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Press Releases

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


Stabenow, Leahy Lead Call For USDA To Reverse Decision To Decrease COVID-19 Relief Available To Dairy Farmers

Today, a group of 15 Senators led by U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the most senior member of the Committee, called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reverse its decision to unfairly exclude dairy farmers from receiving COVID-19 relief to cover losses related to meat production. While milk is the primary income for dairy farms, they often are diversified operat… Continue Reading


Wyden, Leahy, Schumer, Merkley Ask National Guard For Wildfire Readiness Assessment

Senators praise Guard response to 2020 wildfires, say assessment will help ensure Guard has the firefighting resources it needs Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., today led colleagues in asking the National Guard for a report on its readiness to help states prepare, fight and recover from wildfires. In a letter to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, General Daniel R. Hokanson, the senators wrote, "As deva… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders and Democratic Colleagues Urge DeVos to Help 8.2 Million Federal Student Loan Borrowers Currently Unable to Access Relief

8.2 million federal student loan borrowers currently cannot access critical relief made available by the CARES Act, including a freeze on all payments, interest, and collections In a letter, Leahy, Sanders and 32 Senate Democrats urge DeVos to use her existing authority to make sure these struggling borrowers don't fall through the cracks (THURSDAY, Oct. 22, 2020) - U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and 32 Senate Democrats sent a letter urging Secretary of Education… Continue Reading


Senate Democrats Denounce Trump Administration’s Historically Low Refugee Resettlement Goal And Push For Increased Admissions

(THURSDAY, Oct. 22, 2020) - Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today was joined by 22 of his Senate Democratic colleagues in opposing the Trump administration's proposal to cap refugee admissions at 15,000 for Fiscal Year 2021-the lowest ceiling in the history of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP)-and in urging the administration to increase refugee admissions. "The United States has a long, bipartisan legacy of providing refugees p… Continue Reading


Leahy, Senate Democrats To Attorney General Barr: Immediately Halt Efforts To Gut The Affordable Care Act In Court

. . . As Supreme Court ACA Hearing Approaches and Republicans Ram Through a Supreme Court Nominee in an Illegitimate Process, Democratic Lawmakers Highlight How an ACA Repeal Can Impact Health Coverage for Americans Who Contract COVID-19. . . . "It is unconscionable for the Department of Justice to pursue this lawsuit in the midst of this unprecedented public health crisis, and we urge you to rescind your support of these efforts immediately." Text of Letter WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21, 2020) -- Senat… Continue Reading


Statement On The Need For A Comprehensive COVID Relief Bill

We are in the middle of the most devastating public health crisis in modern history, and the American people are paying a terrible price. Nearly 220,000 people have died in just ten months. That is significantly more than the number of Americans who died in the Korean, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan wars combined. Remember when President Trump called himself a "war president"? Has he acted like one? He called the virus a hoax, and he's been AWOL ever since. Millions have lost their job… Continue Reading


Vermont Agriculture Update

Vermont Agriculture UPDATE - *** Under Pilot Pgm., VT Dairy Farmers For 1st Time Can Be Paid Directly For Work In Protecting Water Quality *** Ironing Out The Bump In Federal Hemp Standards Recent federal actions will help Vermont's newest agricultural business sector (hemp), as well as the state's most longstanding farm sector (dairy), according to Senator Patrick Leahy. ENLISTING DAIRY FARMERS IN PROTECTING WATER QUALITY: On the more traditional farm… Continue Reading


Leahy And Sanders Seek Swift Release Of LIHEAP Heating Help

(MONDAY, Oct. 19, 2020) - With winter around the corner and heating costs projected to increase this season, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) joined a bipartisan coalition of 40 senators in urging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to release funds for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) as swiftly and at the highest level possible under the current continuing resolution. The senators say federal LIHEAP funding is a crucial… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Recent Fighting In The South Caucuses

"I am deeply troubled by the recent military aggression in the South Caucuses, apparently initiated by Azerbaijan, including reports of possible war crimes and mounting civilian casualties. There is a real risk that this protracted conflict could spiral out of control, provoking the involvement of the armed forces of regional powers. That would be a disaster for the civilian population. The immediate priority must be maintaining an unconditional ceasefire as sought by the Minsk Group. But re… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Senate Judiciary Committee Executive Business Meeting

This Committee may not be through the confirmation hearings for Judge Barrett, but we are now officially through the looking glass. As if ramming through confirmation hearings just two weeks after Judge Barrett's nomination and less than three weeks before an election amid a pandemic affecting Committee members wasn't enough of a sham, we are now proceeding to advance her nomination before her hearings have even concluded. Before we even have a chance to ask the nominee all of our questions. … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy At The Conclusion Wednesday Night Of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Testimony

