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Press Releases

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

05.17.18

Senator Patrick Leahy Announces He Will Vote No On The Haspel/CIA Nomination

The Senate has often been called the world's greatest deliberative body - where we can thoroughly and respectfully debate weighty matters regardless of pressures imposed by any given moment. While we do not always live up to this ideal, it is one for which we should always strive. The Constitution entrusts us with the task of serving as a check against the Executive Branch, providing our advice and - if appropriate - our consent to the Executive's nominees to lead our government's most critical… Continue Reading


05.17.18

Leahy Comment On The FDA's Naming Of Drug Firms That Are Blocking Competition That Would Lead To Lower-Cost Generic Prescription Drugs

"More transparency, by FDA and others, is helpful to spotlight the abusive and anti-competitive tactics that we know some brand name drug companies use to block competition. Understanding the problem is the first step, but acting on it is the vital next step. With billions of dollars at stake, a database alone will not stop this behavior. Nor can years of litigation through antitrust suits. The good news is that Congress has a bipartisan and carefully crafted solution, ready to go, to end th… Continue Reading


05.16.18

Leahy Statement On Consideration Of S.J.Res. 52 To Restore Net Neutrality

Millions of Americans were outraged last year when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal the strong and enforceable net neutrality rules that were adopted in 2015. As a supporter of a free and open internet, I share the public's outrage over the loss of these critical protections, which is why I am voting in favor of this resolution to restore the previous rules. By repealing net neutrality rules, the FCC and its supporters in Congress have achieved little more than to pl… Continue Reading


05.16.18

Leahy Statement On FY 19 Funding Request Hearing With EPA Administrator Pruitt

Thank you Chairman Murkowski and Ranking Member Udall. This is an important hearing to review the budget request for the Environmental Protection Agency. With this reckless and unrealistic budget, the Trump administration continues to show its clear contempt for bedrock environmental safeguards and for the work of the EPA to monitor, protect, and conserve our environment and the health of all Americans. Attacks on the core mission and role of the EPA are attacks on human health. The work of … Continue Reading


05.15.18

Leahy Floor Statement On President Trump's Rescission Proposal

Mr. President, three months ago, Republicans and Democrats came together and reached a bipartisan budget agreement. We reached an agreement to lift the budget caps, provide relief from sequestration and make responsible, new investments in the American people over the next two years. The President signed this agreement into law. Now the President proposed and House Republicans have drawn up a proposal to claw back vital funding for children's health care, rural communities, infrastructure pr… Continue Reading


05.14.18

Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To The Violence In Gaza

"The deadly violence in Gaza is the predictable result of multiple factors from both sides, and made worse by a White House that has destroyed hope of the U.S. acting as an honest broker for peace for the foreseeable future. "The vast majority of inhabitants of Gaza are victims, abused by Hamas and confined by Israel, living in miserable conditions that breed resentment and hopelessness. "There is little doubt that the leaders of Hamas have shamelessly encouraged the protesters, many of th… Continue Reading


05.11.18

BREAKING: REAX From Appropriations Vice Chair Patrick Leahy To The President’s Drug Pricing Announcement

"The President has made some bold promises about reducing the price of prescription drugs, but unfortunately we've seen little in the way of action. Today's announcement was more of the same - a flurry of soothing words and wheel spinning, and no willingness or courage to take on price gouging and anti-competitive behavior by the giant drug firms. Incredibly, he again passed up the opportunity to support our bipartisan CREATES Act, which truly would cut prescription drug costs. The Congressio… Continue Reading


05.11.18

The International Commission Against Impunity In Guatemala Deserves Strong Support

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt. and Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee), responding to questions about U.S. funding for the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG): "Anyone who believes in justice supports CICIG." "CICIG is an absolutely essential institution that has shown itself to be able to crack through the layers of corruption in the Guatemalan justice system." "Velasquez is a person of great integrity, a very reputable, accomplished jurist. The … Continue Reading


05.11.18

Leahy Joins Hatch And Other Senators To Introduce Major Music Reform Package

Today, US Senator Patrick Leahy joined Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and a bipartisan group of Senators including Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chris Coons (D-DE), John Kennedy (R-LA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Bob Corker (R-TN), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Doug Jones (D-AL), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Bill Nelson (D-FL) David Perdue (R-GA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced a major music reform package. … Continue Reading


05.10.18

Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy Statement On The FY 19 Funding Request For The U.S. Department Of The Interior

Thank you, Chairman Murkowski and Ranking Member Udall. Secretary Zinke, we expressed our concerns to you last year when the President proposed to eliminate or reduce critical programs in the FY18 budget. You reportedly said to your own staff that you were "not happy" about the budget proposed by the White House, which proposed a 12 percent overall cut to the Interior Department. Now, you are in charge and have requested a 19 percent reduction compared to the FY18 enacted level, taking an axe… Continue Reading


05.09.18

Judiciary Committee Democrats Call On President To Withdraw Controversial Justice Dept. Nominee Tied To Russian Bank

