Press Room

Press Releases

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

12.05.17

Leahy Statement On The Election In Honduras

Mr. President, I want to alert all Senators to the situation in Honduras. Those of us who care about Central America have watched the election for Honduras' next president with increasing alarm. It has been more than a week since November 26, when the people of Honduras cast their votes. Since then, repeated delays and suspicious behavior - which suggests either incompetence or fraud - by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) that has been tallying the ballots, have incited large public demons… Continue Reading


12.05.17

Leahy Statement Regarding the FCC's Rollback of Net Neutrality Protections

Next week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will consider a proposed rule that, if approved, will end "net neutrality" as we know it and will threaten the foundation of a free and open Internet. Net neutrality is the simple proposition that Internet service providers should treat all Internet traffic the same; they should not be able to exploit their power to charge for preferred treatment, allowing big corporations to dominate the Internet. The Chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, wants … Continue Reading


12.05.17

Leahy Statement At Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing "Addressing The Opioid Crisis In America"

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Here's a startling statistic: last year alone, drug overdoses claimed the lives of 64,000 people. This is the latest figure in a shocking rise in overdose deaths, driven by the opioid epidemic that has hit every corner of our country, and plagues every community. This is a public health crisis. We need to start treating it like one. We need to allocate every necessary resource to finally - and meaningfully - confront it. Vermont has made tremendous strides by leve… Continue Reading


11.30.17

Senators to Trump Administration: Reject Calls for New Nuclear Weapons

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) joined Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and 12 other Senators today to urge the Trump administration to reject calls for new nuclear weapons and to reevaluate the affordability of the current nuclear modernizations effort in the next Nuclear Posture Review. "Many of us oppose the development of new nuclear weapons and believe that the sole purpose of our nuclear arsenal is to deter a nuclear attack," the senators wrote. "In light … Continue Reading


11.30.17

Leahy Statement On The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act

During Thanksgiving last week, families across the country came together to give thanks for the blessings of the past year. One group in particular - corporate CEOs - had a special reason to be thankful: the Republican tax bill we are considering today. Rather than engaging in a bipartisan process to develop and enact meaningful tax reform that will benefit working Americans and small businesses, Republicans in Congress have spent the last few weeks crafting tax cut legislation that will overw… Continue Reading


11.29.17

Leahy Announces $1.3 Million Grant To Help The Vermont State Police Combat The Opioid Epidemic

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced a grant of more than $1.3 million for the Vermont State Police (VSP) to continue its aggressive work fighting the opioid epidemic in Vermont. This was the second-largest of only eight grants awarded nationwide through the highly competitive COPS Anti-Heroin Task Force (AHTF) grant program that Leahy created in the fiscal year 2015 Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) appropriations bill. In his new role as … Continue Reading


11.21.17

Durbin, Leahy Statement on FY18 Defense Appropriations Chairman's Mark

U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), vice chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, vice chairman of the Appropriations Committee, released the following statement on the release of the Fiscal Year 2018 Defense Appropriations Act. The bill exceeds President Trump's request by $15.3 billion, and exceeds the sequestration caps by $70 billion. This is a step forward, though we remain deeply concerned about the process. So before anyone cheers t… Continue Reading


11.21.17

Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Leahy Calls On Congress For Bipartisan Budget Deal

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy Tuesday renewed his call for a bipartisan budget deal that would allow for real investments in the American people. Leahy said: "With just 17 days until the current continuing resolution expires and the threat of sequestration looming in January, our toughest path remains ahead. We must come together to reach a bipartisan budget deal that allows for an increase in both defense AND non-defense spending to alleviate the devastating cons… Continue Reading


11.21.17

Leahy Slams Border Wall Funding As “Bumper Sticker Budgeting”

Slamming the proposal as "bumper sticker budgeting," Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday focused on a provision in the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill that would provide $1.6 billion from American taxpayers for President Trump's border wall with Mexico. Leahy said: "This is bumper sticker budgeting to save face for one of President Trump's failed campaign promises. Instead of wasting billions of taxpayer dollars to fund this costly … Continue Reading


11.21.17

Appropriations Vice Chair Leahy’s SUMMARY of/REAX To Chairman’s Mark For The FY2018 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill

The Senate Appropriations Committee Tuesday made public the Chairman's Mark of the fiscal year 2018 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill. The bill provides a total discretionary appropriation of $51.565 billion. The net discretionary total is $44.050 billion after the following amounts are excluded: $559 million in emergency appropriations for disaster relief; cap adjustment funding of $6.793 billion for disaster relief; and $163 million for Overseas Contingency Operations. … Continue Reading


11.21.17

Sen. Leahy, Sen. Cardin And Others Send Letter To Mnuchin On SEC Oil, Gas, Mining Transparency Rule

