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Press Releases

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

12.16.19

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy Releases Fiscal Year 2020 Funding Agreement

(MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2019) - The House Monday evening released a $1.4 trillion bipartisan, bicameral agreement to fund the federal government through fiscal year 2020, rejecting the devastating and short sighted cuts proposed by President Trump, and making historic investments in the American people and working families. The agreement took shape late last week when Chairman Shelby, Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairwoman Lowey, and Ranking Member Granger met in Leahy's Capitol office, mirr… Continue Reading


12.09.19

Harris Leads Colleagues in Demand For Stephen Miller’s Removal From The White House

U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) on Monday led 26 of her colleagues in a letter to President Donald J. Trump, demanding the immediate removal of Stephen Miller from his position as a White House senior adviser. The letter follows recent reports detailing over 900 e-mails, sent from Mr. Miller to far-right Breitbart News between 2015 and 2016, which confirm that Mr. Miller worked to advance white supremacist, anti-immigrant ideologies. In the letter, the senators connect the e-mails to spec… Continue Reading


12.06.19

Leahy Hails House Passage Of H.R. 4, The Voting Rights Advancement Act

. . . 'this is a bulwark against voter suppression' (FRIDAY, Dec. 6, 2019) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senate author and champion of the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019 (S.561), praised the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the House version of this landmark legislation (H.R.4) to remedy the Supreme Court's Shelby County decision that decimated the Voting Rights Act. Leahy urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to let the Senate vote on the bill so that it can… Continue Reading


12.05.19

Statement On The Fiftieth Anniversary Of The Inter-American Foundation

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, for fifty years the Inter-American Foundation (IAF) has partnered with grassroots organizations and underserved populations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean to advance U.S. interests by helping to improve the lives of the hemisphere's poorest people, supporting civil society, and strengthening democratic institutions. I want to take this opportunity today, on IAF's 50th anniversary, to comment briefly on the Foundation's accomplishments and on the unique val… Continue Reading


12.05.19

Statement On The The Trump Administration Continuing To Withhold Aid From The American People Of Puerto Rico

It has been 810 days since Hurricane Maria destroyed the homes, businesses and lives of countless American citizens of Puerto Rico, and for 810 days President Trump and his administration have been dragging their feet on delivering aid that the island desperately needs. Implementing appropriations passed by Congress and signed into law is not optional. It is not left to the whims of a President who holds a petty political grudge against the American people of Puerto Rico. Today marks 90 days… Continue Reading


12.05.19

Wyden And Leahy Request Ethics Investigation Of AG Barr’s Approval Of Illegal DEA Mass Surveillance Program

(THURSDAY, Dec. 5, 2019) - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Thursday asked for an ethics investigation of Attorney General William Barr's decision to approve an illegal mass surveillance program by the Drug Enforcement Administration in a letter to the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility. Barr approved the DEA program in 1992, during his first stint as attorney general, without conducting any analysis of whether it was legal, according to an Insp… Continue Reading


11.26.19

Leahy, Whitehouse Query DOJ About President Trump’s Controversial War Crimes Pardons

(TUESDAY, Nov. 26, 2019) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) are asking the Department of Justice's Office of Pardon Attorney what role it played in President Trump's extraordinarily controversial decision to pardon U.S. soldiers charged or convicted with serious war crimes. In light of U.S. military leaders' vocal opposition to President Trump's interventions in these cases, Leahy and Whitehouse are seeking answers about what advice the President received - and fro… Continue Reading


11.26.19

Whitehouse, Leahy Share New Information Implicating Justice Department Official In False Statements

(TUESDAY, Nov. 26, 2019) -- Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) have shared with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Professional Responsibility a Justice Department letter correcting statements by John Gore, former Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division. The Justice Department letter confirms that Gore was not truthful in a sworn declaration in ongoing open records litigation between the Department and a watchdog group. The sena… Continue Reading


11.22.19

Senate Passes Leahy Bill To Formalize National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium, With Norwich University As A Key Training Center

(FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2019) - The U.S. Senate Thursday night passed legislation written and introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) to formally charter a National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium (NCPC), which includes Norwich University. Norwich University is a key player in NCPC, a cooperative effort of universities with expertise in cybersecurity that work with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop and carry out training and other activit… Continue Reading


11.21.19

Statement On Israeli Settlements

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I vividly recall the feeling of optimism that people in this country and around the world felt on that day in Washington in 1993 when Israeli Prime Minister Rabin and PLO Chairman Arafat signed the Oslo Accords. For those too young to remember, the Oslo process began as secret negotiations in Oslo, resulting in the recognition by the PLO of the State of Israel and the recognition by Israel of the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people for the purpose of … Continue Reading


