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


Senators Leahy, Murray, and Peters Ask Government Accountability Office (GAO) For Review of Border Patrol Checkpoints

(TUESDAY, Aug. 20, 2019) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) on Tuesday requested that the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) conduct a comprehensive review of the Border Patrol's use of interior immigration checkpoints as part of their border security mission and their compliance with the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects the right of Americans to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreas… Continue Reading


Senators Schumer And Leahy Call On President Trump To Fully Withdraw $5 Billion Budget Request For Expensive, Ineffective Border Wall, Instead Use Requested Funds For Other Pressing Needs, Such As Proven Initiatives To Address Threat Of Gun Violence And White Supremacist Extremism

Senators Schumer And Leahy Send Letter To President Trump Requesting That He Fully Withdraw His DHS Budget Request For Border Wall Funding And Instead Use Requested Funds, In Part, To Address The Threat Of Gun Violence And White Supremacist Extremism In America The Senators' Letter Comes Amid Continued Calls From The American People For Greater Investment In Addressing Threat Of Gun Violence And Follows FBI Director Wray's Call For More Resources To Protect Americans From Rising Threat Of Domes… Continue Reading


Statement On International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

Today, on the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, we celebrate the unique contributions and achievements of the world's indigenous peoples and reaffirm our commitment to advancing their rights and supporting their struggles both at home and around the world. Indigenous peoples live in over 90 countries and represent some 5,000 distinct cultures. Their contributions to the global community are incalculable.They are guardians of the world's biological diversity and stewards of th… Continue Reading


Vermont Receives $6.6 Million Through Leahy-Created National Centers Program To Address Rural Addiction

BURLINGTON, Vt. (THURSDAY, Aug. 8, 2019) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Thursday announced that the University of Vermont is receiving $6.6 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration's Rural Communities Opioid Response Program for Rural Centers of Excellence on Substance Use Disorders. Drawing on the groundbreaking work being done at the University of Vermont and the UVM… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins Senator Blumenthal And Four Others In Demanding That FDA Direct Sunscreen Makers To Clearly And Accurately Inform Consumers About Their Products

(WEDNESDAY, Aug. 7, 2019) -- In a letter on Wednesday, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) joined Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and four other senators in calling on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to swiftly implement new regulations requiring that non-prescription, commercially-available sunscreens are safe, effective, and labeled clearly and accurately. Although experts agree that sunscreen is vital to protect skin from the sun's potentially harmful UV rays, the sunscreen industry has… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Situation in Honduras

Anyone who follows the situation in Honduras, as I and many Vermonters do, cannot help but be disappointed and concerned by what is happening there. I won't take the time to discuss in detail the lengthy litany of circumstances that have resulted in the deep social and political divisions, the rampant corruption, violence and insecurity, the prevalence of threats and assassinations by gangs, the dysfunctional justice system, and the sense of desperation and hopelessness that so many Hondurans a… Continue Reading


REAX of Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Senate Passage Of The Bipartisan Budget Agreement

Today, Congress once again rejected the shortsighted, reckless cuts proposed by the Trump Administration for the entire non-military side of the federal budget, in favor of a bipartisan budget agreement that will allow us to make responsible investments here at home in our communities and bring a final end to the devastating policy of sequestration. In the coming weeks, the Appropriations Committee will use this agreement to build upon the 2018 bipartisan budget agreement, and direct new resou… Continue Reading


Statement On Senate Republicans Breaking Committee Rules to Advance Partisan Trump Immigration Bill

August 1, 2019 Having served on this Committee for over 40 years, half of which as its chairman or ranking member, I think I can say with some authority that the Senate Judiciary Committee is not what it used to be. It's never been perfect; we've always had our fair share of disagreements. But even as this Committee has considered controversial legislation, and been host to passionate debate, it has always respected the rights of the minority. It is true that over the last 40 years this Commit… Continue Reading


Leahy, Collins And Durbin Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation To Combat Illegal Straw Purchasing And Firearms Trafficking

(WEDNESDAY, July 31, 2019) - U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Wednesday introduced legislation to close loopholes that criminals exploit to obtain firearms through straw purchasing and firearms trafficking. The Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2019 would, for the first time, make it an explicit federal crime to act as a straw purchaser of firearms. And it would create tough penalties for anyone who transfers a firearm with rea… Continue Reading



U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Cory Booker (D-NJ), all members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today introduced legislation to immediately ban the use of the death penalty by the federal government. The legislation comes after Attorney General (AG) William Barr's announcement that federal executions will resume for the first time in more than 16 years. While there have been only three federal executions in the last five decades, AG Barr has ordered the Federal B… Continue Reading


