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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Leahy, Feinstein, And Other Senators Introduce House-Passed Violence Against Women Act

(Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and others on Wednesday led all 47 Democratic senators in introducing the Senate companion to the House-passed Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. They called on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to bring VAWA renewal legislation to the Senate Floor. The bill, whose chief sponsor is Feinstein, would reauthorize VAWA through 2024, preserves advancements made i… Continue Reading


Statement On The Supreme Court Argument To Decide Future Of America's Dreamers

Today the Supreme Court heard arguments in one of the most consequential immigration cases in modern American history. The future of more than 700,000 DACA recipients - our nation's Dreamers - hangs in the balance. And their fate is inherently intertwined with the fate of the American Dream itself. Dreamers, by definition, are law-abiding immigrants brought to the United States as children - through no choice of their own - now simply seeking the chance to contribute to the only country they … Continue Reading


Sens. Tillis And Leahy And Reps. Roby And Jeffries Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation Supporting Art Students

Today, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Representatives Martha Roby (R-AL-2) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-8) introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation that directs the Register of Copyrights to waive the copyright registration fee for winners of the Congressional Art Competition and the Congressional App Competition. Currently, the Register of Copyrights, Karen Temple, does not have the authority to waive the registration fee. Both of these competitions, sponsored and le… Continue Reading


Leahy And Grassley Reintroduce Patents For Humanity Act

(THURSDAY, Nov. 7, 2019) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Thursday reintroduced the Patents for Humanity Act of 2019. Their 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 meet global humanitarian challenges. Winners of the program receive a certific… Continue Reading


Remarks on Opposing Steven Menashi Nominee to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit

Whether senators on this Committee agree that a nominee is extreme or within the mainstream, whether a nominee is well-qualified or woefully unprepared for a lifetime judgeship, I think we all agree that every nominee should be willing to answer our most basic questions. If a nominee refuses, and that nominee is nonetheless rewarded with confirmation, our constitutional role to provide advice and consent to is rendered meaningless. Steven Menashi failed this test. And he failed it repeatedly.… Continue Reading


Statement On Hearing Of The Senate Judiciary Committee On “Reauthorizing the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015"

This is an important hearing and I am grateful that Chairman Graham agreed to my and Senator Lee's request to hold it. I remain proud of our successful efforts in 2015 to pass the USA FREEDOM Act. This law was the first major overhaul of government surveillance powers in decades. It added significant privacy protections for the American people. Now we have the opportunity to assess, learn from, and respond to what has happened over the past four years. So what have we learned? We know that… Continue Reading


Harris And Leahy Lead Judiciary Democrats Urging Briefing Following President Trump’s Alarming FY2020 Refugee Presidential Determination

(WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6, 2019) - Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday led all Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan, in which they urgently request a briefing to understand the potentially devastating consequences of President Trump's Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2020 - the lowest refugee admissions cap in the hist… Continue Reading


Statement On President Trump’s Withdrawal From The Paris Climate Agreement

Today, President Trump formally notified the United Nations that the United States is withdrawing from the Paris Agreement on climate change - an agreement that the United States played an instrumental role in negotiating. This decision is nothing more than the fulfillment of a cynical and reckless campaign promise made for the sole purpose of currying favor with the fossil fuel industry. It comes in the wake of the latest National Climate Assessment, by our country's top scientists, which was… Continue Reading


Isakson, Blumenthal, Leahy Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Recognizing 40th Anniversary of Iran Hostage Crisis

ATLANTA - In advance of the 40th anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis, U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., introduced a bipartisan resolution recognizing today, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, as a national day of remembrance. "The victims of the Iran hostage crisis were treated brutally, and their suffering and sacrifice should be remembered," said Isakson. "Similarly, this resolution and our continued efforts on behalf of the victims are an impo… Continue Reading


Statement on International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists

Nearly one year ago, speaking about the dangers facing journalists who are harassed, threatened, and killed for simply doing their job, I said I was more concerned than ever before about the state of press freedom around the world, including in our own country. You can read that statement here. As we commemorate International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on November 2nd, while reflecting on the hundreds of journalists who have been killed in retaliation for their work, I … Continue Reading


Senate Passes Leahy, Collins, Brown, And Perdue ‘National Farm To School Month’ Resolution

(FRIDAY, Nov. 1, 2019) - The Senate Thursday night approved a resolution sponsored by Senator Leahy (D-Vt.) and cosponsored by Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Senator David Perdue (R-Ga.), to designate October as National Farm to School Month. Farm to School programs across the country increase access to local foods in schools, which helps enhance food education for children while also boosting economic opportunities for farmers. Led again by Leahy, in June… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces $8.8 Million in Federal Funding To Support Victim Services Throughout Vermont

(THURSDAY, Oct. 31, 2019) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday that Vermont organizations will receive 10 grants totaling nearly $8.8 million from the U.S. Department of Justice to support crime victims and strengthen services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. The announcement comes as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month draws to a close. Leahy worked to introduce a Senate resolution this week "expressing the sense of the Senate that Congress should contin… Continue Reading

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