Press Room

Press Releases

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

12.21.20

Statement On FY 2021 Omnibus Appropriations Bills And COVID Relief Package

After months of delay and painstaking negotiation, this afternoon we will have before us a spending package that includes all 12 appropriations bills for fiscal year 2021, and a vitally important COVID relief package. It provides funding for programs that are critically important to the American people, and I urge its swift passage. We are already 2 months and 20 days into the fiscal year. We cannot delay further. As Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, I worked hard to reach agree… Continue Reading


12.21.20

Vice Chairman Leahy Releases Fiscal Year 2021 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

(Monday, Dec. 21, 2020) - Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday released the $1.4 trillion fiscal year 2021 Omnibus Appropriations bill. Leahy said: "This agreement is the product of weeks of hard work and compromise. This is not the bill I would have written on my own. It includes things I support and things I oppose. But on balance, passage of this bill is unquestionably in the interest of the American people, and both the House and the Senate should ac… Continue Reading


12.19.20

Statement On Attorney General William Barr And The Future Of The Department Of Justice Senate Floor

As William Barr's second tenure as Attorney General is coming to an end, it is important for the Senate to reflect upon his legacy, and upon the challenges now facing the Department of Justice. The Office of Attorney General fills a unique role within our system of government. Created by the Judiciary Act of 1789, an Attorney General is not a traditional member of the President's cabinet. As Supreme Court Justice James Iredell observed in 1792, the position "is not called the Attorney General… Continue Reading


12.16.20

Patents For Humanity Legislation, Championed By Leahy And Grassley, Passes Senate Unanimously And Heads To President’s Desk For Signature

(WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16, 2020) -- The Patents for Humanity Program Improvement Act, authored and long championed by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), passed the Senate unanimously on Tuesday night. This 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 me… Continue Reading


12.11.20

Statement On The FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report

Mr. President, the Senate has before it today the result of a compromise. The conference report that will result in the adoption of the National Defense Authorization Act- NDAA-for fiscal year 2021 is neither the bill the Senate approved, nor the one the House passed. I am pleased that this conference report cures many of the problems that led to my vote to oppose the Senate bill. Specifically, the conference report is void of the authority for funds to support testing of a new nuclear device, w… Continue Reading


12.10.20

Klobuchar, Leahy Introduce Jamal Khashoggi Press Freedom Accountability Act

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced legislation to ensure governments that commit human rights against journalists abuses are held accountable by the United States. It is widely believed that Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist and resident of the U.S., was murdered in Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul under orders from the Saudi government because of his writings in opposition to Saudi government policies. To help protect journalists across the w… Continue Reading


12.10.20

Murphy, Leahy, Menendez, Van Hollen, Wyden Statement On Sentencing Of Walid Fitaihi In Saudi Arabia

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), along with U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), on Thursday released the following statement on the sentencing of an American citizen, Walid Fitaihi, in Saudi Arabia: "We are appalled that Walid Fitaihi has been sentenced to six years in prison by a Saudi court on politically motivated charges. We have repeatedly called for the release of Dr. Fitaihi since his arrest in 2017, and suppor… Continue Reading


12.09.20

Statement On House Passage Of A One Week Continuing Resolution

I am glad that the House passed a one week continuing resolution that will allow us the time we need to complete our work on full year appropriations bills, and I urge the Senate to take up and pass it as soon as possible. We cannot - and will not - allow government funding to lapse in the midst of an unprecedented health and economic crisis. Chairwoman Lowey, Ranking Member Granger, Chairman Shelby, myself, and our staff, have been tirelessly working through the nights and the weekend to reac… Continue Reading


12.08.20

House Passes Antitrust Whistleblower Protections Authored by Grassley, Leahy

(Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020) - The U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday passed legislation by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) granting protections to whistleblowers who shine a light on violations of antitrust laws. The Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act, which unanimously passed the Senate last year, must now be signed by the President to become law. "Competition is essential for a thriving, affordable and innovative marketplace. When our antitrust laws are violated, c… Continue Reading


12.07.20

Statement On The Urgent Need For COVID Relief

It's been 321 days since the first COVID-19 case was reported in the United States. It's been 282 days since the first COVID-19 death was reported in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the unemployment rate in November was 6.7 percent, nearly double the rate in November of last year. Hundreds of thousands of small businesses across the country have closed, permanently, due to COVID. As of today, there are more than 14.8 million reported cases of COVID-19 in the Un… Continue Reading


12.06.20

Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To The National Academies Of Science’s Report, “Assessment Of Illness In U.S. Government Employees And Their Families At Overseas Embassies”

