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


Leahy Advances Creation Of National Center For Restorative Justice

(FRIDAY, June 15, 2018) - Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday advanced legislation through the Appropriations Committee that calls for the establishment of a National Center For Restorative Justice. Leahy formulated the request based on work already being done at Vermont Law School and the University of Vermont, and with other institutions and entities across the Green Mountain State. The Center would focus on collaborative ways to reduce recidivism and … Continue Reading


Leahy Advances Record Funding For Violence Against Women Act Programs; Increase For Bulletproof Vests Program

(FRIDAY, June 15, 2018) - Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday guided record funding of $497.5 million to support Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) programs, an increase of $5.5 million compared to the current fiscal year and the highest level ever provided for VAWA programs administered by the Department of Justice. Leahy also shepherded an appropriation of $25 million -- a $2.5 million increase -- to help local law enforcement purchase bulletproof vests… Continue Reading


Leahy Leads Fight Against Opioid Epidemic In Senate Appropriations Committee

(FRIDAY, June 15, 2018) - Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday led the Senate Appropriations Committee in continuing historic investments in the fight against the opioid epidemic. The Senate Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations bill includes $482.5 million, a $36 million increase over the current fiscal year, to help communities and state and local law enforcement fight heroin and the illegal distribution and use of opioids… Continue Reading


Leahy-Grassley CREATES Act To Lower Prescription Drug Prices Clears Judiciary Committee

The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act by a strong bipartisan vote of 16 to 5. The legislation, sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and cosponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), would combat anticompetitive practices used by some brand-name pharmaceutical and biologic companies to block lower-cost generic drugs. Drug prices are rising rapidly and nearly one in four patients s… Continue Reading


Leahy Comment On The DOJ Inspector General's Report

As Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the 2016 election, Senator Leahy sent a private letter to Inspector General Michael Horowitz asking him to initiate a review of the FBI's handling of the investigations related to Secretary Hillary Clinton. This request, on November 7, 2016, followed then-Director of the FBI James Comey's decision to inform Congress that it was re-opening the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails based on newly discovered evidence of unknown relev… Continue Reading


Leahy Judiciary Committee Statement On The CREATES Act

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for listing the CREATES Act. I also want to thank you and Senators Klobuchar, Lee, Feinstein, and many others on this Committee for supporting this legislation. I am hopeful that we are one step closer today to getting it to the president's desk, which would result in Americans saving literally billions of dollars on prescription drugs. The CREATES Act targets a simple yet devastating scheme that some brand name drug companies have used to keep drug prices high: They… Continue Reading


Leahy Amendment Adds Bipartisan Reauthorization Of The Northern Border Regional Commission To The 2018 Farm Bill

In a vote of 20 to 1, the Senate Agriculture Committee Wednesday passed a new five-year Farm Bill that includes an amendment by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to reauthorize the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) through 2023. Leahy advocated for the creation of the Commission in the 2008 Farm Bill and successfully reauthorized it in the 2014 Farm Bill. The commission promotes regional coordination and invests in job creation efforts and economic development in distressed counties in t… Continue Reading


Leahy Statement At The Agriculture Committee Markup Of The Farm Bill

Thank you, Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow, for working together in a bipartisan fashion to draft this 2018 Farm Bill. This bill is a demonstration of what the Senate can achieve when we cast aside the rancor and rhetoric, and focus on the real challenges we face. In fact, this bill reminds me of the compromises made during my tenure as Chairman or Ranking Member of this Committee. Our nation's agricultural, food, and environmental systems all benefit from provisions included in t… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Trump-Kim Summit Meeting

I commend President Trump for beginning direct negotiations. But it is troubling that the President has agreed to unilaterally halt military exercises with South Korea without verifiable commitments from North Korea to denuclearize, while giving Kim the recognition he has long craved. So far all we have seen is a photo op coupled with a few broadly worded commitments. Clearly it will be months, if not years, before we know whether yesterday's meeting achieves anything of lasting value, and I … Continue Reading


Leahy: Senate Appropriations Committee Approves $50 M. To Help Domestic Abuse Victims

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that an appropriations bill approved by the committee on Thursday includes $50 million for Domestic Violence Supportive Housing, a program that provides rapid and transitional housing to victims of domestic violence. Leahy, who led in writing and enacting the 2013 law that strengthened the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and was the bill's chief sponsor, made it a priority for the panel to include t… Continue Reading