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, led 14 of his colleagues Tuesday, including Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), in a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, urging him to withdraw the Department's recent recommendation that a key extractive industry transparency provision be completely repealed by Congress. Earlier this year, Congressional Republicans halted the Securities and Exchange Commission's implementation of the rule but left the… Continue Reading


11.21.17

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Federal Judge’s Nationwide Injunction Blocking Trump Executive Order On “Sanctuary Jurisdictions”

[Last week the U.S. Department of Justice notified 29 jurisdictions, including the State of Vermont and the City of Burlington, of its plans to withhold federal funding based on claims that their policing policies violated federal law with respect to immigration enforcement. Both Vermont jurisdictions have steadfastly denied the DOJ claims, which threatened more than $500,000 in Byrne JAG funding to Vermont law enforcement agencies. Following is Senator Patrick Leahy's reaction to the court's n… Continue Reading


11.21.17

Reaction of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) To Apple’s Response To The Letter From Senator Cruz And Senator Leahy

"American tech companies have become leading champions of free expression. But that commitment should not end at our borders. Global leaders in innovation, like Apple, have both an opportunity and a moral obligation to promote free expression and other basic human rights in countries that routinely deny these rights. Apple is clearly a force for good in China, but I also believe it and other tech companies must continue to push back on Chinese suppression of free expression." LINK to Apple's… Continue Reading


11.20.17

Leahy Notches Key Victories For Lake Champlain And Vermont In Appropriations Bill

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy Monday announced several key victories for programs that support Lake Champlain, conservation initiatives, and historic downtowns across Vermont. The programs were funded through the Appropriations Committee bill on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, for Fiscal Year 2018, which was released on Monday afternoon. The bill will now be negotiated to reconcile differences between the Senate and House bills prior to being consi… Continue Reading


11.20.17

Appropriations Vice Chair Leahy’s Summary Of Chairman’s Mark Of FY2018 Financial Services & Gen’l. Govt. Appropriations Bill

Today the Senate Appropriations Committee made public the Chairman's Mark of the fiscal year 2018 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations bill. The bill provides a total of $21.035 billion, including $159 million in disaster funds. This funding level is $480 million less than the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and nearly $2 billion less than the fiscal year 2018 President's request. U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), Ranking Member of the Financial Services and Genera… Continue Reading


11.20.17

Appropriations Vice Chair Leahy’s Summary Of Chairman’s Mark Of The FY2018 Interior, Environment Appropriations Bill

The Senate Appropriations Committee Monday made public the Chairman's Mark for the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Fiscal Year 2018 Appropriations Bill. The Senate bill recommends $32.536 billion in discretionary funding for agencies funded by the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies bill, which includes $32.030 billion in discretionary funds and $507 million in emergency funds to pay for wildland firefighting needs. Excluding emergency funding, the amount provided is $250 … Continue Reading


11.20.17

Federal Grants Totaling Nearly $600,000 To Help 5 VT Communities Hire New Officers (COPS Grants)

Senator Patrick Leahy Monday announced that five rural Vermont law enforcement agencies will receive a total of nearly $600,000 to help hire new officers through the Department of Justice COPS Hiring Program. The program covers a large portion of the costs that communities face when adding officers to their ranks, thereby supporting the goals of community policing. "These funds are critical to small law enforcement agencies that would otherwise find it too costly to bring a new officer on board… Continue Reading


11.17.17

Senator Lee And Senator Leahy Introduce The USA Liberty Act In The Senate

Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Senator Patrick Leahy have jointly introduced the Uniting and Strengthening American Liberty Act (USA Liberty Act) of 2017 in the United States Senate. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act will expire on December 31, 2017. This legislation would reauthorize Section 702 while making key privacy improvements. Section 702 allows the government to collect sweeping amounts of Internet and other communications, including conte… Continue Reading


11.17.17

Appropriations Vice Chairman Leahy's REAX To Trump Adm.'s 3rd Emergency Supplemental Request

[Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday issued the following statement on the Trump Administration's emergency supplemental request, totaling $44 billion, to address recent natural disasters. Earlier this month, Leahy and Senator Schumer led a letter outlining what Senate Democrats believe should be contained in the supplemental request.] The Trump Administration's request does not come close to meeting the needs of victims of recent natural disasters in Tex… Continue Reading


11.17.17

Senate Unanimously Passes Grassley-Leahy Bill to Protect Whistleblowers in Criminal Antitrust Cases

The U.S. Senate Wednesday night unanimously passed the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act to extend whistleblower protection for employees who provide information to the Department of Justice related to criminal antitrust violations. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), coauthors of the legislation, hailed the Senate's quick action on their bipartisan measure. Approval of the bill comes just one month after the Judiciary Committee unanimously reported it to the full… Continue Reading

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