Press Room

Press Releases

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


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


Statement On U.S. Policy In The Sahel

Last week the heads of state from Mauritania, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali, comprising the so-called G-5 Sahel countries, as well as France and Spain, met in Mauritania to discuss the next phase of efforts to combat terrorism in the Sahel. The final communique from the meeting stresses the need for the parties to "intensify the fight on all fronts." I want to highlight one aspect of this effort that risks undermining the eventual victory we all hope will be achieved, and that is human r… Continue Reading


The Mounting Cost Of Inaction: The Census

U.S. Infections - 2,932,596 | U.S. Deaths - 130,133 U.S. Unemployment - 11.1 Percent | Since House Passed Heroes Act - 54 Days What is the Census? Mandated in Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution, the Census is a decennial count of our country's population used to determine Congressional apportionment and how $1.5 trillion in federal spending is allocated. Census Fun Fact Before the U.S. Census in 1790, censuses were used primarily to tax or conscript people into military service. Th… Continue Reading


The Mounting Cost Of Inaction: Food Insecurity

U.S. Infections - 2,886,267 | U.S. Deaths - 129,811 Days Since House Passed Heroes Act - 53 | U.S. Unemployment - 11.1 percent What Is Food Insecurity? American families experience food insecurity when they lack consistent access to the food they need to maintain a healthy, active life. Food Insecurity Fact Even before the pandemic, 1 in 9 Americans were food insecure including more than 11 million children. Since the pandemic, the cost of food has increased by 4.8 percent and millions… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy Criticizes Trump Administration “Misguided” Decision To Deny U.S. Funding To The UN Population Fund

The Trump Administration's predictable decision, announced yesterday, to withhold United States funding from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), demonstrates once again this Administration's irrational, ideological approach to family planning and reproductive health worldwide. For the fourth year in a row, Secretary Pompeo has invoked the Kemp-Kasten amendment to withhold $32.5 million that Congress appropriated for UNFPA in fiscal year 2020. It is especially disturbing that Secretary Pompeo, in h… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins Senate And House Colleagues In Urging The Trump Administration To Impose Sanctions Against Chinese Authorities Responsible For Atrocities Against The Uyghur And Muslim Minorities

Read the letter here.… Continue Reading


Udall, Leahy Lead Amendment Requiring Trump Organization Disclose Income And Licensing Agreements For Its Foreign Properties

U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) are leading a new proposed amendment to the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to require President Trump and the Trump Organization to disclose full financial information, including the total income earned by the Trump Organization from any licensing agreements, for foreign properties owned by President Trump's family business. In addition to Udall and Leahy, the amendment is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Martin… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins Democratic Colleagues Calling On Secretary Of State Pompeo To Ensure That Americans Living, Working, And Serving Overseas Can Safely Cast Absentee Ballots During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Read the letter here.… Continue Reading


Statement On Colombia

Colombia is a close friend and ally of the United States, which makes the reports of rapes of indigenous girls by Colombian soldiers whose responsibility is to protect them particularly disturbing. It is compounded by the fact that army officers were apparently informed of these abuses but the government only pledged to take action after they were uncovered by the press. This follows the now months delayed report on orders by army commanders last year to increase body counts, and revelations t… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Two Federal Farm To School Grants Supporting Student Access To Local Food In Vermont

(THURSDAY, July 2, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Thursday announced that the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) and Food Connects have received U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm to School grants totaling $153,767. The grants will help Vermont farms increase their sales to local schools and promote lifelong healthy eating habits among Vermont's students. Leahy said: "Our current health crisis has shown us how important it is that our children learn to eat and… Continue Reading


Senators Demand USCIS Remove “Misleading” And “Deceptive” DACA Statement From Website

U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Kristin Gillibrand (D-NY), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) wrote Ken Cuccinelli, the current acting head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), today to demand that the agency "remove from its website the egregiously false claim that the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on DACA 'has no basis in law.'" After the Supreme Court ruled that the… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins Rubio And Colleagues In Sending Letter To USAGM CEO Expressing Concern Following Recent Termination Of Employees

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Susan Collins (R-ME) sent a letter to the Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), Michael Pack, after Pack abruptly terminated the heads of three private grantee networks. All signers are Members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs that funds USAGM. "We urge you t… Continue Reading


Statement On Impending Furloughs At The United States Citizenship And Immigration Services

Yesterday I came before this Chamber and again made the case for why Congress needs to begin negotiations on another COVID-19 emergency supplemental bill now. The needs are real and they are immediate. In fact, these negotiations should have begun six weeks ago, after the House passed the HEROES Act. Today I want to talk about just one of those urgent needs, funding for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS plays an important role in our nation's immigration s… Continue Reading


Statement On The Need To Pass Another COVID-19 Emergency Appropriations Bill

Over three months ago, Congress came together in rare bipartisan fashion to pass the CARES Act, to help address the unprecedented needs of the country and the American people as it began to address a global pandemic. It was the third emergency appropriations bill Congress has passed this year to address the impact of the coronavirus, yet despite its scope and size, we knew then that absent a miracle, it would not be the last one required. Since that time, the number of COVID-19 cases have co… Continue Reading


Leahy Calls On Leader McConnell And President Trump To Pass Emergency Funding For USCIS

(MONDAY, June 29, 2020) - Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday called on Leader McConnell and President Trump to take up and pass emergency funding for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Due to financial mismanagement and poor policy choices by the Trump administration and the COVID-19 pandemic, USCIS could be forced to furlough a significant number of its employees, including some of the 1,700 USCIS employees in Vermont. In … Continue Reading


Tester & Colleagues to Trump Administration: Don’t Rip Away Health Care for Millions During Public Health Crisis

(U.S. Senate) - As the Trump Administration moves full-steam ahead to dismantle the health care law that provides coverage for millions of Americans, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today introduced a resolution with 46 colleagues putting in the official Senate record their condemnation of that "reckless" effort and demanding the Department of Justice (DOJ) defend existing law in court and halt its efforts to repeal the health care protections for millions - including 133 million Americans with pre-exis… Continue Reading

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