Press Room

Press Releases

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


Examining Best Practices For Incarceration And Detention During COVID-19

I am glad to see the Senate Judiciary Committee finally holding an oversight hearing related to the pandemic engulfing our nation and the world. For weeks, this Committee squandered precious time on unrelated subjects and hearings - including one for a judicial seat that isn't even vacant until September. In those weeks, thousands of Americans died. Today this Committee is fulfilling its duty to conduct oversight of the Trump administration's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic as it impacts immig… Continue Reading


Further Comments On The Murder Of George Floyd

Marcelle and I were shocked, we were outraged, and we were saddened by the murder of George Floyd while in official custody. Everyone involved must be held accountable. Sadly this tragic death explicitly shows how far our society still has go to achieve racial, social, and economic equality. These chronic, ongoing injustices make painfully clear why advancing criminal justice and law enforcement reforms has been a priority of mine for decades in the Senate and on the Judiciary Committee. And… Continue Reading


Comment On The President’s Announcement Friday Afternoon About The World Health Organization

"In a global pandemic that in 100 days has killed more Americans than died in Vietnam and Korea and is predicted to kill thousands more, we need every weapon in our arsenal. Now is the worst possible time to withdraw from the World Health Organization, which coordinates the coronavirus response and which the world depends on for expertise on everything from deadly respiratory infections to polio. Its experts include many respected U.S. scientists. Even after restricting flights from China whi… Continue Reading


Leahy And Grassley Urge Supreme Court To Continue Transparency After Pandemic

(FRIDAY, May 29, 2020) -- Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) are pressing the U.S. Supreme Court to make permanent the live audio access to oral arguments it has adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they further asked the Court to allow live video coverage of its proceedings. Leahy and Grassley also noted that the vast majority of Americans support audio and video access to our nation's justice system. "Given this widespread support for access to our nation's highe… Continue Reading


Leahy Is Part Of A Group Of Bipartisan Lawmakers Calling On Administration To Ensure Benefits To Guard Members Earned On COVID-19 Front Lines

FRIDAY, May 22, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is among a bipartisan group of 125 Senate and House lawmakers who Friday sent a letter to President Trump, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Peter Gaynor, calling on the administration to ensure National Guard personnel who are serving on the front lines of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) response efforts across the nation receive the federal benefits they have earned. Leahy… Continue Reading


Leahy, Schumer And Reed Press For Answers On Semiconductor Announcement

(WEDNESDAY, May 20, 2020) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has been joined by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) in sending an oversight letter to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper in support of developing the ability to produce advanced microelectronics in the United States, and asking for answers from the Administration about any U.S. Government incentives offered to Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC) to announce opening a semiconductor f… Continue Reading


DHS Inspector General to Examine ICE Detention Facility COVID-19 Policies and Practices

Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) released a letter announcing that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General (IG) will conduct a review of U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement's (ICE) efforts to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in its facilities. Following reports that ICE detention facilities with confirmed cases of COVID-19 were operating without processes to protect both staff and detainees such as providing protective gear, ensuring detainees have acces… Continue Reading


Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Leahy REAX On House Passage Of The Heroes Act

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed more than 86,000 lives in our country. More than 36 million people have filed for unemployment, and at 14.7 percent the unemployment rate is the highest it has been since the Great Depression. And yet, Leader McConnell claims there is no urgency to act. I strongly disagree. House Democrats have put forward a strong proposal that provides assistance to struggling families, supports state and local governments, funds a responsible testing program, and recog… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch And Scott: Vermont To Receive $55 Million For COVID-19 Testing Efforts

(FRIDAY, May 15, 2020) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I), Representative Peter Welch (D), and Governor Phil Scott (R) Friday announced that the State of Vermont will receive $55,078,471 from the federal government to support COVID-19 testing, including $3.9 million in funding specifically to support testing at community health centers throughout the state. The funds are a part of the $25 billion for COVID-19 testing funding and strategy included in the Paycheck Protection… Continue Reading


Leahy And Merkley Call On USDA To Speed Food And Farm Assistance Out The Door

(Friday, May 15, 2020) - Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Agriculture, Rural Development, Food And Drug Administration, And Related Agencies Ranking Member Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) Friday released a letter to United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue calling on the Department to increase its efforts to speed funding for food aid appropriated by Congress out the door and to those in need. Congress appropriated $36 billion to the Department… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On the Lee-Leahy Amendment to USA FREEDOM

