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Press Releases

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


Shaheen Leads Appropriations Subcommittee Democrats’ Call for GAO Assessment of Census Count

() - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the Ranking Member of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations subcommittee which is charged with funding the Census Bureau and Census operations, led a letter signed by all the Democrats on the panel calling for the Government Accountability Office to thoroughly assess and compile a report on the "completeness and quality" of the 2020 Census. Shaheen's letter, signed by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jac… Continue Reading


Statement On Guatemala’s Constitutional Court

"Democracy cannot survive without an independent judiciary. In Guatemala, like many countries, courts are susceptible to political interference and to pressure from criminal organizations. That is how a culture of lawlessness takes root. Corruption, threats, violence, and impunity become a way of life. It is the responsibility of the executive, the legislature, and civil society to protect the independence of the courts, including the process for selecting impartial, qualified magistrates. … Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders And Welch Welcome $2.1 M. In CARES Act Investments To Capitalize Revolving Loan Funds To Help Small Businesses Across Vermont In Responding To The Pandemic

(THURSDAY, Aug.13, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) Friday welcomed the award of $2.1 million in federal CARES Act funds to capitalize and administer Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) that will provide critical gap financing to small businesses and entrepreneurs adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic across Vermont. The grants are administered by the Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA). Leahy sa… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins Bipartisan Push To Extend Congress’s Deadline For Submitting Final Census Information

(TUESDAY, Aug. 11, 2020) - U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai'i) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) today led a group of 48 bipartisan senators in calling for the extension of the statutory deadlines for the delivery of apportionment data and redistricting files following the 2020 Census. The senators urged House and Senate leaders to include the extension in the upcoming COVID-19 relief package. "Extending the deadlines for the delivery of these files in the next COVID-19 relief package will ensur… Continue Reading


Leahy Leads 33 Other Senators In Pressing The White House To Restore Full Funding For National Guard’s COVID-19 Response

(MONDAY, Aug. 10, 2020) -- Thirty-four U.S. Senators led by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) are asking President Trump to restore full funding to states for the National Guard forces responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week the President reduced FEMA reimbursement for National Guard units from 100 percent to 75 percent, with no explanation, and with the unexplained exception of Florida and Texas. Since March, National Guard units in every state and territory have supported response to he… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins Bipartisan Letter To Urge Defense Dept. And VA To Restore Full Education Benefits For Guard Members And Reservists

(MONDAY, Aug. 10, 2020) - Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.) today announced that the Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD) will work with the Department of Veterans Affairs to enable members of the Guard and Reserve to concurrently use Federal Tuition Assistance and GI Bill benefits to fund their education, similar to active duty servicemembers. This achieves the goals of Hoeven and Boozman's bill, the Montgomery GI Bill Parity Act, which Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and K… Continue Reading


REAX Of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) To President Trump’s Coronavirus Executive Orders

The President wants to reopen schools, but opposes funding for schools to make them safe. The President thinks the virus will just disappear, but opposes funding for testing and tracing. The President promises that vaccines will be available by November, but opposes funding for vaccine development, distribution, and to make the vaccine affordable to everyone. The President says that the virus "is what it is," but he opposes funding for hospitals and other health care providers to support the … Continue Reading


Vermont Receives $2 M. Through Leahy-Created Program Targeting Rural Addiction

(FRIDAY, Aug. 7, 2020) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Friday announced that the Central Vermont Medical Center Inc. in Berlin, Vt., and Connecticut Valley Addiction Recovery Inc. in Windsor, Vt., are each receiving federal grants of $1 million to target rural addiction challenges. The grants are from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration's Rural Communities Opioid Response (RCORP) P… Continue Reading


Leahy Hails Boost To Vermont Water Quality Funding

(THURSDAY, Aug. 6, 2020) - Vermont's ongoing efforts to address water quality received another significant boost Thursday as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a new initiative to address New England water quality and wildlife habitat work on a regional scale. The creation of a new Critical Conservation Area (CCA) within USDA's Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), will allow Vermont to partner with other New England states on large-scale conservation projects. Lea… Continue Reading


Leahy Introduces The Federal Employee Access To Information Act To Protect Federal Employees From Retaliation For Filing FOIA Requests

(TUESDAY, Aug. 4, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), along with Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney and Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, introduced the Federal Employee Access to Information Act to ensure that federal employees are able to use the nation's premier transparency law, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), without reprisal. FOIA helps expose government wrongdoing and abuses, and Leahy believes that federal employees must be free to use FOIA in the same way as other citizens. This legislation w… Continue Reading


