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


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


Udall, Senators Tell Trump Administration: Stop Playing Politics with the U.S. Postal Service

In thinly-veiled attempt to retaliate against perceived critics like Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos, President Trump recently threatened not to approve the loan unless package rates were raised by an exorbitant amount The hardworking men and women of the USPS working the front lines, keeping our society and economy functioning during the COVID-19 pandemic don't deserve to be political pawns WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) led a group of 29 senators… Continue Reading


Van Hollen, Colleagues Urge Trump to Immediately Use DPA to Manufacture PPE, COVID-19 Testing Supplies

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) led eight of his Senate colleagues in a letter to President Donald J. Trump urging him to expand his use of Title III of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to dramatically increase domestic production capacity for personal protective equipment (PPE) and COVID-19 testing supplies. In Maryland, the state is still lacking over 2 million requested surgical masks, over 1.8 million requested N-95 masks, and over 52,000 requested swabs. "An analysis by Harv… Continue Reading


Leahy and McGovern Lead 107 Members Of Congress In Opposing Trump Reversal On Landmines, And Pressing For Answers To Their Detailed Questions

(WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) Wednesday headed a congressional oversight letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper expressing opposition to the Trump Administration's reversal of the policy limiting the use of antipersonnel landmines to the defense of South Korea, and seeking answers to questions on the justification for the reversal and future plans. In a letter signed by Leahy, McGovern and 107 other members of the Senate and the Hou… Continue Reading


Leahy And McGovern Lead Members Of Congress In Pressing Pompeo And Mnuchin To Confirm That U.S. Policy Does Not Preclude Shipments Of Medical Equipment To Cuba To Combat COVID-19

(TUESDAY, May 5, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) Tuesday headed a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to confirm that U.S. policy does not preclude companies and humanitarians from providing essential medical equipment, food, and information to the people of Cuba to combat COVID-19. In a letter signed by Leahy, McGovern and 25 members of the Senate and the House, they note that it is "dangerous and contrary to our … Continue Reading


Leahy, Grassley, Feinstein And Cornyn Pursue FOIA Compliance During Pandemic

(MONDAY, May 4, 2020) - U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and John Cornyn (R-Texas), are pressing for information about the federal government's ability to respond to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and otherwise comply with FOIA in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a letter to the Justice Department's Office of Information Policy (OIP), the senators, all members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, noted reports of decrease… Continue Reading


Brown, Bennet, Durbin, Wyden Lead Letter Calling For Tax Credit Expansion To Help Working Families During Coronoavirus Economic Downturn

Expansion Would Put Money in Pockets of Working Americans, Provide Badly-Needed Financial Resources as the COVID- 19 Economic Downturn Continues Into Next Year WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) led a group of 39 senators in a letter to Senate Leaders calling for a temporary expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) in the next coronavirus relief package. As the econom… Continue Reading


Brown, Collins, Stabenow Urge USDA To Target Relief To Local Farmers In Finalized Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

Senators are Following up on Their Initial Request and Urging USDA to Ensure Provisions for Local Food Producers are Specifically Included in the Newly Created Coronavirus Food Assistance Program WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) led a group of bipartisan senators in urging the USDA to target COVID-19 relief provisions to reach local farmers in the new Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). USDA created CFAP to administer reli… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Urges Secretary Mnuchin and Administrator Carranza to Clarify PPP Loan Forgiveness for Small Businesses

Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I), and Representative Peter Welch (D) on Wednesday sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Carranza urging them to provide clear and official guidance about the loan forgiveness provisions in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In the letter, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said: "We encourage Treasury and the SBA to act now to avoid more confusion for small business owners and lende… Continue Reading


Comment On The U.S. House of Representatives' Lawsuit Against The Trump Administration For Redirecting Billions Meant For Military Families Toward The President's Wall

Today the D.C. Court of Appeals is hearing arguments in the U.S. House of Representatives' lawsuit against the Trump administration for hijacking billions of congressionally appropriated dollars to benefit military families and redirecting them to build President Trump's wall. The House's central argument - that Congress, and Congress alone, possesses the power of the purse - doesn't require any esoteric interpretation of the Constitution; it simply requires a reading of its plain text. While … Continue Reading

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