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats are calling on President Trump to withdraw his controversial nomination of Brian Benczkowski to lead the Department of Justice's Criminal Division. Mr. Benczkowski represented Alfa Bank, a massive private commercial bank in Russia closely allied with President Vladimir Putin and his government, and has refused to pledge to recuse himself from Russia-related matters if confirmed. With new revelations coming to light about Russia's interference in U.S. ele… Continue Reading


05.09.18

Leahy, On Signing The Petition To Force A Senate Vote On The Resolution To Restore Net Neutrality Rules

"Vermonters have spoken loudly and clearly. They want a free and open Internet that is an equal platform for all. Vermonters, Vermont businesses and Vermont libraries underscored that in the Judiciary Committee hearing I held in Vermont. I am proud to be part of this effort that will force a vote to restore the FCC's 2015 net neutrality rules. Restoring strong net neutrality rules shouldn't be a partisan issue. Everyone benefits from an Internet that is free from corporate control and discr… Continue Reading


05.08.18

Senate Floor Remarks Of Sen. Patrick Leahy On Abandonment Of The Senate’s Blue Slip Tradition In Judicial Confirmations

As the longest-serving member of the Senate - and a former chairman of the Judiciary Committee - I feel obligated to speak up about the steady erosion of the norms and traditions that protect the Senate's unique constitutional role. This week we are witnessing a further degradation of the once-respected role of the "blue slip" in the judicial confirmation process. Partisans who value only political expediency have argued that blue slips are archaic remnants, or mere slips of paper. But blue s… Continue Reading


05.08.18

Leahy Opening Statement At DHS Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing To Review 2019 DHS Budget

Secretary Nielsen - you are here to defend the Department of Homeland Security's budget request. This budget request is a reflection of the Trump administration's priorities for your agency. And it is those priorities that I want to discuss with you today, and whether they are supported by the facts. Within days of taking office, the President attempted to make good on his Muslim ban pledge by ordering a travel ban on citizens of certain Muslim majority countries. He did this despite a consen… Continue Reading


05.08.18

Senior Democrats To President Trump: Don't Abandon Iran Nuclear Agreement

Senator Patrick Leahy joined Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and a coalition of 11 Senate ranking members calling on President Trump to not unilaterally abandon the Iran nuclear agreement. "We have supported broad, comprehensive sanctions to target Iran's support for terror groups, its ballistic missile program, and its human rights violations, and continue to support strong measures to counter these destabilizing and troubling actions by Iran," the senators wrote. "All of us st… Continue Reading


05.08.18

Blumenthal, Leahy, Durbin, Whitehouse Seek Assurances Special Counsel Investigation Is Protected From Unauthorized Disclosure to Giuliani

Four members of the Senate Judiciary Committee - U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Patrick Leahy, Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) - wrote Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray today to request information on any changes in procedure or personnel implemented by the FBI in response to unauthorized disclosures made to former Mayor Rudy Giuliani during the 2016 election. The senators raise the issue as Giuliani continues to speak publicly a… Continue Reading


05.01.18

Leahy Announces More Than $16 M. In Affordable Housing And Community Development Funds For Vermont

Senator Patrick Leahy announced Tuesday that Vermont will receive more than $16 million in new affordable housing and community development funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and NeighborWorks America. Earlier this year, as Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Leahy successfully negotiated a bipartisan deal to lift the budget caps on discretionary funding to allow Congress to fund the nation's domestic priorities, including significant incre… Continue Reading


04.27.18

Leahy And Rubio Ask AG Sessions For Information About China’s Abuse Of Interpol To Coerce Chinese Dissidents

(FRIDAY, April 27, 2018) -- U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) have led a bipartisan group of Senators in asking U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to provide information regarding recent reports of Chinese authorities abusing Interpol red notices to harass dissidents living abroad and threaten suspects' family members who remain in China in an attempt to compel their return. The full text of their letter is below: Dear Attorney General Sessions: Recent reporting in… Continue Reading


04.27.18

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Passing Of Former Governor Phil Hoff

Marcelle and I are saddened by the passing of a great Vermonter and a true leader. But we are proud of and grateful to Phil Hoff for all he has done for our state and all of its people. He and his family are in our thoughts and in our prayers. Any summary of Phil Hoff's life is an exercise in superlatives. He was a visionary, a trailblazer, a reformer and a transformative influence in both Vermont and on the national stage. He was an example of political courage to so many of us. Even his Kenne… Continue Reading


04.26.18

Leahy Statement On The Nomination Of Mike Pompeo To Be Secretary Of State

Mr. President, I did not vote for Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State. Although Mr. Tillerson was a successful corporate executive, I did not believe that heading the world's largest oil company was the right resume for the Nation's top diplomat. Mr. Tillerson is a man of substantial intellect who wanted to do the right thing, but his record as Secretary of State speaks for itself. He did not do well, and the country, the State Department, and its employees - including some of our most exp… Continue Reading

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