Leahy Renews Call For FIFA To Provide Pay Equity For Female Soccer Athletes

(TUESDAY, July 30, 2019) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday introduced a Senate Resolution calling on the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to immediately eliminate gender-based pay discrimination between male and female athletes. Leahy first introduced the resolution in 2015 following the U.S. Women's National Team's historic win in the Women's World Cup. The team repeated the feat earlier this year. "Equal pay for equal work shouldn't be a p… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Freedom for Americans to Travel to Cuba Act of 2019 Congressional Record

Mr. LEAHY. Today I am introducing, along with 45 Democratic and Republican cosponsors, the Freedom for Americans to Travel to Cuba Act of 2019. Identical legislation is being introduced today by Representatives Jim McGovern and Tom Emmer in the House. We are introducing this bill for one reason: so Americans can travel to Cuba in the same way that they can travel to every other country in the world except North Korea, to which President Trump banned travel by executive order. Based on my conv… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Passing Of Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, Of Cuba

"I will never forget my very first meeting with Cardinal Ortega in Havana, because Marcelle and I recognized immediately that this was a man of the highest integrity, of immeasurable devotion to the humanitarian mission of the Catholic Church and to his country, and of unwavering determination to improve the lives of the Cuban people. Cardinal Ortega and I met many times, and I valued enormously his friendship and guidance. I asked Cardinal Ortega to seek Pope Francis' support for reconciliati… Continue Reading


Leahy To Introduce Bill To Restore Americans’ Freedom To Travel To Cuba

(THURSDAY, July 25, 2019) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, joined by 45 Senate cosponsors, on Monday, July 29th, will introduce the Freedom for Americans to Travel to Cuba Act of 2019. The bill would eliminate restrictions on travel to Cuba by American citizens and legal residents. Identical legislation is being introduced today in the House by Representatives Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Tom Emmer (R-Minn.). Specifically, the bipartisan le… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders And Welch Announce $3 Million Federal Grant For Electric Buses And Charging Stations In Vermont’s Upper Valley

(WEDNESDAY, July 24, 2019) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced that the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) will receive a $3 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to purchase electric buses and charging stations to be used in Vermont's Upper Valley. They had written last year to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in support of the grant. The new federally funded electric b… Continue Reading


Grassley, Leahy, Cornyn And Feinstein Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Reinforce Transparency In Wake Of The Supreme Court’s FOIA Decision And Recent Regulations

(WEDNESDAY, July 24, 2019) -- Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), along with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), late Tuesday introduced the Open and Responsive Government Act (S. 2220), to reverse recent developments that undermine the public's right to access information and hold government accountable. The legislation would restore a longstanding legal interpretation of the Freedom of Information Act's (FOIA) exemption regarding confide… Continue Reading


Leahy Leads Judiciary Committee Democrats In Forcefully Condemning Proposal To Zero Out Refugee Admissions

(TUESDAY, July 23, 2019) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday led all Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee - the Senate committee of jurisdiction over all refugee and immigration laws - in forcefully condemning a proposal reportedly being considered by Trump administration officials to dramatically reduce - or worse, eliminate - annual refugee admissions, which have already plummeted to historic lows under President Trump. The Judiciary Committee Democrats reiterated the longstanding b… Continue Reading


REAX of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) To the Bipartisan Budget Agreement Reached Between Congress and The President

A budget is where we set our priorities as a nation, and President Trump's annual budget proposals have shown time and again that his administration's priority is to slash investments here at home for American families and pour money into an ineffective wall along our Southern Border. Today's bipartisan budget agreement once again rejects the shortsighted priorities of the Trump administration for the real priorities of the American people. This agreement will build upon the 2018 bipartisan bu… Continue Reading


Senators Leahy, Grassley, Feinstein, And Cornyn Raise Concerns About EPA’s FOIA Rule

(MONDAY, July 22, 2019) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and John Cornyn (R-Texas) - all senior members of the Senate Judiciary Committee with exclusive jurisdiction over the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) - sent a bipartisan letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler raising serious concerns with the EPA's recent "FOIA Regulations Update" final rule, asking him to reconsider the rule or provide sufficien… Continue Reading


Vermont Receives $98,918 To Connect Schools And Local Farms Under Leahy-Authored Farm To School Program

(FRIDAY, July 19, 2019) - A program long championed by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will invest $98,918 in bolstering efforts to bring local agriculture into the classrooms and cafeterias of Vermont schools. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced Farm to School grants to connect child nutrition programs with local farmers. Leahy said: "Tying local agriculture to our schools not only provides our children with healthy meals and improved nutrition, it encourages a long standing … Continue Reading

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