Press Room

Press Releases

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

10.02.17

Statement On The Nomination Of Ajit Pai To Be Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission

In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) did something that can be all too rare in Washington - it listened to the American people. After a record number of Americans spoke in favor of clear rules to protect a free and open Internet, the FCC voted to adopt strong net neutrality protections that accomplished this goal. These protections, which ensure that innovation and free speech can flourish online, are currently under threat as the FCC now moves to repeal them. On net neutralit… Continue Reading


10.02.17

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Las Vegas Massacre

Vermonters today are feeling the shock and sorrow that the entire country is feeling about the massacre in Las Vegas. We want all of these victims and their families to know that our hearts are broken and we stand in solidarity with them and with all of the people of Las Vegas. We are still learning the facts, but it's painfully clear that yesterday will go down as one of the darkest days in our nation's history. It is difficult or impossible to say whether any single shooting is preventable,… Continue Reading


09.29.17

Leahy REAX On The U.S. Withdrawal Of Most U.S. Embassy Personnel And Their Families From CUBA

"The health and safety of our diplomats and their families is the overriding concern here. "It remains a mystery to both of our governments what is causing this and who is behind it. Whoever is doing this obviously is trying to disrupt the normalization process between the United States and Cuba. Someone or some government is trying to reverse that process. "We should do all that is possible to minimize the effects of these protective steps on our diplomacy and on our ability to assist Amer… Continue Reading


09.27.17

Leahy Joins Bicameral Bill to Help Fix Broken Campaign Finance System

Senator Patrick Leahy Wednesday joined Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) in introducing bicameral legislation that addresses a series of comprehensive democratic and electoral reforms to restore integrity, accountability, and transparency to our broken political system. Counterpart House legislation, also introduced Wednesday, is led by Representative David Price (D-N.C.). The We The People Democracy Reform Act is more expansive than past versions and includes proposals to comprehensively reform camp… Continue Reading


09.27.17

Statement On Funding For Safe, Public Latrines In Africa And Asia

In the year 2017, when some people live in extravagant homes with half a dozen or a dozen bathrooms with marble floors and the latest fixtures, an estimated 2.5 billion people live in squalor with no access to modern sanitation. One billion people have no access to latrines and defecate in the open, like our ancestors did thousands of years ago. The United States spends about $400 million a year on water supply and sanitation programs worldwide, pursuant to the Senator Paul Simon Water for th… Continue Reading


09.26.17

Statement During Judiciary Hearing on "Special Counsels and the Separation of Powers"

Today Special Counsel Robert Mueller is in the midst of a critical national security investigation: determining the extent to which the Russian government attacked our democracy by interfering with our elections in an effort to elect President Trump, and determining whether any members of the President's campaign assisted in that effort. Alarmingly, President Trump has issued thinly-veiled threats aimed at the Special Counsel, and has drawn artificial red-lines around the investigation. The Pr… Continue Reading


09.26.17

Statement On The Devastation To Puerto Rico And The U.S. Virgin Islands

It was 6 years ago that Tropical Storm Irene tore through my home state of Vermont, leaving behind a wound that we are still trying to recover from today. Just days after that storm, I came back to this Chamber, stood where I am standing today, and asked for the support Vermont needed to recover and rebuild. Republicans and Democrats in the Senate, from across the country, stood by Vermont's side then to help us rebuild. Today, we must stand with the people of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin… Continue Reading


09.26.17

Statement of Appropriations Vice Chairman Leahy On The Devastation To Puerto Rico And The U.S. Virgin Islands

After Tropical Storm Irene tore through Vermont, people from across the country, Republicans and Democrats, stood by our side to help rebuild. Today, Marcelle and I stand with the people of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which have been decimated from the double blow of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and the victims of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. President Trump must act quickly to put the full force of the United States government behind recovery efforts on the islands using the $15 bil… Continue Reading


09.26.17

Statement On Health Care, The Affordable Care Act, And The Flawed Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson Proposal

The Senate finds itself today in a familiar situation: Deeply partisan efforts to repeal and replace the landmark Affordable Care Act have hit a wall. By their own admission, the Senate Majority has, with their backs against a wall and a looming deadline to advance legislation by a simple majority vote, put forward one last-gasp effort to roll back access to health care for millions of Americans -- not because it is sound policy, but in an effort to meet a campaign promise, regardless of its h… Continue Reading


09.25.17

Statement On The Nomination Of William Emanuel To Be a Member of the National Labor Relations Board

