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Press Releases

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


Remarks On Saudi Prisoners Of Conscience

I want to thank The Freedom Initiative and Human Rights Watch for helping organize this important event. Their research and advocacy is greatly valued here, by both Democrats and Republicans. I appreciate all of you being here. The premeditated murder of Jamal Khashoggi exposed to the world what many have known for a very long time about the Government of Saudi Arabia. That crime was so barbaric, so depraved, and so brutal, that it was what we would have expected of Saddam Hussein . . . and… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Repression In Saudi Arabia

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, it has been more than five months since journalist and American resident Jamal Khashoggi was tortured and murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. More than five months since the Saudi government initially denied it had anything to do with Mr. Khashoggi's disappearance and told the world - in a calculated and quickly disproven lie - that he left the consulate unharmed. As the Saudi government's complicity became clear, its explanations became even more convol… Continue Reading


Senate Floor Address Of Appropriations Vice Chair Patrick Leahy, In Support Of The Joint Res. Of Disapproval Of Pres. Trump’s Declaration Of A National Emergency

When President Trump declared a national emergency, citing a "crisis" at the southern border, he did so for only one reason: to do an end-run around Congress and the Appropriations Committee, and use taxpayer money to build a wall on the southern border that Congress has refused to fund. For three years, he failed to convince Congress that his wall was a good idea. For three years, he requested that Congress fund his cynical campaign promise to build a "big beautiful" wall on the southern bor… Continue Reading


During Sunshine Week, Leahy Again Joins In Introducing Bill With Grassley And Klobuchar To Allow Cameras In Federal Courts

On Wednesday, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) joined Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) in reintroducing bipartisan legislation to expand the public's window into the workings of our justice system by allowing television cameras in federal courtrooms. The Sunshine in the Courtroom Act empowers judges to permit media coverage of trial and appellate cases while ensuring that appropriate due process and privacy safeguards for witnesses and jurors remain intact. The senato… Continue Reading


Bellows Free Academy Fairfax

On March 13, 2019, Senator Leahy continued his series of online chats with Vermont students - this time, with the Bellows Free Academy-Fairfax's AP U.S. Government class, taught by Mr. Joe Emery. Senator Leahy enjoyed answering the students' questions about his close working relationship with the Vermont delegation, and other issues such as internet privacy and college affordability. He also told the students about his experiences visiting Vietnam. Senator Leahy discussed how meeting young vi… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Justice In Guatemala

Mr. LEAHY. For the past dozen years, the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala, with financial support from the United States and other countries, has worked in collaboration with Guatemala's Public Ministry. That partnership has enabled courageous Guatemalan prosecutors to investigate and bring to trial cases they never could have pursued without the international "shield" and assistance provided by CICIG. It has also enabled courageous Constitutional Court magistrates to d… Continue Reading


Available For Immediate Use: Annual SUNSHINE WEEK Keynote Address Of Senator Patrick Leahy

Sunshine Week is an opportunity for us to reflect upon the foundational principle that a democracy hidden from the people is no democracy at all. Our government's legitimacy is derived entirely from the consent of the governed. But how can the governed consent to that which is concealed from them? This week we recommit ourselves to the idea that the path toward a more perfect union requires us to lay bare and scrutinize our imperfections. From the beginning of my tenure in the Senate, 45 yea… Continue Reading


Grassley, Leahy Press Trump Administration on EB-5 Regulations

U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) are again calling on the Trump administration to finalize regulations reforming the EB-5 investor visa program, which has long been riddled with fraud and abuse. Grassley and Leahy have previously called for the administration to approve regulations addressing the program's flaws absent congressional action. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for final approval a… Continue Reading


Senator Patrick Leahy's Sunshine Week Keynote Address At The National Archives

Thank you for that generous introduction, David. And thank you for the profoundly important work that you and your team do here at NARA. NARA is our nation's historian, and therefore, our nation's mirror as we look to challenges ahead. As we strive to live up to our Founders' ideals, NARA ensures we have the knowledge to learn from our mistakes and build upon our successes. Such "advancement and diffusion of knowledge," James Madison observed, "is the only guardian of true liberty." Sunshine… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senate Appropriations Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy On President Trump's Budget Proposal

For the third year in a row, President Trump has sent a budget proposal that is dead on arrival and divorced from reality. It is not worth the paper it is printed on, and it will be rejected by Congress. Yet again, the President has proposed shortsighted cuts that would slash investments in infrastructure, medical research, and American families, cuts that have been rejected by Congress two fiscal years in a row. But now he relies on a budget gimmick, Overseas Contingency Operations funding … Continue Reading