11.21.19

Statement On The Passing Of Jake Burton Carpenter

Marcelle and I join all Vermonters in mourning the loss of Jake Burton Carpenter. Hanging in my office is one of the early, wooden "Burton Boards" that are now so iconic to the sport. Marcelle and I will keep it there as a reminder of Jake's generosity to his employees and his community, which was exemplified by the annual, open celebration he and Donna threw at their own home. It will stand as a reminder of his fierce dedication to address the emerging crisis of climate change and not only w… Continue Reading


11.21.19

Statement On Honduras

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I have spoken previously about the alarming rates of corruption, violent crime, and impunity in Honduras. While Honduras is by no means unique in this regard, it is a serious concern given the challenges it poses not only for the people of Honduras but also for the United States. Every week, my office receives word of another assassination in Honduras of a social leader, environmental activist, indigenous rights activist, journalist, or trade unionist. Rarely does a… Continue Reading


11.21.19

Leahy, Lofgren, Harris And Booker Lead Bicameral Refugee Protection Act of 2019

(THURSDAY, Nov. 21, 2019) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA 19), Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) on Thursday led the bicameral introduction of the Refugee Protection Act of 2019. Building upon previous versions of the Refugee Protection Act introduced by Leahy and Lofgren, the Refugee Protection Act of 2019 is a comprehensive blueprint for restoring and reinvigorating U.S. refugee and asylum systems in response to the Trump admi… Continue Reading


11.21.19

Statement On The One-Month Continuing Resolution

Today, we have before us a continuing resolution to fully fund the federal government through December 20. While I wish this step was not necessary, I urge all members to vote AYE. I am disappointed we have to pass a second continuing resolution. I wish we were further along with our work. It is not for a lack of trying. It is no secret what is holding up negotiations-the President's demand for $8.6 billion more for his vanity wall along the southern border. Despite the fact that he alrea… Continue Reading


11.20.19

Leahy, Collins, Yarmuth, Bacon And Others Reintroduce Bipartisan And Bicameral Bill To Help Runaway And Homeless Youth

(WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2019) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Representatives John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), Don Bacon (R-Neb.), Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.),and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) Wendesday reintroduced the bipartisan Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act. The legislation will reauthorize key federal grant programs to provide states with grants to help thousands of homeless young people nationwide. The landmark Runaway and Homeless Youth Act was firs… Continue Reading


11.20.19

Statement On The United States And Cuba

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, since the onset of the Trump presidency, the White House has issued a steady stream of executive orders to reverse the policy of engagement with Cuba begun by President Obama. Those decisions have largely curtailed travel by law abiding Americans to Cuba who seek to participate in people-to-people exchanges, patronize Cuban private businesses, and otherwise experience Cuban culture. Cuba is the only country in the world to which Americans cannot travel freely, other… Continue Reading


11.19.19

Statement Of Senator Leahy On Ocean Plastic Pollution

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, the world's oceans serve as a crucial carbon sink, a home to hundreds of thousands of known and countless unknown species of marine life, an essential source of protein for billions of people, and a facilitator of billions of dollars in tourism, fishing, shipping, and other economic activity. Today, the oceans, on which life on Earth depends, are under serious threat. Threats from climate change, habitat destruction, illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and … Continue Reading


11.18.19

Statement of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Introduction Of A One-Month Continuing Resolution

Today, Chairwoman Lowey introduced a continuing resolution to fully fund the federal government through December 20. This is a welcome development and will allow us to continue our bipartisan and bicameral negotiations on the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations process. Importantly, this continuing resolution provides the Commerce Department with the necessary funds to carry out the decennial census, provides funds for mobile centers to ensure the census reaches those in the hardest to reach area… Continue Reading


11.14.19

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Reducing Pandemic Risk

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, we do not have to be reminded of the more than 50 million lives lost in the 1918 influenza pandemic, or the many thousands lost in the SARS, Ebola, MERS, and other recent infectious disease outbreaks to recognize that far more must be done to reduce the risk of catastrophic pandemics. Rather than waiting until disease outbreaks occur, then scrambling at great expense for two or three years or however long it takes to develop a vaccine while countless people die, we ne… Continue Reading


11.14.19

Members Of Northern New England Congressional Delegations Call On Customs And Border Patrol To Disclose Criteria & Effectiveness Of Highway Checkpoints

() - Yesterday, Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) sent a letter to the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) with Representatives Chris Pappas (D-NH1), Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH2), Peter Welch (D-VT At-Large) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME1), calling on the agency to provide information on the use of temporary highway checkpoints in northern New England over the past year. In the letter addressed to Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan, the gr… Continue Reading

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