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Press Releases

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


Senators Menendez, Leahy On Ousting Of El Salvador’s Top Judges And Attorney General

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following statement regarding the situation in El Salvador after President Nayib Bukele and members of his party in the Legislative Assembly used this weekend's legislative session to abruptly dismiss five magistrates from the country's constitutional court as well as remove Attorney General Raul Melara: "This is a deeply concerning autocratic ambush in… Continue Reading


Statement On President Biden’s Announcement On Funds Stolen By The Trump Administration

For years, President Trump raided taxpayer dollars from our military and military families to build a wall he promised the American people Mexico would pay for. He let schools for military children deteriorate, and he stripped our National Guard of the resources and equipment they needed to effectively carry out their mission. This smash-and-grab funding of bumper sticker policies left a backlog of unfunded projects vital to our national security that will take years to restore. The construct… Continue Reading


Reaction To The President’s Message To A Joint Meeting Of Congress

Building back America's middle class - the working families who have been the vital center of our nation's economic strength and social progress - is exactly what our country has long needed. The people have been ahead of the politicians in understanding that. Especially after the severe challenges that our families have endured, it's time that we invest in the American people, and for the American people. That's what the President's jobs and family plans would do for Vermonters and all Ameri… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Restoration Of The Power Of The Purse: Reforms For A Return To Congressionally Directed Spending In Fiscal Year 2022

(MONDAY, April 26, 2021) - Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Monday his intent to restore one of Congress' constitutional powers, the power to approve congressionally-directed spending items, and to do so with enhanced transparency and accountability. The Senate Appropriations Committee will, on a bipartisan basis, accept requests for congressionally directed spending items for appropriations bills for the fiscal year that begins October 1, 2021. As earl… Continue Reading


Address Of Senator Patrick Leahy On World Intellectual Property Day

As we finally begin to turn the corner on the coronavirus pandemic, the hard work of rebuilding our economy begins. One of the core engines of the American economy is intellectual property. From the smallest startup to the largest multinational company, intellectual property is central to creating jobs, boosting economic output, and protecting consumers. It is appropriate that today we celebrate World Intellectual Property Day, which recognizes the important role that intellectual property plays… Continue Reading


Statement On A Crisis Of Governance And The Rule Of Law In Guatemala

An independent judiciary, like free and fair elections, is the bedrock of democracy. Without judges who are selected on the basis of their integrity and professional qualifications, rather than patronage or corrupt influences, upholding the rule of law is impossible and democracy cannot survive. We have seen this in many countries. Protecting judicial independence is an ongoing challenge even in countries with a long history of democracy. Guatemala today faces a crisis that will determine th… Continue Reading


Leahy, Tillis, Brown, Collins Introduce Bill To Renew Popular Farm To School Program

(THURSDAY, April 22, 2021) - U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), joined by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), on Thursday introduced legislation to renew an important nutrition program that supports both school-aged children and local producers. The bipartisan Farm to School Act will build on the successes of the Farm to School Program, which was authorized in 2010. The Farm to School Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agricultur… Continue Reading


Baldwin, Risch, Welch, Leahy, Simpson Stand Up for America’s Dairy Farmers

Dairy farmers from across America applaud the reform WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Chair of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, and U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) are standing up for American dairy farmers by reintroducing bipartisan legislation in the Senate today to combat the unfair practice of mislabeling non-dairy products using dairy names. Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Mike Simpson (R-ID) are introducing bipartisan companion legislation in … Continue Reading


Wyden, Paul, Leahy And Bipartisan Members Of Congress Introduce The Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act

U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., and 18 other senators, today introduced a bill to put a stop to shady data brokers buying and selling Americans' Constitutional rights. The Fourth Amendment is Not for Sale Act closes the legal loophole that allows data brokers to sell Americans' personal information to law enforcement and intelligence agencies without any court oversight - in contrast to the strict rules for phone companies, social media sites and other businesses that hav… Continue Reading


Statement On The Verdict In The Trial Of Derek Chauvin

"Justice has been served. As a former prosecutor I know well that officers of the law have the incredibly important and difficult job of keeping our communities safe, but in so doing they cannot be above the law. Murder is murder, and the police badge must never serve as a shield against accountability for those who commit it. Derek Chauvin received a fair trial and a jury of his peers has found him guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. He will … Continue Reading