Leahy Leads Charge Against Homelessness In Senate Appropriations Bill

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Thursday guided more than $2.6 billion in Homeless Assistance Grants through the Senate Appropriations Committee, helping to secure a $99 million increase over the fiscal year 2018 funding level in the fight to break the cycle of homelessness. Leahy said: "Too many Vermonters and families across the country are on the brink of crisis and becoming homeless. Together we can end homelessness, but it takes a villa… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Release Of The Committee’s Farm Bill Draft

With this draft, the Senate is moving toward next week's committee consideration of the Farm Bill on a starkly more bipartisan footing than the House has done with the pending partisan Republican bill. I applaud Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow for working together to draft this proposal as a bipartisan starting point. Every five-year Farm Bill is always important to Vermont families, to Vermont farmers and to our state's economy in many ways. Vermont farmers look to USDA for tech… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins Feinstein And Other Senate Democrats In Introducing Legislation To Halt Separation Of Immigrant Families At The Border

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a leading member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, joined Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and 30 other senators in introducing legislation to keep immigrant families together by preventing the Department of Homeland Security from taking children from their parents at the border. The Keeping Families Together Act was developed in consultation with child welfare experts to ensure the federal government is acting in the best int… Continue Reading


Leahy Comments As Oral Arguments Begin In Emoluments Lawsuit Against President Trump

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a leading member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement about the long-awaited beginning on Thursday of oral arguments, in a federal courtroom in Washington, in the Emoluments lawsuit brought by several members of Congress, Blumenthal, Nadler, et al. v. Trump. Leahy is a leading plaintiff in the lawsuit, which seeks to compel President Trump to comply with the Constitution's Foreign Emoluments Clause: "We filed this lawsuit because we… Continue Reading


Leahy Steers Housing And Community Development Programs Vital To Vermont Through The Senate Appropriations Committee

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Thursday steered a funding bill through the Senate Appropriations Committee that protects vital housing and community development programs important to Vermont from elimination by the Trump administration and maintains new investments achieved in last year's bipartisan budget deal. The committee-passed bill provides $3.3 billion in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), $1.36 billion for the Home Investmen… Continue Reading


Appropriations Vice Chair Leahy Announces Committee Approval Of Key Transportation Funding

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday preserves key infrastructure resources for communities across Vermont and the nation. The bill includes $255 million for Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Grants, $300 million for the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repai… Continue Reading


Leahy Protects Funding For Vermont-Based PTSD Research And Treatment Facility

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill approved on Thursday by the committee includes several key Vermont initiatives to help veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Notably, the bill protects $40 million in funding for the PTSD Consultation Program, run out of the National Center for PTSD at White River Junction, Vt., and created by Leahy in fi… Continue Reading


Leahy Floor Statement On The Judiciary Committee Poised To Advance Ryan Bounds Without Blue Slips

Today marks yet another degradation of the "blue slip" in the judicial confirmation process. It also marks the further erosion of fairness and comity in the Judiciary Committee. For much of this body's history, blue slips have given meaning to the constitutional requirement of "advice and consent." They have protected the prerogatives of home-state senators. And they have ensured fairness in the Senate. In many ways, traditions like the blue slip have been central to what makes the Senate t… Continue Reading


Appropriations Vice Chairman Leahy REAX To Trump Administration Opposing New Funding For The VA MISSION Act

We do our veterans no favors by promising care without backing it up with resources, and the administration saying that providing new funding to care for our veterans is "anathema to responsible spending" is shameful. Signing a bill and then opposing the resources to fund it is no different than writing a rubber check. If the bill the President is signing is important to veterans - I believe that it is, and even the President will say that it is - then it needs to be funded to make it real. T… Continue Reading


Leahy Floor Statement On The Trump Administration's Family Separation Policy

Throughout history, including, at times, in our own country many years ago, the forcible separation of families has been used as an instrument of terror. I struggle to imagine a more damaging and inhumane governmental policy than to forcibly and needlessly tear children away from their parents. For decades, the United States has rightly led the world in condemning such practices as flagrant abuses of government power and human rights. Yet today, in an extraordinary breach of our most basic va… Continue Reading

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