Press Room

Press Releases

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


Leahy Leads 47 Senators In Introducing The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

(WEDNESDAY, July 22, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a senior member and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Wednesday led 47 other senators in introducing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, a bipartisan bill to restore the landmark Voting Rights Act, end the scourge of minority voter suppression, and help preserve the legacy of John Lewis - one of America's greatest civil rights heroes. In 2013, the Supreme Court's Shelby County v. Holder decision gutted critic… Continue Reading


Leahy And Lee Demand Answers From Trump Administration On Potentially Unauthorized And Illegal Mass Surveillance Programs

(TUESDAY, July 21, 2020) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) wrote to Attorney General William Barr and Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Tuesday, demanding information on whether and how the Trump administration has halted mass surveillance programs authorized by now-expired Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) provisions under the USA FREEDOM Act. The senators also demanded information on whether the administration is conducting surveillance that b… Continue Reading


Statement On Ocean Plastics

Mr. Chairman, this is an extremely important issue and we have excellent witnesses here to discuss it. Senator Whitehouse and I were in Vietnam last year where we met with Vietnamese officials and scientists to discuss ocean plastic pollution, which is a serious problem for that country with a 2,000 mile coastline. We - and by that I mean human beings - are causing potentially irreparable harm to the oceans and marine wildlife, which are the primary source of protein for billions of the world… Continue Reading


Statement On The Global Response To COVID-19

Mr. LEAHY. I have spoken many times about the need for another COVID-19 supplemental. The frightening trajectory of this virus, and the terrible human suffering, loss, and economic devastation it is causing families, businesses, and public services in every state and municipality in this country, have greatly accentuated the urgency of that need. As the coronavirus continues to outpace the White House's appallingly belated, incompetent, inadequate, and incoherent efforts to contain it, the n… Continue Reading


Sens. Coons, Leahy Introduce Bill To Block Pres. Trump’s Attempt To Withdraw From World Health Organization

Today, U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Appropriations and Foreign Relations Committees, and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, introduced the No WHO Withdrawal Act to block President Trump's attempt to withdraw the United States from the World Health Organization (WHO) and prohibit congressionally appropriated funds from being used to execute a withdrawal. The United States has been a member of the WHO since its founding in Ne… Continue Reading


Leahy, Durbin, Murray And Tester Call On President Trump To Increase PPE And Testing Capacity

(TUESDAY, July 21, 2020) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) Tuesday released a letter calling on president Trump to utilize resources already passed by Congress and signed into law to increase production of personal, protective equipment (PPE) and testing capacity. Leahy is Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee and Durbin, Murray and Tester also are leading Democratic members of the panel. In a letter to President Trump, … Continue Reading


Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy Highlights Urgent Need For Coronavirus Supplemental

(MONDAY, July 20, 2020) - Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday highlighted the urgent need for a fourth coronavirus supplemental appropriations package. Ahead of the anticipated release of Leader McConnell's bill this week, Leahy released nine documents outlining the need for additional funding for the Census, child care, domestic violence programs, education, election aid, food insecurity, foreign aid, rental assistance, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigr… Continue Reading


Statement On The Persecution Of Falun Gong Practitioners

Today marks 21 years since the Chinese government launched a brutal campaign to eliminate Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese religion based on a philosophy of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. Since July 1999, the Chinese government has arbitrarily detained millions of Falun Gong practitioners, effectively exiled many who have traveled abroad, and revoked the licenses of lawyers who defend Falun Gong in court. As I and others have described before, Falun Gong practitioners have been int… Continue Reading


Statement On The 5th Anniversary Of The Restoration Of Diplomatic Relations With Cuba

"Five years ago today, the United States and Cuba restored diplomatic relations, opened embassies, and began a process of engagement to promote people-to-people exchanges, economic investment, and dialogue to address issues in disagreement. That decision was supported by large majorities in both countries. Two years later, the Trump Administration reversed all that, curtailing Americans' right to travel, harming Cuban small businesses, limiting remittances, and abandoning agreements for dialog… Continue Reading


Statement On The Passing Of John Lewis

John Lewis was an American hero among us, a lodestar who drew us closer to our ideals. He was a dear friend and mentor to me on civil rights and so much else. I felt honored when he called me his brother and when he came to Vermont last year for a night at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington that none of us will forget. Our work together on the bill to restore the Voting Rights Act that I've introduced in the Senate, as John and others have done in the House, has also genera… Continue Reading