One of the most pernicious threats to the right of employees and consumers to access our judicial system has been the rise of forced arbitration. This practice unfairly eliminates access to our courts for millions of Americans. When used by employers, forced arbitration serves to shield corporations from the consequences of harmful behavior such as discrimination or sexual harassment. Today, the Senate is considering a nominee for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) who has advocated in… Continue Reading


09.22.17

Vermont Receives Fire Prevention and Safety Grant from FEMA

Vermont's congressional delegation announced Friday that the Vermont Department of Public Safety (DPS) received a $329,378 Fire Prevention and Safety grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This grant will help DPS' Division of Fire Safety implement "Fire Safe 802," a statewide, rural home fire safety education project to protect Vermont's most vulnerable residents, including children, seniors and people with disabilities. Working with local fire departments, the Division of Fire Sa… Continue Reading


09.20.17

Grassley, Leahy Press Justice Department on Whistleblower Protections

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senator Patrick Leahy today are pressing the Justice Department on its progress implementing whistleblower protections at the FBI. In a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Grassley and Leahy outline a series of concerns about whistleblower protections that have gone unaddressed despite government reports drawing attention to these problems and recommending changes. The Justice Department's own report from 2014 identified "key systemi… Continue Reading


09.20.17

Sense of Senate Resolution Commending Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos

Mr. President, today I am introducing a Sense of Senate Resolution commending Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for his extraordinary leadership in protecting Colombia's natural environment. Anyone who has lived in, traveled to, or read about Colombia knows it is a country of exceptional beauty and biological diversity. It is also home to many indigenous groups that have played an indispensable role as environmental stewards of their territories. During the years of his presidency, Presi… Continue Reading


09.19.17

Congressional Delegation Announces $480,000 in Federal Funds for Electric Buses

Vermont's congressional delegation announced Tuesday that the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) will receive a $480,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to purchase two electric buses that will be used by Green Mountain Transit in Burlington. In June, the Vermont delegation wrote to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in support of the grant. The two new federally funded electric buses will help Vermont reduce local air pollution and the carbon emissions that co… Continue Reading


09.19.17

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Protecting Civil Society Activists

Mr. President, I want to speak briefly about a provision that was included for the first time by myself and Senator Lindsey Graham in the fiscal year 2018 Department of State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill, which was reported unanimously by the Senate Appropriations Committee on September 7th. Specifically, the Committee-reported bill includes $15 million to implement a U.S. inter-agency strategy - led by the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor - to s… Continue Reading


09.19.17

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Funding for International HIV/AIDS Programs

Mr. President, I want to speak briefly about the funding to combat HIV/AIDS in the fiscal year 2018 Department of State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill, which was reported unanimously by the Senate Appropriations Committee on September 7th. In May, the Congress received the President's fiscal year 2018 budget request, which included a $1 billion cut to international HIV/AIDS programs. The White House proposed to focus the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief - the PEPFAR progr… Continue Reading


09.19.17

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Funding to Address Cholera in Haiti

Mr. President, in 2004 the United States voted to establish the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) to police the country following years of political turmoil. While MINUSTAH was successful in bringing a semblance of order to the country, its mission was severely impacted by the 2010 earthquake which resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people and left hundreds of thousands more in need of assistance. Haiti has not fully recovered since then. Unfortunately, tha… Continue Reading


09.19.17

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Supporting International Efforts to Apprehend and Prosecute War Criminals

Mr. President, I want to speak very briefly about an amendment that was adopted unanimously by the Appropriations Committee two weeks ago, during markup of the fiscal year 2018 Department of State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill. The amendment, which I offered, was identical to one that was adopted by the Committee last year and the year before that. It would permit the United States to provide technical assistance, training, assistance for victims, protection of witnesses, and law… Continue Reading


09.18.17

Comment Of Appropriations Vice Chair Patrick Leahy And Appropriations Member Chris Van Hollen On The U.S. Decision To Withdraw Approval Of Export of Firearms to the Turkish Presidential Protection Directorate

Reaction of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt), Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee and cosponsor of the amendment by Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), adopted by the Appropriations Committee on Sept 7, to prohibit exports of U.S. defense articles to the Turkish Presidential Protection Directorate: "This sale to President Erdogan's personal security guards should never have been approved, given their history of excessive force. But in the category of 'better late than never,' we welcome th… Continue Reading


09.18.17

Leahy Statement On Senate Passage Of National Defense Authorization Act

I want to thank Senator McCain and Senator Reed for their leadership in producing the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018. Both veterans, they have a particular understanding of the sacrifices that members of our Armed Services make every day. Every year, this authorization bill is drafted to reflect our commitment to the men and women serving in uniform, to authorize resources needed to maintain our national security, and to demonstrate the values and principles on which o… Continue Reading

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