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Press Releases

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

05.16.17

Leahy, with Senators Rand Paul and Jeff Merkley, Introduces Bipartisan, Bicameral Sentencing Reform Bill In The Senate

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) on Tuesday reintroduced the Justice Safety Valve Act, S. 1127, in the U.S. Senate. Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) are reintroducing companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives. Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions directed federal prosecutors to pursue the most serious charges and maximum sentences in their cases, returning to stricter enforcemen… Continue Reading


05.15.17

Senator Patrick Leahy Comments On General Clapper’s Remarks About The Serious Threat Of Russian Interference, And On Not Taking The Stability Of Our Democratic Institutions For Granted

"I think everyone should listen to what General Clapper said this weekend. We face a serious threat from Russia interfering with our elections and we need an independent special counsel to get to the bottom of that. But another part of his warning is that we need to stand guard against diminishing our own checks and balances in America. We can no longer take the stability of our democratic institutions for granted. I am deeply concerned when I see this Administration trying to undermine a fre… Continue Reading


05.12.17

Senator Leahy Statement on the Senate Floor on the Nomination of Mark Green

Mr. President, as ranking member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of State and Foreign Operations, I welcome the nomination of Ambassador and former Member of Congress Mark Green to be the next Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. Ambassador Green brings a wealth of experience to this important position. He has been president of the International Republican Institute since 2014. In 2013, he was president and chief executive officer of the Initiativ… Continue Reading


05.12.17

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Judiciary Committee Member, And Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman, On Attorney General Sessions’ New Sentencing Policy

"The Attorney General's new sentencing policy is an ideologically motivated attempt to resurrect the failed policies of the War on Drugs. Make no mistake, low-level offenders will spend years and even decades more in prison. This will not make us safer - quite the opposite, it will strip critical public safety resources away from targeting truly violent criminals in order to house nonviolent drug offenders. Unfortunately, I cannot say that I am surprised. In recent years, when he was still a… Continue Reading


05.12.17

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy Subcommittee on the Department of State and Foreign Operations Hearing on Democracy Programs

Mr. Chairman, I want to join you in welcoming an exceptionally distinguished panel of witnesses. Thank you all for being here. Secretary Albright, the time and energy you have devoted to the topic we are here to discuss - both at the State Department and in the years since - is widely recognized and deeply appreciated. Jim Kolbe, who I remember as Chairman Kolbe when he held that position on the House Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, it is good to have you with us. And Vin Web… Continue Reading


05.11.17

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On President Trump’s Commission On “Election Integrity”

"This misbegotten Commission sadly is yet another malicious effort to undermine the voting rights of millions of Americans across the country. The integrity of our elections is a foundational issue, but any commission led by an extremist like Kris Kobach - a 'birther' whose attempts to restrict voting rights have repeatedly been struck down in federal court - has zero credibility. President Trump's own attorneys said in a court filing last year that '[a]ll available evidence suggests that the … Continue Reading


05.11.17

Leahy Leads Senate Judiciary Democrats In Asking DOJ Inspector General For Answers On Comey Firing

Led by U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, including Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), on Thursday asked Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz to investigate President Trump's sudden firing of former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey. Under Director Comey's leadership, the FBI was conducting a widespread investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and collusion between Russia and the T… Continue Reading


05.11.17

Appropriations Leaders Leahy & Shaheen Formally Seek Information On Director Comey's Reported Request For Russia Probe Funding

**After news reports, Leahy and Shaheen send letter to Deputy AG Rosenstein asking for the specifics on FBI Director Comey's reported request for resources and whether this request was communicated to the White House** **LEAHY, SHAHEEN: "The FBI and the Department of Justice should dedicate the needed personnel and resources to the investigation without hesitation"** After press reports on Wednesday that former FBI Director James Comey requested additional resources for the investigation into… Continue Reading


05.10.17

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy, On The Firing Of FBI Director James Comey

The President's dismissal of FBI Director James Comey is so inappropriate that it is difficult to know where to begin. In less than four months, this President has pushed our country to the edge of a constitutional crisis - a crisis that seems more complex and potentially more threatening than the one instigated by President Nixon's order to fire the Special Prosecutor investigating Watergate. First, we can easily dismiss President Trump's transparent pretext for dismissing FBI Director Comey.… Continue Reading


05.09.17

BREAKING: Sen. Patrick Leahy's REAX To President Trump's Firing Of FBI Director James Comey

The President's action, and the way it has been handled, is shocking. No one should accept President Trump's absurd justification that he is now concerned that FBI Director Comey treated Secretary Clinton unfairly. The President in fact celebrated the Director's mistakes in that investigation. That fig leaf explanation seeks to cover the undeniable truth: The President has removed the sitting FBI Director in the midst of one of the most critical national security investigations in the histor… Continue Reading