Hassan, Collins, 34 Colleagues Push for Support of School Meal Programs Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME), and 34 of their colleagues are urging the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to continue critical flexibilities that have allowed students to access much-needed meals throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. If extended throughout the 2020-2021 school year, children would maintain access regardless of school opening status, and struggling school nutrition programs would benefit from additional financial relief. "The COVID-19 pandemi… Continue Reading


Statement On The Republican COVID-19 Proposal And The Cost Of Continued Inaction

It was 75 days ago today, the Democratic-led House passed the HEROES Act -- a comprehensive and bold bill to address the very real needs facing this country as we struggle to contain the coronavirus. For 75 days, Democrats have pressed Republican leadership to take up the HEROES Act in the Senate, and for 75 days we have been told no. For 75 days we watched the virus spread and the death toll rise as President Trump stood by denying the severity of the crisis, attacking the science, and assur… Continue Reading


REAX Of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy To The Inadequate McConnell/Trump COVID-19 Proposal

Since Democrats united around the Heroes Act, and it passed the House on May 15, President Trump and Republican Leadership opted for a "wait-and-see" approach, because they did not feel a "sense of urgency." Well they waited, and the American people have seen the results of their delay. In that time, confirmed cases in the United States have more than doubled and 56,000 more Americans are now dead. It is now clear that over the last 73 days while thousands more became infected and died, an… Continue Reading


Leahy Leads Judiciary Committee Democrats In Pressing Chairman Graham For Committee Action On The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

(MONDAY, July 27, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) led all Senate Judiciary Democrats in a letter pressing Chairman Lindsey Graham to expeditiously hold a hearing and markup on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (S. 4263) - a bipartisan bill with 48 Senate cosponsors to restore the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act that John Lewis risked his life to secure. With the late John Lewis lying in state within the Capitol Rotunda, Leahy and Judiciary Committee Democrats urged Chairman Gr… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces That USCIS Is Postponing Furloughs Of 13,000 Public Servants, Including 1,109 In Vermont

(FRIDAY, July 24, 2019) - Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday announced the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agreed to postpone its scheduled furlough of more than 13,000 public servants through Aug. 31. The action affects 1,109 Vermonters who earlier had received furlough notices effective Aug. 3. The announcement came after Leahy pressed the organization to reverse course on its intended furloughs after he made public the fact that new … Continue Reading


Statement On The Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act

The National Defense Authorization Act sets policies and priorities for the Department of Defense. The Appropriations Committee determines which of those priorities are actually funded. This year the Senate has approved an authorization bill that will support our troops, their families, and their missions. I am particularly pleased that it continues support for a project I have worked on many years to heal the wounds of the Vietnam War with an authorization for a partnership with the Vietname… Continue Reading


Harris, 17 Senators Demand Answers on Federal Law Enforcement Presence in American Cities

U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), member of the United States Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and 17 Senators, sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan, and Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Matthew Albence demanding answers about the use of federal law enforcement against protestors expressing their constitutional First Amendment rights. "Over the… Continue Reading


Leahy Leads 47 Senators In Introducing The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

(WEDNESDAY, July 22, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a senior member and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Wednesday led 47 other senators in introducing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, a bipartisan bill to restore the landmark Voting Rights Act, end the scourge of minority voter suppression, and help preserve the legacy of John Lewis - one of America's greatest civil rights heroes. In 2013, the Supreme Court's Shelby County v. Holder decision gutted critic… Continue Reading


Leahy And Lee Demand Answers From Trump Administration On Potentially Unauthorized And Illegal Mass Surveillance Programs

(TUESDAY, July 21, 2020) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) wrote to Attorney General William Barr and Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Tuesday, demanding information on whether and how the Trump administration has halted mass surveillance programs authorized by now-expired Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) provisions under the USA FREEDOM Act. The senators also demanded information on whether the administration is conducting surveillance that b… Continue Reading


Statement On Ocean Plastics

Mr. Chairman, this is an extremely important issue and we have excellent witnesses here to discuss it. Senator Whitehouse and I were in Vietnam last year where we met with Vietnamese officials and scientists to discuss ocean plastic pollution, which is a serious problem for that country with a 2,000 mile coastline. We - and by that I mean human beings - are causing potentially irreparable harm to the oceans and marine wildlife, which are the primary source of protein for billions of the world… Continue Reading

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