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


Leahy To Host Delegation Tele-Town Hall Update On The Coronavirus In Vermont

WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2020 - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will be hosting the third Vermont Congressional Delegation tele-town hall on Thursday, at 5 p.m., to provide an update on the coronavirus response and take questions from Vermonters. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.), and Governor Phil Scott (R) will be participating, along with experts from around the state. As Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Leahy played a leading role in negotiat… Continue Reading


Comment On Senate Passage Of The Coronavirus Aid Package 3.5

I am glad Congress was able to reach bipartisan agreement on an interim bill to help small businesses that have been devastated by this crisis, and to provide aid to hospitals and improve testing capability for COVID-19. Now is not the time to let up. We cannot be led to believe that our work here is done. There are important changes that still need to be made to ensure the SBA programs work for our restaurants, small inns and hotels, and others that are waiting to reopen. Still others are w… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy And Representative Peter Welch On The Proposal To Close Or Consolidate Vermont State Colleges

Vermont's state colleges have provided Vermonters with access to higher education and helped to build the Vermont workforce for the past 60 years. They are an essential part of our post-secondary system and the economic drivers of rural regions around the state. Community members, students and faculty have reached out to us over the last several days worried about the future of their education, jobs and towns. We share their concerns. The proposal in front of the Vermont State College System… Continue Reading


Leahy Presses Trump Administration To Release Any Secret Justification For Trump’s Unprecedented Claim Of “Total Authority” During Pandemic

(TUESDAY, April 21, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday wrote to Attorney General Barr and White House Counsel Cippolone asking them to release to Congress copies of any documents produced by the Department of Justice and the White House Counsel's Office articulating the legal basis, if any exists, for President Trump and Vice President Pence's sweeping claims of "total" authority to override states' independent responses to the COVID-19 crisis. Policies of previous administrations ro… Continue Reading


Leahy And Other Senate Democrats Urge Trump Administration To Protect Food Supply And Essential Workers During COVID-19 Crisis

(MONDAY, April 20, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is among 36 Democratic senators, led by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, urging Vice President Mike Pence and other members of the Trump Administration to take action to help ensure the safety of the nation's food supply and protect essential workers in the food supply chain. Leahy, a leading member of the Agriculture Committee, is a former Chairman of … Continue Reading


Leahy And Lankford Urge State Department And DHS To Exercise Discretion And Grant Relief To Vulnerable Refugees And Special Immigrant Visa Holders

(THURSDAY, April 16, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) are urging Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf to exercise discretion and automatically extend the validity periods of critical documents for refugees and Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders approved for resettlement in the United States until COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted. They emphasized that this small, reasonable measur… Continue Reading


REAX Of Appropriations Vice Chair Patrick Leahy On Being Appointed To President Trump’s Council To Reopen America

If the President is genuinely reaching out to listen to candid and diverse views on a decision that will profoundly affect millions of Americans for years to come, I look forward to sharing my views. They will be candid, and he knows if I disagree, I will tell him. Decisions affecting the public health of the American people must reflect the economic distress and sacrifices that are being borne in communities across Vermont and the nation. And to succeed, they must be based on facts and medic… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch Announce More Than $9 Million In Grants To Support Vermont’s Airports

(WEDNESDAY, April 15, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders, (I-Vt.), and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced $9,020,115 in grants to support 10 Vermont airports during the COVID-19 crisis. The funds are part of $10 billion in federal assistance for airports included in the CARES Act that was passed by Congress and signed into law last month. As Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Leahy played a leading role in securing the funding f… Continue Reading


Comment On President Trump’s Slashing Of U.S. Contributions To The World Health Organization Amid The Global COVID-19 Pandemic

"Withholding funds for WHO in the midst of the worst pandemic in a century makes as much sense as cutting off ammunition to an ally as the enemy closes in. The White House knows that it grossly mishandled this crisis from the beginning, ignoring multiple warnings and squandering valuable time, dismissing medical science, comparing COVID 19 to the common cold, and saying 'everything will be fine'. Even after restricting flights from China which the President likes to brag about after praising C… Continue Reading


Leahy And Stabenow Lead Letter Urging USDA To Take Immediate Action To Support Dairy Farmers

(MONDAY, April 13, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the most senior member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), the Committee's Ranking Member, on Monday led 23 other senators in sending a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue urging immediate action to support the nation's dairy farmers and stabilize dairy markets amid the sharp decline caused by COVID-19. The health emergency's impact on dairy prices has alre… Continue Reading