"This unseemly and hypocritical push to ram a Supreme Court nominee through with just days before an election in which millions already have voted is not only an affront to the American people, but it damages the Senate and our courts. Republicans have cleared the Senate's decks - not to work on much-needed COVID relief, but to spend two of the last weeks before the election on this mad rush to swing the balance of the Supreme Court for decades. "This president and Senate Republicans also clea… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Demands Postmaster General Deliver and Install Critical Mail Processing Machine to White River Junction Facility

Senator Bernie Sanders (I), Senator Patrick Leahy (D), and Representative Peter Welch (D) on Tuesday sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy demanding the immediate delivery and installation of the new AFCS 200 cancellation machine at the White River Junction mail processing facility, a machine that is critical to the efficient handling of the mail. In the letter, Leahy, Sanders, and Welch wrote, "While we have been promised for months that a new AFCS 200 cancellation machine will be in… Continue Reading


Reaction To The Decision By The Trump Administration To Grant A Visa To Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo

"Indonesian Minister of Defense Prabowo has been credibly implicated in gross violations of human rights, including kidnapping, torture, and disappearances, and under our law he is ineligible to enter this country. By granting him a visa, the President and Secretary of State have shown once again that for them 'law and order' is an empty slogan that ignores the imperative of justice. The State Department should apply the law and deny him a visa, and the Pentagon should reaffirm its commitment … Continue Reading


Leahy Highlights Health Care Story And Effects Of Supreme Court Overturning ACA In Vermont

WASHINGTON (MONDAY, Oct. 12, 2020) - Just now, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) shared the story of Martha Richards, a Vermonter who is enrolled in the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) expanded Medicaid program. Senators are highlighting the devastating effects of the Supreme Court potentially overturning the ACA in the midst of a global pandemic. The ACA provides insurance for more than 20 million Americans and protections for the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. … Continue Reading


Opening Statement On The Nomination Of Justice Amy Coney Barrett To Be Associate Justice Of The United States Supreme Court

I have served in the Senate for 46 years, a span that includes 20 Supreme Court nominations and 16 confirmation hearings. None - not one - looked anything like this one. We are less than two weeks removed from Justice Ginsburg being laid to rest. It is true that it is the responsibility of this Committee to consider her replacement on the Supreme Court. But this is not how we should do it. We should not have had a nomination ceremony before Justice Ginsburg was even buried, while the nation… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins In Letter To Postmaster General DeJoy Requesting Immediate Action To Address Impacts To Election Mail Delivery Caused By USPS Failure To Update Voter Address Changes

(FRIDAY, Oct. 9, 2020) - On Friday, U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) and Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Ranking Member of HSGAC, led 17 of their Senate colleagues in a letter to Postmaster General DeJoy raising concerns about recent reports that for three weeks in August, the United States Postal Service (USPS) failed to update address changes in the National Change of Address Linkage database (NCOALink), which most state… Continue Reading


Leahy, Booker, Harris Press Chairman Graham Not To Conduct Supreme Court Hearings Without COVID-19 Testing Procedures In Place

(FRIDAY, Oct. 9, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) Friday pressed Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) not to proceed with Supreme Court confirmation hearings next week unless stringent COVID-19 testing procedures are implemented immediately. Pointing out that two Judiciary Committee members have tested positive for COVID-19 and others have thus far refused to be tested, the senators told Graham that without … Continue Reading


Leahy Tests Negative For Covid-19

"Senator Leahy was tested for COVID-19 earlier today since he attended the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, where it is now known that two senators were present who have tested positive for the virus. While he did not come into close contact with these two senators for an extended period of time, he took the test at the advice of the Capitol Physician. The test was negative and Senator Leahy continues to exhibit no symptoms for the virus. "Given the potential exposure of the … Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Democrats to Chairman Graham

(SATURDAY, Oct. 3, 2020) - Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today led all 10 Judiciary Committee Democrats in calling on Chairman Lindsey Graham to delay the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett after President Trump and committee members Senators Mike Lee and Thom Tillis tested positive for the coronavirus. "To proceed at this juncture with a hearing to consider Judge Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court threatens the health … Continue Reading


Statement On The Passage Of The FY 2021 Continuing Resolution

Today the Senate will vote on a continuing resolution to keep the government funded through December 11, 2020. I strongly urge all members to vote aye. The last thing our country needs is a government shutdown in the middle of a global pandemic and an unprecedented economic crisis. The bill we are considering passed the House by a wide margin, a rarity these days in Washington. It provides funding for the government through December 11 at fiscal year 2020 funding levels and under the same te… Continue Reading

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