05.05.17

Leahy REAX To President Trump On Friday Afternoon Signing The Consolidated Appropriations Bill Into Law

President Trump Friday signed the Consolidated Appropriations Bill into law just hours before the midnight deadline when the current stop-gap measure funding the federal government expires. The bill received strong bipartisan support in both the United States House and Senate and rejected steep cuts proposed by the White House in March. The bill also does not include funding requested by the President for a border wall. This is the most significant major legislation to be enacted in the new … Continue Reading


05.04.17

Leahy REAX To House Passage Of GOP Bill To Repeal/Replace The Affordable Care Act

This Trumpcare bill is a cruel and cynical hoax, played on millions upon millions of Americans who would lose all or some of their health insurance protections under this plan. From clumsy start to appalling finish, House Republicans have shown no shame in advancing a bill that, in truth, is intended to give a massive tax cut to the wealthiest Americans, in the guise of a health care plan. It's only gotten worse as House leaders have had to bargain for votes. This hastily crafted bill was jam… Continue Reading


05.04.17

Leahy REAX As Senate Passes Consolidated Appropriations Bill In Strong Bipartisan Vote

In a strong bipartisan vote of 79 to 18, the United States Senate Thursday afternoon passed the Consolidated Appropriations Bill, rejecting steep cuts proposed by the White House. The bill, which also received bipartisan support in the House, now moves to the President's desk. The White House has indicated that President Trump will sign the bill into law. The bill is Senator Patrick Leahy's first appropriation bill negotiated and managed under his new role as Vice Chairman of the Senate Appr… Continue Reading


05.04.17

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy Statement On The Consolidated Appropriations Bill

Mr. President, this bill is the product of many long weeks, days, nights and weekends of bipartisan negotiations, and I thank Chairman Cochran for his leadership in reaching this agreement to keep the government open for business. This is how Congress can and should work. Enough of the rhetoric; enough of the political brinksmanship. This agreement shows that when we come together and work through our differences, we can do the work of the American people. And while I think the package befo… Continue Reading


05.04.17

Leahy Partners With Senate Allies To Shield Farmworkers From Deportation

Senator Patrick Leahy, partnering with Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), introduced legislation to shield farmworkers from deportation and to put them on a path to earned legal status and eventual citizenship. Under their Agricultural Worker Program Act, foreign farmworkers who have worked in the United States in agriculture for at least 100 days in each of the past two years may earn lawful "blue card" status.… Continue Reading


05.03.17

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy Statement On House Passage Of The Consolidated Spending Bill

[Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Consolidated Spending Bill in a vote of 309 to 118. The bill, which received bipartisan support in the House, now moves to the Senate. This full-year government appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2017, if enacted, will succeed the stop-gap funding bill that expires on Friday night.] It is encouraging and significant that the consol… Continue Reading


05.03.17

Leahy Presses FBI Director Comey On The Need For An Independent Investigation Into Russian Interference In 2016 Election

Senator Patrick Leahy Wednesday pressed FBI Director James Comey for more information on the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, which U.S. intelligence agencies have unanimously concluded was intended to "undermine public faith in the US democratic process" and to help President Trump win the election. Leahy questioned Comey at a hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has oversight responsibilities over the FBI. Leahy has insisted on a full, fair, and… Continue Reading


05.02.17

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy, Hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee On “Responses to the Increase in Religious Hate Crimes”

Over the past many months, like most Vermonters and Americans across this country, I have been horrified by the alarming rise in hate crimes against our fellow citizens and neighbors. Each day seemingly brings a new report of violence or harassment targeting some of our nation's most diverse and vibrant communities. This trend must not be allowed to continue. By any measure, statistics documenting the surge in crimes against Americans because of their religion, race, ethnicity, or sexual orient… Continue Reading


05.02.17

REAX Of Senator Patrick Leahy, Vice Chairman Of The Senate Appropriations Committee, To President Trump’s Threat To “Shutdown” The Federal Government In September

Threatening to shut down the government, on the heels of a successful, bipartisan agreement, is a sour and shameful note to kick off negotiations for FY 2018. Governing by tweet and manufacturing a crisis before our work even begins is no way to lead. The 2013 shutdown dealt a devastating blow to economic growth, amounting to an estimated $1.5 billion lost for each of the 16 days of the shutdown. That is economic growth we can never get back. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers wer… Continue Reading


05.01.17

Vermont Highlights In The Budget Agreement Negotiated By Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Leahy And Other Appropriations Leaders

Senate and House Appropriations Committee leaders on Sunday night completed lengthy and intense negotiations on a budget bill to fund the government through the rest of this fiscal year (through Sept. 30). This is the first budget agreement negotiated under Leahy's new role as Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The budget agreement - expected to reach the House and Senate floors this week for approval - would avert a government shutdown when the current stop-gap government … Continue Reading

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