Brown, Murkowski, Stabenow, Bipartisan Senators Press USDA To Provide Relief For Local Farmers During COVID-19 Pandemic

Senators also Urging USDA to Conduct Outreach for Underserved Farmers, Establish a National Hotline to Manage Incoming Producer Inquiries and Simplify the Application Process WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Lisa Murkowski (R-AL), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) led a bipartisan group of senators in urging the Trump Administration to provide relief for local farmers who are struggling as the nation works to combat the spread of COVID-19. In a letter sent to U.S. Department of Agricu… Continue Reading


Brown, Senate Dems Urge Regulators to End Attempts to Weaken the Community Reinvestment Act

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs today led 42 Senate Democrats in calling for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to rescind their Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) proposed rule, which would weaken this critical civil rights law. In their letter to regulators, the Senators called for the FDIC and OCC to listen to the input of community organizatio… Continue Reading


Klobuchar, Schneider, Colleagues Urge Administration to Increase Number of Doctors in Rural and Other Medically Underserved Areas

In a letter to USCIS Acting Director Cuccinelli, Klobuchar, Schneider, and colleagues call on USCIS to address its administrative needs without sacrificing access to health care in underserved areas during a pandemic WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Representative Brad Schneider (D-IL-10) along with colleagues in both the House and the Senate, wrote to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) urging the Administration to resume premium processing for physicians seekin… Continue Reading


Comments On Senator Bernie Sanders’ Decision To Suspend His Campaign

Bernie has been a strong voice on behalf of working people across America. His strong personal feelings came through as he announced the suspension of his campaign. My fellow Vermonters have long known what so many others have seen: a consistent advocate for health care for all, for economic justice, and for a democracy that remains in the hands of the American people as it should and not in the hands of a few. He is my partner in the Senate, and my friend of decades. I look forward to conti… Continue Reading


Comment On The President’s Remarks About The World Health Organization

"The World Health Organization does need reform, just as it needs the strong support of the United States and other countries in order to do its job. But such complaints also apply to President Trump, who ignored numerous warnings, downplayed the threat, discounted medical science and squandered valuable time that could have saved countless lives. He continues to shamelessly and relentlessly try to shift responsibility for his disastrous response to the coronavirus to anyone and everyone excep… Continue Reading


Leahy Leads Judiciary Committee Democrats In Demanding Answers About DHS’ Newly Claimed Authorities To Override Federal Laws At Southern Border

(TUESDAY, April 7, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) led all Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee - the Senate committee with jurisdiction over immigration laws, humanitarian protection laws, and constitutional oversight - in demanding answers about the Department of Homeland Security exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic by claiming new, sweeping powers to summarily expel large, unknown numbers of individuals arriving at our border in clear contravention of existing federal laws. The Jud… Continue Reading


Brown, Hassan, Bennet, Booker Lead Letter Calling On Administration To Ensure Veterans, SSI Beneficiaries Get Stimulus Checks Automatically

Today, U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) led a group of 45 colleagues in calling on the Trump Administration to issue stimulus checks automatically to recipients of benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Supplemental Security Income program. In their letter, the Senators point out that these are two groups with large amounts of non-filers and groups that the federal government has the data necessary to deliv… Continue Reading


Leahy Presses Administration To Remedy Returned Peace Corps Volunteers’ Difficulties In Securing Job Opportunities And Unemployment Benefits

Read the first letter here. Read the second letter here.… Continue Reading


Hassan, Brown, Colleagues Call for Social Security Recipients to Get CARES Act Direct Cash Assistance Without Having to File Tax Return

While the CARES Act that the president signed into law last week ensured that the Treasury Department had the authority to send automatic direct cash assistance to Social Security beneficiaries regardless of whether they file taxes or not, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released contradictory guidance earlier this week stating that Social Security beneficiaries would need to file tax returns in order to receive direct payments. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) led a g… Continue Reading


Meeting the Needs of States

H.R. 748, the CARES ActMeeting the Needs of States, Local Governments, and Tribes(Prepared By The Office Of Vice Chairman Leahy (D-Vt.) Division B of H.R. 748, the CARES Act, contains $340 billion in new discretionary funding toaddress the needs of the American people as we confront the coronavirus pandemic. Below is asummary of programs funded in the bill that will be awarded directly to state and localgovernment agencies, to tribes, or that will be provided to non-profit organizations in thes… Continue Reading

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