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Press Releases

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


Murphy, Leahy, Cardin, Raise Alarms Over Erosion Of Press Freedom In Ethiopia, Call For Immediate Release Of All Detained Journalists

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), on Wednesday urged Ethiopia to immediately release all detained journalists and return to a more democratic path. In a letter to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the senators specifically raise alarms over the recent erosion of press freedom, which stands in contrast to the beginning of his premiership, and call on the country… Continue Reading


Klobuchar, Leahy, And Colleagues Demand Answers From The State Department About Move To Designate Cuba A State Sponsor Of Terrorism

On Friday January 8, 2021, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Tina Smith (D-MN) sent a letter to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo expressing concern over reports that the Trump Administration's would designate Cuba a state sponsor of terrorism without formal consultation and review by Congress. The Senators also asked the State Department to … Continue Reading


In New Letter, Schumer, Murray, Leahy And Sanders Demand Trump Administration Immediately Address Significant COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Failures

Schumer, Murray, Leahy, Sanders And Senate Democrats Demand Trump Administration Provide Resources, Funding And Guidance To State, Local, Tribal, And Territorial Governments In Order To Efficiently Distribute And Administer Vaccines To People Across The Country In New Letter, Schumer, Murray, Leahy And Sanders Say Trump Administration Must Act Quickly To Address The Significant Failures Of The COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution And Work To Combat Health Inequities WASHINGTON (MONDAY, Jan. 11. 202… Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To Secretary Of State Pompeo’s Announcement That State Department Is Redesignating Cuba As A State Sponsor Of Terrorism

"This blatantly politicized designation makes a mockery of what had been a credible, objective measure of a foreign government's active support for terrorism. Nothing remotely like that exists here. In fact, domestic terrorism in the United States poses a far greater threat to Americans than Cuba does. Secretary Pompeo has self-righteously defended Donald Trump's worst foreign policy failures, and on his way out the door he seems intent on making things as difficult as possible for his succes… Continue Reading


Statement On The Law Enforcement Response To Wednesday's Tragic Events

Yesterday, the very heart of our democracy was laid under siege. I am grateful to the men and women in law enforcement who defended the people's house from this violent and lawless mob. However, there were clearly systematic failures, and this breach should have never happened. There are many questions we must answer. In the coming days the Appropriations Committee will be investigating yesterday's tragic events. # # # #… Continue Reading


The Chilling Assault On Our Constitutional Republic

January 6, 2021, will forever mark a day of infamy for our nation. It will be remembered because our beloved Capitol building - the very heart of our democracy - was stormed and laid under siege. Rioters broke through windows, doors, and security barriers in both the Senate and House wings of the Capitol, assaulting Capitol Police officers, leaving a wake of destruction, and forcing me and other Members of Congress to temporarily delay fulfilling our constitutional duty to certify the presiden… Continue Reading


Statement On The Capitol Riots And Republicans’ Attempt To Overturn The Election

January 6, 2021, will forever mark a historic day for our nation. Not simply because our beloved Capitol building - the very heart of our democracy - laid under siege. Not simply because rioters stormed the Senate and House floors, assaulting Capitol Police officers and leaving a wake of destruction along the way. Not simply because the President of the United States encouraged his supporters to commit these felonies - to march to the Capitol and "to fight," in his words. No, today will also… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Riot At The U.S. Capitol

The criminals who injured people, defiled the Nation's Capitol, and destroyed thousands of dollars' worth of property should be prosecuted for their felonies. And Senators tonight should and are reconvening without delay to resume the electoral count. President Trump doesn't want to accept defeat, so he instead promotes delusional conspiracy theories and encourages felonies. But the Senate has a job to do. We must protect the Constitution and prepare for the new President. It's the Americ… Continue Reading


Vermont’s Congressional Delegation To Recognize Vermont U.S. Service Academy Nominees On Wednesday, December 30, 2020, Video Livestream

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, and U.S. Representative Peter Welch on Wednesday evening recognized 28 young Vermonters who received nominations to the United States Service Academies, Class of 2025. Each year the Vermont delegation hosts a reception at the Vermont State House for the nominees. However, for everyone's safety, this year's ceremony was held virtually. The names of this year's nominees, selected by Leahy, Sanders, and Welch through a competitive vetting pr… Continue Reading


Sanders, Leahy, Welch Applaud Dam-Repair Funding For Vermont

, Dec. 22 - Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced that legislation passed by Congress last night will fund critical water infrastructure projects, including three aging flood-control dams. The Vermont delegation also announced that the state of Vermont has signed an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to make much-needed repairs to the Waterbury Dam. The project will begin in early 2021, using $40 million in federal funding s… Continue Reading


Daines, Leahy Bipartisan Bill Promoting Affordable Health Insurance Passes Senate, Heads to President’s Desk

U.S. SENATE - U.S. Senators Steve Daines (Mont.) and Patrick Leahy (Vt.) announced that their bipartisan bill promoting access to affordable health care by increasing transparency and enhancing consumer protections in the health insurance passed the U.S. Senate and will be headed to the President's desk to be signed into law. The "Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act" will ensure that health insurance issuers are subject to the same federal antitrust laws prohibiting unfair trade practices, s… Continue Reading


Merkley, Colleagues Push 22 Financial Services Companies to Prioritize American Health, Safety, Economic Security by Not Insuring Arctic Drilling

Oregon's U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley teamed up with U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) to press executives of 22 financial services companies to not insure any oil and gas developments in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, citing significant financial risk, catastrophic damage to one of the world's most delicate ecosystems, and the acceleration of climate chaos. The senators' letters-which were sen… Continue Reading


Appropriations Vice Chair Leahy Announces **VERMONT HIGHLIGHTS** Of Govt. Funding Bill

(MONDAY, Dec. 21, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday evening announced key Vermont highlights of the bipartisan agreement to fund the government for the remainder of fiscal year 2021, which includes the COVID relief package to provide relief to the thousands of Vermonters suffering during an unprecedented health and economic crisis. As the Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Leahy secured several key priorities for Vermont in the fiscal year 2021 spending package. T… Continue Reading


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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