jake Burton Carpenter. Hanging in my office is one of the early, wooden "Burton Boards" that are now so iconic to the sport. Marcelle and I will keep it there as a reminder of Jake's generosity to his employees and his community, which was exemplified by the annual, open celebration he and Donna threw at their own home. It will stand as a reminder of his fierce dedication to address the emerging crisis of climate change and not only w… Continue Reading


Statement On Honduras

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I have spoken previously about the alarming rates of corruption, violent crime, and impunity in Honduras. While Honduras is by no means unique in this regard, it is a serious concern given the challenges it poses not only for the people of Honduras but also for the United States. Every week, my office receives word of another assassination in Honduras of a social leader, environmental activist, indigenous rights activist, journalist, or trade unionist. Rarely does a… Continue Reading


Leahy, Lofgren, Harris And Booker Lead Bicameral Refugee Protection Act of 2019

(THURSDAY, Nov. 21, 2019) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA 19), Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) on Thursday led the bicameral introduction of the Refugee Protection Act of 2019. Building upon previous versions of the Refugee Protection Act introduced by Leahy and Lofgren, the Refugee Protection Act of 2019 is a comprehensive blueprint for restoring and reinvigorating U.S. refugee and asylum systems in response to the Trump admi… Continue Reading


Statement On The One-Month Continuing Resolution

Today, we have before us a continuing resolution to fully fund the federal government through December 20. While I wish this step was not necessary, I urge all members to vote AYE. I am disappointed we have to pass a second continuing resolution. I wish we were further along with our work. It is not for a lack of trying. It is no secret what is holding up negotiations-the President's demand for $8.6 billion more for his vanity wall along the southern border. Despite the fact that he alrea… Continue Reading


Leahy, Collins, Yarmuth, Bacon And Others Reintroduce Bipartisan And Bicameral Bill To Help Runaway And Homeless Youth

(WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2019) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Representatives John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), Don Bacon (R-Neb.), Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.),and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) Wendesday reintroduced the bipartisan Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act. The legislation will reauthorize key federal grant programs to provide states with grants to help thousands of homeless young people nationwide. The landmark Runaway and Homeless Youth Act was firs… Continue Reading


Statement On The United States And Cuba

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, since the onset of the Trump presidency, the White House has issued a steady stream of executive orders to reverse the policy of engagement with Cuba begun by President Obama. Those decisions have largely curtailed travel by law abiding Americans to Cuba who seek to participate in people-to-people exchanges, patronize Cuban private businesses, and otherwise experience Cuban culture. Cuba is the only country in the world to which Americans cannot travel freely, other… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Leahy On Ocean Plastic Pollution

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, the world's oceans serve as a crucial carbon sink, a home to hundreds of thousands of known and countless unknown species of marine life, an essential source of protein for billions of people, and a facilitator of billions of dollars in tourism, fishing, shipping, and other economic activity. Today, the oceans, on which life on Earth depends, are under serious threat. Threats from climate change, habitat destruction, illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and … Continue Reading


Statement of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Introduction Of A One-Month Continuing Resolution

Today, Chairwoman Lowey introduced a continuing resolution to fully fund the federal government through December 20. This is a welcome development and will allow us to continue our bipartisan and bicameral negotiations on the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations process. Importantly, this continuing resolution provides the Commerce Department with the necessary funds to carry out the decennial census, provides funds for mobile centers to ensure the census reaches those in the hardest to reach area… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Reducing Pandemic Risk

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, we do not have to be reminded of the more than 50 million lives lost in the 1918 influenza pandemic, or the many thousands lost in the SARS, Ebola, MERS, and other recent infectious disease outbreaks to recognize that far more must be done to reduce the risk of catastrophic pandemics. Rather than waiting until disease outbreaks occur, then scrambling at great expense for two or three years or however long it takes to develop a vaccine while countless people die, we ne… Continue Reading


Members Of Northern New England Congressional Delegations Call On Customs And Border Patrol To Disclose Criteria & Effectiveness Of Highway Checkpoints

() - Yesterday, Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) sent a letter to the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) with Representatives Chris Pappas (D-NH1), Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH2), Peter Welch (D-VT At-Large) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME1), calling on the agency to provide information on the use of temporary highway checkpoints in northern New England over the past year. In the letter addressed to Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan, the gr… Continue Reading


Leahy, Feinstein, And Other Senators Introduce House-Passed Violence Against Women Act

(Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and others on Wednesday led all 47 Democratic senators in introducing the Senate companion to the House-passed Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. They called on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to bring VAWA renewal legislation to the Senate Floor. The bill, whose chief sponsor is Feinstein, would reauthorize VAWA through 2024, preserves advancements made i… Continue Reading


Statement On The Supreme Court Argument To Decide Future Of America's Dreamers

Today the Supreme Court heard arguments in one of the most consequential immigration cases in modern American history. The future of more than 700,000 DACA recipients - our nation's Dreamers - hangs in the balance. And their fate is inherently intertwined with the fate of the American Dream itself. Dreamers, by definition, are law-abiding immigrants brought to the United States as children - through no choice of their own - now simply seeking the chance to contribute to the only country they … Continue Reading


Sens. Tillis And Leahy And Reps. Roby And Jeffries Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation Supporting Art Students

Today, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Representatives Martha Roby (R-AL-2) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-8) introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation that directs the Register of Copyrights to waive the copyright registration fee for winners of the Congressional Art Competition and the Congressional App Competition. Currently, the Register of Copyrights, Karen Temple, does not have the authority to waive the registration fee. Both of these competitions, sponsored and le… Continue Reading


Leahy And Grassley Reintroduce Patents For Humanity Act

(THURSDAY, Nov. 7, 2019) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Thursday reintroduced the Patents for Humanity Act of 2019. Their bipartisan bill encourages and rewards the use of patented technology to address humanitarian needs. Patents for Humanity is the United States Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) awards competition which recognizes innovators who use game-changing technology to meet global humanitarian challenges. Winners of the program receive a certific… Continue Reading


Remarks on Opposing Steven Menashi Nominee to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit

Whether senators on this Committee agree that a nominee is extreme or within the mainstream, whether a nominee is well-qualified or woefully unprepared for a lifetime judgeship, I think we all agree that every nominee should be willing to answer our most basic questions. If a nominee refuses, and that nominee is nonetheless rewarded with confirmation, our constitutional role to provide advice and consent to is rendered meaningless. Steven Menashi failed this test. And he failed it repeatedly.… Continue Reading

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