The Mounting Cost Of COVID Inaction: Foreign Aid

How Much Does The United States Spend On Foreign Aid? Contrary to popular belief, foreign aid makes up less than 1 percent of the federal budget. Among other things, these funds support humanitarian disaster relief, global health, economic development, and programs that protect American security interests abroad. Global COVID Fact On July 4th, the World Health Organization reported the largest single day increase in new confirmed cases with member countries reporting another 212,000 people w… Continue Reading


Leahy And Other Senate Democrats Press Trump Administration To Reverse Move Undermining COVID-19 Hospital Data Collection And Reporting

The White House gave hospitals 48 hours to switch their data reporting to a new system it set up from the system at CDC they have used for year Hospitals have been forced to spend precious time and resources making the switch, and those unable to do so in 48 hours could lose access to critical supplies States which have built COVID-19 response and data systems on the CDC-run data feed, could lose access to critical information Senators: "Waging interdepartmental jurisdictional battles to s… Continue Reading


The Mounting Cost Of Inaction: Rent

U.S. Infections - 3,416,428 | U.S. Deaths - 135,991 U.S. Unemployment - 11.1 Percent | Since House Passed Heroes Act - 62 Days What Is Rental Assistance? Rental assistance is financial help from a nonprofit organization, state, local or federal government agency to help families and individuals in need of assistance pay their rent and remain in their homes in order to avoid homelessness, which can be far more expensive problem to solve. Rental Fact Our country had an affordable housing cr… Continue Reading


Comment On The Trump Administration Allowing Federal Agencies To Virtually Ignore Climate Impacts Of Major Projects, And To Silence Communities Most Directly Affected

"On Tuesday, the Government Accountability Office released a report confirming that the Trump Administration is manipulating climate science to justify its deregulatory giveaways to big polluters and other special interests. How fitting that today they finalize their rule allowing federal agencies to virtually ignore the climate impacts of major projects, and silence the very communities most affected by them. Make no mistake, the cost of gutting this 50-year-old bedrock law will fall dispropo… Continue Reading


The Mounting Cost Of COVID Inaction: Child Care

COVID-19 On July 15, 2020 U.S. Infections - 3,355,457 | U.S. Deaths - 135,235 U.S. Unemployment - 11.1 Percent | Since House Passed Heroes Act - 61 Days What Is A Child Care Desert? A child care desert is a region, often in poor, minority, or rural communities, which lacks access to quality child care. Child care deserts were a problem before the pandemic. A 2018 study conducted by the Center for American Progress estimates that more than half of Americans live in a child care desert. C… Continue Reading


The Mounting Cost Of Inaction: United States Citizenship And Immigration Services

U.S. Infections - 3,296,599 | U.S. Deaths - 134,884 U.S. Unemployment - 11.1 percent | Since House Passed Heroes Act - 60 Days What Is The United States Citizenship And Immigration Services (USCIS)? The USCIS is the chief agency responsible for adjudicating and processing requests for immigration benefits, American citizenship, asylum and refugee status, other forms of humanitarian protections, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications. USCIS Fact Before the pandemi… Continue Reading


The Mounting Cost Of COVID Inaction: The Election

U.S. Infections - 3,296,599 | U.S. Deaths - 134,884 U.S. Unemployment - 11.1 Percent | Since House Passed Heroes Act - 60 Days What Is Absentee Voting? Absentee voting, also known as mail-in voting, allows voters who are unable or unwilling to vote in person, to vote by mail. Voting Fact Absentee voting has a long history in our country. About 150,000 Union soldiers voted absentee during the presidential election of 1864, and the armed forces have used absentee voting for more than 150 ye… Continue Reading


The Mounting Cost Of COVID Inaction: Access To Education

U.S. Infections - 3,047,671 | U.S. Deaths - 132,056 U.S. Unemployment - 11.1 percent | Since House Passed Heroes Act - 56 Days What Is Remote Learning? In an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, schools across the country have moved partially or entirely to remote learning. This frequently requires students to interact with their educators through online platforms in place of in person classes and complete course work online. Remote Learning Fact Not all access to the internet is mad… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins Senate And House Democrats Urging ICE And DHS To Immediately Withdraw New Guidance That Threatens International Students With Deportation

Text of Letter (PDF) Washington DC - United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), along with Representatives Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Chair of the House Judiciary Committee Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), and Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) led a l… Continue Reading


The Mounting Cost Of COVID Inaction: Domestic Violence

U.S. Infections - 2,982,900 | U.S. Deaths - 131,065 U.S. Unemployment - 11.1 percent | Since House Passed Heroes Act - 56 Days What Is Domestic Violence? Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior, including the threat or use of violence, fear, and intimidation, to establish power and control over another person. Domestic Violence Fact More than 12 million people in the United States experience violence by an intimate partner every year, with one in four women and one in nine men experien… Continue Reading

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