Statement On The Passing Of Marty Illick

"Marty worked tirelessly for decades to protect Lewis Creek, as well as other streams in the Champlain Valley and Lake Champlain. I have looked to Marty's work as the prototype of how much a committed local watershed organization can accomplish, and to the Lewis Creek Association as an inspiration for local implementation grants offered through the Lake Champlain program. Marty's and Terrence's deaths are tragic and untimely. But all Vermonters should know that they have left an indelible pos… Continue Reading


Leahy, New Intellectual Property Subcommittee Chair, On Wednesday Leads Inaugural Hearing Featuring Testimony From Vermont-Based Company

(TUESDAY, April 20, 2021) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt), the new chairman of the Senate's Subcommittee On Intellectual Property - a subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee -- will chair the panel's inaugural hearing in the new Congress, focused on improving diversity within the U.S. Patent system, at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 21. The hearing, entitled "Improving Access and Inclusivity in the Patent System: Unleashing America's Economic Engine," will feature testimony from Georgia Grace Edwar… Continue Reading


Leahy Holds First Appropriations Committee Hearing On Infrastructure Climate Change, and Investing In America’s Future

(Tuesday, April 20, 2021) - Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday convened the first full committee hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The hearing focused on The American Jobs Plan, the nation's crumbling infrastructure, and how to prepare for and mitigate the climate crisis. The hearing was the first of several thematic hearings Leahy will hold with the full committee. Leahy said: "The American Jobs Plan is a sweeping proposal that will inject so… Continue Reading


Opening Statement On "The American Jobs Plan: Infrastructure Climate Change, and Investing in Our Nation’s Future”

Today, we convene the first hearing of the full Senate Appropriations Committee for the 117th Congress. And what more appropriate topic than that of infrastructure. There is no other Committee within the Senate whose jurisdiction touches every aspect of our government and of Americans' lives. The same, of course, can be said for infrastructure. Gone are the days when "infrastructure" has meant only bridges, highways, roads, and rail. To narrow our view of infrastructure to just this is not … Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Announces More Than $150 Million In COVID Vaccination and Mitigation Funds From The American Rescue Plan

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced Monday that Vermont recently received more than $150 million through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Public Assistance Program. The funding will reimburse the State of Vermont for the cost of COVID-19 vaccine distribution and for hotel and motel rooms for vulnerable unhoused Vermonters and others who needed a place to temporarily quarantine. Leahy, Sanders and Welch sa… Continue Reading


Durbin, Leahy, Senate Democrats Urge Biden To Finally Close Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility

U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today led 22 Senate Democrats on a letter to President Joe Biden expressing their support for finally closing the detention facility at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In their letter, the Senators wrote that as a symbol of lawlessness and human rights abuses, the detention facility continues to harm U.S. national sec… Continue Reading


Statement Of Vermont’s Congressional Delegation On Extension Of The Public Comment Period On Border Patrol Surveillance Towers

Joint statement from Leahy, Sanders and Welch: "We are pleased to announce that the Department of Homeland Security has agreed to our request to reopen the public comment period related to the proposed construction of massive surveillance towers along the Vermont-Canadian border. We have heard from many Vermonters who are concerned that surveillance cameras will further intrude on their privacy in border communities that have already been dramatically changed by increased border surveillance … Continue Reading


Leahy And Sanders Join Bid To Get Fed. Govt. Out Of Fossil Fuel Business

Oregon's U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA-2) are leading a bicameral group of 21 lawmakers in introducing the Keep It in the Ground Act-urgent legislation to stop new fossil fuel leases and put an end to nonproducing leases for extraction of coal, oil, gas, oil shale, and tar sands extraction on public lands and in public waters. The combustion of fossil fuels that have been extracted from America's public lands and waters currently amount to more than 20 percent… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch Announce $11 Million For Housing Construction In Vermont From The American Rescue Plan

(MONDAY, April 12, 2021) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced Monday that Vermont has received more than $11 million in additional funding for affordable housing construction, under the American Rescue Plan Act, through the Department of Housing and Urban Development's HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME). This includes more than $9.5 million for the State of Vermont and $1.5 million for the City of Burlington. … Continue Reading


Statement On President Biden’s Budget Blueprint

A budget is where an administration can set its priorities, and it is clear from President Biden's initial proposal that his administration's priorities reflect the real needs of the American people. This blueprint makes strong investments in Americans and communities who have not benefited from the economic expansion prior to the pandemic and who fell further behind because of COVID. The budget proposes long overdue and historic investments in jobs, worker training, schools, food security, in… Continue Reading

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