I entered the Senate in the wake of Watergate in 1975, a time when the American people's faith in our institutions, including our intelligence agencies, was profoundly shaken. The very first vote I cast was in favor of creating the Select Committee to Study Government Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans - that is, the Church Committee. Through that Committee's work, the American public soon learned of years of surveillance and other abuses that had oc… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Sends Letter Urging USDA Secretary Perdue To Do More For Dairy Farmers

Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D), co-chair of the Congressional Dairy Farmer Caucus, on Wednesday led a letter to Secretary Sonny Perdue urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to do more to support dairy farmers facing an economic crisis due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Leahy is Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the most senior member of the Agriculture Committee. They point out that cratering dema… Continue Reading


Manchin, Romney, Leahy, Gardner, Wyden Bill To Extend PPL Loan Deadline From 8 To 16 Weeks

U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Deadline Extension Adjustment for Loans (DEAL) Act. The PPP DEAL Act will extend the loan forgiveness period from 8 to 16 weeks and amend the rehire date from June 30th to 16 weeks after the PPP loan is awarded. Additional information on the PPP DEAL Act can be found here. "Small businesses across the country have borne the brunt … Continue Reading


Senate Democrats Back Stronger Ethics Guidance for Judges

"[A] litigant need fear no force of influence in an American courtroom. The draft opinion is an important step in the right direction." Washington, DC - Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) led colleagues in writing to the federal courts' Committee on the Codes of Conduct in support of the Committee's draft guidance that would bar judges from membership in the Federalist Society and American Constitution Society-two ideological outside groups. Jo… Continue Reading


A Heads Up For THIS WEEK (& a Leahy-Lee WashPost Op-Ed, On Their Reforms To The FISA Surveillance Law)

This week (debate and votes expected to begin WEDNESDAY), the Senate will vote on reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) proposed by Senator Leahy and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah). By agreement, the Leahy-Lee Amendment is one of five amendments that will receive a vote. The current FISA surveillance authorities under the USA FREEDOM Act (authored earlier by Leahy and Lee,) recently expired. The House has passed its reform proposals, but the Senate hasn't yet acted (other tha… Continue Reading


Leahy, Tester Urge FEMA To Increase Efforts To Deliver Food To Those In Need

(MONDAY, May 11, 2020) - Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee On Homeland Security Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) Monday released a letter to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Peter Gaynor urging the agency to increase its efforts to deliver food aid to those in need. The CARES Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act collectively appropriated $850 million to help stock food banks across… Continue Reading


Casey Leads Bipartisan Push to Expand Delivery for SNAP Recipients During Pandemic

Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), led a bipartisan group of his colleagues in calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to immediately work to ensure SNAP participants can receive home food delivery and curbside pickup during the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, Casey urged the USDA to address this problem after his office received a phone call from a constituent who cannot safely leave home to travel to the grocery store, yet was denied home delivery as a SNAP recipient. In the lett… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch And Scott Announce Two Vermont Contracts For New Food Box Delivery Program

(FRIDAY, May 8, 2020) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I), Representative Peter Welch (D), and Governor Phil Scott (R) Friday announced that two Vermont-based entities, the Abbey Group and Willing Hands, have been awarded contracts by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to serve Vermonters through the Farmers to Families Food Box Program. The new federal program partners with regional and local producers to purchase fresh produce, dairy, and meat for distribution to food-ins… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders And Welch Welcome Additional Small-Business Support For Vermont Farmers, Encourage USDA To Do More For Vermont Agriculture

(FRIDAY, May 8, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I), and Representative Peter Welch (D) Friday issued the following statement to inform farmers and agribusinesses of newly available assistance from the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program is now available to farm businesses in addition to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): "After our continued efforts to secure federal support for farms, the SBA has finally open… Continue Reading


Support Grows for Repeal of GOP Tax Scam Slipped into Vital COVID Relief Legislation

24 Senate cosponsors, 52 House cosponsors, and chorus of key groups throw weight behind repeal of millionaire giveaway AFSCME's Lee Saunders, AFT's Randi Weingarten, Americans for Tax Fairness's Frank Clemente, Coalition on Human Needs' Deborah Weinstein, ITEP's Amy Hanauer, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice's Sr. Simone Campbell, and Patriotic Millionaires' Morris Pearl issue statements in support Washington, DC - Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) and Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)… Continue Reading

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