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


Statement On Senate Republicans Breaking Committee Rules to Advance Partisan Trump Immigration Bill

August 1, 2019 Having served on this Committee for over 40 years, half of which as its chairman or ranking member, I think I can say with some authority that the Senate Judiciary Committee is not what it used to be. It's never been perfect; we've always had our fair share of disagreements. But even as this Committee has considered controversial legislation, and been host to passionate debate, it has always respected the rights of the minority. It is true that over the last 40 years this Commit… Continue Reading


Leahy, Collins And Durbin Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation To Combat Illegal Straw Purchasing And Firearms Trafficking

(WEDNESDAY, July 31, 2019) - U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Wednesday introduced legislation to close loopholes that criminals exploit to obtain firearms through straw purchasing and firearms trafficking. The Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2019 would, for the first time, make it an explicit federal crime to act as a straw purchaser of firearms. And it would create tough penalties for anyone who transfers a firearm with rea… Continue Reading



U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Cory Booker (D-NJ), all members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today introduced legislation to immediately ban the use of the death penalty by the federal government. The legislation comes after Attorney General (AG) William Barr's announcement that federal executions will resume for the first time in more than 16 years. While there have been only three federal executions in the last five decades, AG Barr has ordered the Federal B… Continue Reading


Leahy Renews Call For FIFA To Provide Pay Equity For Female Soccer Athletes

(TUESDAY, July 30, 2019) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday introduced a Senate Resolution calling on the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to immediately eliminate gender-based pay discrimination between male and female athletes. Leahy first introduced the resolution in 2015 following the U.S. Women's National Team's historic win in the Women's World Cup. The team repeated the feat earlier this year. "Equal pay for equal work shouldn't be a p… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Freedom for Americans to Travel to Cuba Act of 2019 Congressional Record

Mr. LEAHY. Today I am introducing, along with 45 Democratic and Republican cosponsors, the Freedom for Americans to Travel to Cuba Act of 2019. Identical legislation is being introduced today by Representatives Jim McGovern and Tom Emmer in the House. We are introducing this bill for one reason: so Americans can travel to Cuba in the same way that they can travel to every other country in the world except North Korea, to which President Trump banned travel by executive order. Based on my conv… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Passing Of Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, Of Cuba

"I will never forget my very first meeting with Cardinal Ortega in Havana, because Marcelle and I recognized immediately that this was a man of the highest integrity, of immeasurable devotion to the humanitarian mission of the Catholic Church and to his country, and of unwavering determination to improve the lives of the Cuban people. Cardinal Ortega and I met many times, and I valued enormously his friendship and guidance. I asked Cardinal Ortega to seek Pope Francis' support for reconciliati… Continue Reading


Leahy To Introduce Bill To Restore Americans’ Freedom To Travel To Cuba

(THURSDAY, July 25, 2019) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, joined by 45 Senate cosponsors, on Monday, July 29th, will introduce the Freedom for Americans to Travel to Cuba Act of 2019. The bill would eliminate restrictions on travel to Cuba by American citizens and legal residents. Identical legislation is being introduced today in the House by Representatives Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Tom Emmer (R-Minn.). Specifically, the bipartisan le… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders And Welch Announce $3 Million Federal Grant For Electric Buses And Charging Stations In Vermont’s Upper Valley

(WEDNESDAY, July 24, 2019) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced that the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) will receive a $3 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to purchase electric buses and charging stations to be used in Vermont's Upper Valley. They had written last year to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in support of the grant. The new federally funded electric b… Continue Reading


Grassley, Leahy, Cornyn And Feinstein Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Reinforce Transparency In Wake Of The Supreme Court’s FOIA Decision And Recent Regulations

(WEDNESDAY, July 24, 2019) -- Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), along with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), late Tuesday introduced the Open and Responsive Government Act (S. 2220), to reverse recent developments that undermine the public's right to access information and hold government accountable. The legislation would restore a longstanding legal interpretation of the Freedom of Information Act's (FOIA) exemption regarding confide… Continue Reading


Leahy Leads Judiciary Committee Democrats In Forcefully Condemning Proposal To Zero Out Refugee Admissions