Torres, McGovern, Cardin, Leahy Introduce Bicameral Bill to Impose Targeted Sanctions on Guatemalan Officials Who Undermine Justice

Today, U.S. Representatives Norma J. Torres (D-CA) and James P. McGovern (D-MA) and U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced the Guatemala Rule of Law Accountability Act to authorize Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act sanctions against Guatemalan officials who have engaged in corruption, obstructed justice, misused U.S.-provided equipment, disobeyed Guatemalan Constitutional Court rulings, and interfered with the work of the U.S. government. In Guatemala,… Continue Reading


On the 12th Anniversary of Bob Levinson’s Captivity, Menendez, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Assist Americans Held Hostage or Unlawfully Detained Abroad

Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, lead a bipartisan group of Senate colleagues in introducing a bill today to improve the U.S. government's efforts to bring back Americans held hostage or unlawfully detained abroad. The Robert Levinson Hostage Recovery and Hostage-taking Accountability Act bolsters programs to address hostage-taking, and gives the United States government new tools to rescue hostages and punish their captors. The legislatio… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders And Welch Back Legislation To Restore Net Neutrality

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) joined House and Senate colleagues in introducing legislation to restore a free and open internet. The legislation would overturn a 2017 anti-consumer move by the Trump administration's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that gutted net neutrality protections enacted by the Obama Administration. In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders, and Welch said: "A free and open internet is essential to our economy, a f… Continue Reading


Senate Floor Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Judicial Nominations

Judiciary Committee - I again feel compelled to warn about the destruction of the long held norms and traditions that have protected the Senate's unique constitutional role with respect to lifetime judicial appointments. Until recently, members of this body knew well that they would have a say when it comes to who will sit on federal courts in their home states. Blue slips protected the prerogatives of home-state senators and gave meaning to the constitutional requirement of "advice and consen… Continue Reading


Leahy And Other Senators Welcome As ‘A Breakthrough’ A Judicial Conference Warning To Judges, Clerks, Against Partisan Training Programs

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) Wednesday welcomed as a "breakthrough" an advisory opinion published by the Judicial Conference of the United States' Committee on Codes of Conduct that warns federal judges and their clerks against participating in events sponsored by anonymously funded partisan organizations. The guidance follows revelations that a Heritage Foundat… Continue Reading


Leahy Receives Award For Congressional Leadership In Public Diplomacy

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tuesday night received the George Washington University Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication's annual Walter Roberts Award for Congressional Leadership in Public Diplomacy at a ceremony on Capitol Hill. IPDGC also announced a grant from the Walter Roberts Endowment to the Vermont Council on World Affairs to enhance international youth leadership exchanges. Assistant Secretary of State … Continue Reading


Leahy, Cummings, Grassley And Cornyn Raise Concerns About The Interior Department's Proposed Rule That Would Weaken FOIA

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, on Tuesday joined Representative Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, in sending a letter to Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) David Bernhardt expressing serious concerns with a pr… Continue Reading


Senate Floor Address Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Third Anniversary Of The Murder Of Berta Caceres

Mr. LEAHY. Three years ago yesterday, Berta Caceres, an indigenous rights activist in Honduras who had been a vocal opponent of the construction of a hydroelectric dam that threatened the territory of the Lenka people, was murdered in her home. That cowardly crime, about which I have spoken many times, was the culmination of years of harassment and threats against her life, and it was by no means an isolated case. At the time, it was only the latest of scores of assassinations of social acti… Continue Reading


Senate Floor Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Women's Empowerment And Trafficking In Persons

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, the White House recently unveiled the Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP), an interagency plan to increase women's global labor force participation and advancement in the workplace, improve access of women entrepreneurs to market opportunities, and remove barriers to economic growth for women. I support the initiative, although not based on the erroneous claim of some in the White House that it is the first women's initiative ever launched by … Continue Reading


Senate Floor Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Situation In Egypt

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I want to briefly discuss the situation in Egypt, a country where unchecked repression has come to define the government of President el-Sisi. The 2011 Egyptian revolution brought hope of a democratic future for the country, but it has failed to materialize, subverted by aspiring autocrats. After winning historic democratic elections in 2012, the Morsi government sought to consolidate its control, issuing a declaration to provide the President with sweeping authorit… Continue Reading

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