This report, long awaited, was finally released because I and other Members of Congress insisted that the public, and especially the families of those afflicted, be able to read it. I thank the members of the NAS Standing Committee for the considerable time and effort they devoted to this vexing issue. Their report leads to several conclusions, including: Several Members of Congress, among others, who rushed to judgment when these illnesses were first reported and publicly accused the Cuban … Continue Reading


12.03.20

Leahy, Sanders And Welch Encourage Vermont Dairy Farmers To Enroll In Safety-Net Program Ahead Of Friday, Dec. 11, Deadline

(THURSDAY, Dec. 3, 2020) -- Vermont's congressional delegation - Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I), and Representative Peter Welch (D) - are encouraging Vermont dairy farmers to consider enrolling in the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program, a voluntary safety net program created in the 2018 Farm Bill to help producers manage volatile milk prices and feed costs. The enrollment period for 2021 closes on Friday, December 11. In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders, and Welch said… Continue Reading


12.01.20

Leahy Is Among Bipartisan Group Of Members Of Congress To File Supreme Court Amicus Brief In Support Of Human Trafficking Victims

(TUESDAY, Dec. 1, 2020) - U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and U.S. Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) led a bipartisan group of 21 members of Congress, including Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), in filing an amicus brief supporting victims of human trafficking in their case against two corporations - Nestlé USA and Cargill - alleged to have knowingly aided and abetted the abuse of child slaves trafficked to work on cacao farms in Côte d'Ivoire. The Supreme Court heard oral argume… Continue Reading


11.16.20

Statement On The Eighteenth Meeting Of States Parties To The Mine Ban Treaty

I remember the sense of hope I felt on September 26, 1994, when President Bill Clinton, in a speech at the United Nations, called for ridding the world of anti-personnel landmines. It was heralded as a bold challenge by the world's only military superpower in response to the increasing global outrage about the carnage these inherently indiscriminate weapons were causing in dozens of countries, including landmines left by our own soldiers in wars long past. In furtherance of that goal, Presiden… Continue Reading


11.13.20

Leahy And Others Ask Trump Administration To Suspend All Federal Executions During Transition Period

In less than three months, Trump Administration executed seven people - more than the total number executed over the previous six decades; DOJ has scheduled another execution for November 19, and two more in December 2020. Leahy, Durbin, and Booker last year also introduced legislation to ban the use of the federal death penalty. (FRIDAY, Nov. 13, 2020) -- U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Cory Booker (D-NJ), along with U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-07), … Continue Reading


11.10.20

Comment On The Release Of The FY 2021 Senate Appropriations Bills

Today, Chairman Shelby released draft bills and explanatory statements for each of the twelve FY 2021 appropriations bills. Chairman Shelby and I agree on the importance of completing our work on the twelve bills before the continuing resolution expires on December 11. I am very disappointed that the majority chose to cancel Committee mark ups of the FY 2021 bills and that the bills were not considered by the full Senate, eliminating the ability of members to offer amendments. This is an imp… Continue Reading


11.06.20

The Thin Red, White And Blue Line: Thanks To The Election Workers Who Are Showing The Resilience Of Our Democracy

The 2020 presidential election may be nearing an end but it is not yet over, and it will be months before we know the final results of some U.S. Senate races. But at a time of heightened divisiveness and disillusionment in our country, and in the midst of a worsening public health crisis unlike any the world has faced in more than 100 years, we should all take pride in the way that the thousands of poll workers, vote counters, and state officials have conducted themselves over these long days a… Continue Reading


10.30.20

Leahy: Vermont’s DREAM Program Receives $1.25 Million To Mentor Youth Affected By Opioid and Drug Addiction

(FRIDAY, Oct. 30, 2020) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday announced that Vermont's DREAM program will receive a three-year, $1.25 million grant from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to support peer mentoring for elementary-aged youths in rural communities whose lives have been affected by the opioid epidemic. This is the second such award made to Vermont mentoring programs since Leahy, as Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, worked to expand the program's eligibility to in… Continue Reading


10.29.20

Bipartisan DUE PROCESS Act By Leahy And Others Aims To Protect Americans From Asset Forfeiture Abuse

(THURSDAY, Oct. 29, 2020) - A bipartisan group of senators this week introduced legislation to protect property owners whose assets are seized by the federal government. The DUE PROCESS Act is sponsored by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) - all members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "Asset forfeiture laws are important and valuable tools for law enforcement to gain control over assets used to further terrorism and the… Continue Reading


10.25.20

Statement On Confirmation Vote Of To Be Justice Amy Barrett "The Masks Are Off"

Just four weeks ago members of the Senate gathered just down the hallway in Statuary Hall. We gathered to honor Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first woman to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol. Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer, a woman who may have stood at just over five feet tall but was nonetheless a giant of the law. The nation grieved for her, not simply because she was a brilliant lawyer and justice, but because she was a fighter. And she fought for those who needed fighting for most… Continue Reading

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