Press Room

Press Releases

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


Statement On Coronavirus

Since first emerging in Wuhan, China on December 31st, the outbreak of a new coronavirus, COVID-19 ("novel coronavirus"), has spread to 25 countries, infected more than 44,000 people, caused at least 1,100 deaths, forced entire cities into lockdown, triggered hundreds of international flight cancelations, restricted hundreds of Americans to U.S. military bases in a federal government quarantine, and caused significant economic harm to countries and businesses around the globe. All this in only … Continue Reading


Leahy, Carper, And Others Introduce The Clean Economy Act Of 2020

(TUESDAY, Feb. 11, 2020) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday joined Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) and other senators in introducing the Clean Economy Act of 2020, to empower the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set a national goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2050. The bill would also promote American competitiveness and healthier communities, while fostering a fair and growing economy. The Clean Economy Act also requires the EPA to set interim national g… Continue Reading


Statement On President Trump's Budget Proposal

For the fourth year in a row, President Trump has sent Congress a reckless and cynical budget proposal that is divorced from reality and, if implemented, would do more harm than good. The President continues his attack on affordable health care, proposing cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, which millions of American's rely on to ensure they can see a doctor when they need one. He proposes to eliminate programs that support and invest in the middle class and our economy, including education, infras… Continue Reading


Comment On The Political Crisis In El Salvador

The political crisis in El Salvador, in which the security forces have been deployed to intimidate the National Assembly, is reminiscent of the days when political disputes were settled with threats and violence. That cannot be condoned today, especially by a government that wants to be a partner of the United States. # # # # #… Continue Reading


Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, Leahy And Others Press Trump Administration To Fully Fund Pandemic Preparedness And Response Efforts

(FRIDAY, Feb. 7, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and three other senators Friday urged the Trump Administration to fully fund pandemic preparedness and response efforts in light of the global Coronavirus outbreak, which has infected tens of thousands of individuals and killed more than 500 worldwide. Also sending the request were U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Patty Murray (D-WA) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ). Leahy is the Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, and Peters, Murray an… Continue Reading


Comment On The President’s Remarks At The White House

Following his acquittal, President Clinton addressed the nation from the Rose Garden and apologized for the "great burden" his actions placed on the country. In stark contrast, today President Trump held a White House campaign rally and was entirely unrepentant. Sadly, the only lesson he's learned is how almost the entire Senate Republican Caucus let him get away with misconduct, even when the evidence overwhelmingly proves that he abused his office and then tried to hide it from the American p… Continue Reading


Rendering Of A Verdict In Trial Of President Donald J. Trump

I entered the Senate in the wake of Watergate in 1975, a time when the American people's faith in our institutions 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 abuses that had occurred at the hands of the executive branch's intelligence ag… Continue Reading


Statement On Impeachment Trial Witnesses

The question before us is incredibly serious, but it is also more than a little absurd. We are sitting as a court, exercising the sole power to try impeachments, entrusted to us by the Framers. The President of the United States has been charged with high crimes - a constitutional charge of abuse of power that includes in its text each of the elements of criminal bribery. The President's lawyers have complained all week about the absence of sworn testimony from officials with first-hand knowled… Continue Reading


Statement On On The Trump Administration’s Decision To Roll Back Limits On U.S. Production And Use Of Anti-Personnel Landmines

"The President's decision to roll back the policy on anti-personnel landmines is as perplexing as it is disappointing, and reflexive, and unwise. As far as I know, Congress was not consulted about this decision, despite requests to be consulted. "The policy that has been in place, limiting the use of this inherently indiscriminate weapon to the Korean Peninsula, was the culmination of nearly 30 years of incremental steps, taken by both Democratic and Republican administrations after extensive… Continue Reading


Statement On Reports That The Trump Administration Plans To Roll Back Limits On U.S. Production And Use Of Anti-Personnel Landmines

"Reports that the White House intends to roll back the policy on anti-personnel landmines are of great concern. As far as I am aware, no Member of Congress has been consulted about this imminent announcement. I have today asked the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to hold off on any decision until we have an opportunity to discuss it. "The current policy, limiting the use of this inherently indiscriminate weapon to the Korean Peninsula, is the culmination of near… Continue Reading


