Press Room

Press Releases

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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