(TUESDAY, July 23, 2019) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday led all Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee - the Senate committee of jurisdiction over all refugee and immigration laws - in forcefully condemning a proposal reportedly being considered by Trump administration officials to dramatically reduce - or worse, eliminate - annual refugee admissions, which have already plummeted to historic lows under President Trump. The Judiciary Committee Democrats reiterated the longstanding b… Continue Reading


REAX of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) To the Bipartisan Budget Agreement Reached Between Congress and The President

A budget is where we set our priorities as a nation, and President Trump's annual budget proposals have shown time and again that his administration's priority is to slash investments here at home for American families and pour money into an ineffective wall along our Southern Border. Today's bipartisan budget agreement once again rejects the shortsighted priorities of the Trump administration for the real priorities of the American people. This agreement will build upon the 2018 bipartisan bu… Continue Reading


Senators Leahy, Grassley, Feinstein, And Cornyn Raise Concerns About EPA’s FOIA Rule

(MONDAY, July 22, 2019) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and John Cornyn (R-Texas) - all senior members of the Senate Judiciary Committee with exclusive jurisdiction over the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) - sent a bipartisan letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler raising serious concerns with the EPA's recent "FOIA Regulations Update" final rule, asking him to reconsider the rule or provide sufficien… Continue Reading


Vermont Receives $98,918 To Connect Schools And Local Farms Under Leahy-Authored Farm To School Program

(FRIDAY, July 19, 2019) - A program long championed by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will invest $98,918 in bolstering efforts to bring local agriculture into the classrooms and cafeterias of Vermont schools. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced Farm to School grants to connect child nutrition programs with local farmers. Leahy said: "Tying local agriculture to our schools not only provides our children with healthy meals and improved nutrition, it encourages a long standing … Continue Reading


Reflections On The Moon Landing

By Patrick Leahy This week America celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of a monumental achievement for our country and all of humankind, the Apollo 11 mission that landed the first human beings on the Moon. Like families across America, and across the world, our family gathered in front of the television in our living room that Sunday night of July 20, 1969, to watch this history unfold. I was State's Attorney then, and we lived in a duplex in Burlington. Our five-year-old son Kevin asked if … Continue Reading


Leahy, Murray And Welch Reintroduce Legislation To Curtail Warrantless Vehicle Checkpoint Stops And Property Searches Away From The Border

(FRIDAY, July 19, 2019) - U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) late Thursday reintroduced their legislation to strengthen privacy protections in the United States by limiting the unreasonably large "border zone." Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) introduced an identical version of the bill in the House of Representatives. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers currently have broad legal authority to stop vehicles without a warrant or even reasonable suspicion o… Continue Reading


Comment On The July 14th Washington Post Editorial On Former Guatemalan Attorney General Thelma Aldana

The editorial is titled, "The Trump administration should fight graft and impunity in Guatemala. It's doing the opposite." It is available at this LINK: Senator Leahy: "Thelma Aldana is a courageous, respected prosecutor who, at great personal risk, took on the forces of corruption and impunity in Guatem… Continue Reading


Reaction To The Passing Of Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens

Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) To The Passing Of Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens The first vote I ever cast for a Supreme Court Justice was for John Paul Stevens, a true champion of the law, of decency, and of equal justice for all. He is already sorely missed. I'll miss my conversations with him and all I learned from him. Marcelle and my thoughts and prayers are with the Stevens family this evening. # # # # #… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Murder Of Jamal Khashoggi

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary killings, Ms. Agnes Callamard, recently released her report on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi after a six-month investigation.I encourage everyone to read the report, and I want to share several of her findings: Mr. Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in an extrajudicial killing that violated numerous international laws and for which the Government of Saudi Arabi… Continue Reading


Udall, Leahy, Van Hollen Request GAO Investigation into Full Costs, Legal Compliance for Trump Fourth of July Event

(MONDAY, July 8, 2019) - U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.), ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee overseeing the Department of Interior's budget, Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Monday requested a Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation into the costs and impacts associated with President Trump's expanded Fourth of July events and into whether t… Continue Reading


Schatz, Leahy, Other Senators: Census Should Stay On Schedule, Omit Citizenship Question

(FRIDAY, June 28, 2019) - On Friday Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) joined Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai'i) and 27 other senators in calling for Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to meet the administration's previously set deadline of July 1 to begin printing materials for the 2020 Census and move forward without adding a politically motivated question about citizenship. Their call comes a day after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration's rationale for adding the question "appea… Continue Reading

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