President Trump’s Dangerous Pattern Of Slashing Global Health Programs

President Trump's reckless policy of slash-and-burn budgeting has consistently proposed devastating cuts to programs meant to prevent the outbreak and contain the spread of infectious diseases like the Wuhan Coronavirus (2019 Novel Coronavirus). Bipartisan coalitions in Congress have rejected these cuts and increased investments in global and domestic health programs. Global Health Programs Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development global health programs support a wid… Continue Reading


Statement On Imprisonment Of Loujain al-Hathloul

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I've spoken repeatedly about the unlawful imprisonment and abuse of human rights activists by the Saudi government, which continue despite promises of reform by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. In fact, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the botched cover-up and sham investigation, and the ongoing, systematic repression of Saudi activists have only served to confirm what we already knew, which is that the Crown Prince is no reformer, but instead a ruthless autocrat intim… Continue Reading


Statement On The United States and the Philippines

Mr. LEAHY. I want to take a few moments to discuss an issue that has garnered some attention in recent months, which is our relations with the Government of the Philippines, including President Duterte's counter-drug strategy and his government's treatment of those who have openly criticized that strategy. It is important to first recount the long history of friendship and strategic cooperation between the United States and the Philippines. Family and cultural ties that extend back many gener… Continue Reading


Reaction To President Trump’s Middle East ‘Deal Of The Century’

"The one-sided Middle East plan that the President has announced is a striking example of President Trump's familiar playbook of delusional hyperbole over reality. After years of empty promises while systematically dismantling decades of bipartisan U.S. policy in order to benefit only one party, it is farcical to call something a 'deal' and impose it on the other party knowing it will be rejected. It is a plan that would diminish the prospects for peaceful coexistence, while damaging our count… Continue Reading


Comments On The Passing Of Jim Lehrer

Jim Lehrer was a model and a mentor to so many. He represented journalism at its best. In an era in which pressures in our culture and politics have intensified that are defining down civility, decency and even veracity, he was a truth seeker who never wavered in embracing and honoring the time-honored journalistic standards that have never been more important to our nation. Marcelle and I were among his many admirers, and we are fortunate also to have known him as a friend. Our thoughts tod… Continue Reading


Reaction To The Refusal Of The Government Of Honduras To Extend The Mandate Of The Mission To Support The Fight Against Corruption And Impunity In Honduras

"The decision by President Hernandez, an unindicted co-conspirator in the U.S. prosecution of his brother for drug trafficking, to end the MACCIH, is the latest evidence that he is not serious about stopping the corruption that permeates his government from top to bottom. The question now is whether the Trump Administration continues to turn a blind eye, caring only that President Hernandez has agreed for his violent, impoverished country to be a so-called 'third country safe haven' for Central… Continue Reading


Leahy, Durbin, Reed And Schatz Demand Answers On Reports That President Trump Intends To Raid $7.2 Billion From The Military And Military Families For His Wall

(FRIDAY, January 17, 2020) - Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Ranking Member Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) Friday released their letter to Department of Defense (DoD) Secretary Mark Esper demanding answers on r… Continue Reading


Van Hollen And Leahy Urge Trump To Sanction Those Responsible For The Wrongful Detention And Death Of American Citizen In Egypt

(THURSDAY, Jan. 16, 2020) -- U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday wrote to President Trump urging him to immediately sanction the Egyptian government officials responsible for the wrongful detention and death of Mustafa Kassem, an American citizen. The letter follows the Senators' work to secure language with the FY 2020 Appropriations bill requiring the Secretary of State to deny U.S. visas to foreign officials involved in the wrongful imprisonment of U.S. c… Continue Reading


Statement On the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement

Today, the Senate considers the "new NAFTA" - a bill now reviewed by seven Senate Committees on which more than 85 Senators serve. Surely the vote count is clear: this implementing legislation will be adopted today, and sent to the President. In Vermont, that will mean important wins for our state's economy, and in particular, our dairy farmers. I will support this bill. Vermont is a border state, and the commercial and cultural exchanges with Canada are woven into the fabric of the state. Ve… Continue Reading


Statement On GAO Ruling The Trump Administration Violated The Impoundment Control Act By Withholding Aid to Ukraine

The GAO opinion is forceful and it is unambiguous: When President Trump froze congressionally appropriated military aid to Ukraine, he did so in violation of the law and the Constitution. The Constitution grants the power of the purse to Congress, not the President. Congress chose to provide military assistance to an ally which is literally under attack by Russia, and the law required that aid to be delivered. But instead of executing the law and standing with our ally, the President withhel… Continue Reading

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