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

03.22.17

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Rule of Law in Guatemala

Mr. President, I want to call the Senate's attention to the current situation in Guatemala, where upholding the rule of law has too often been the exception rather than the rule. For centuries, most Guatemalans had no access to justice. This was exacerbated during - and in the years since - the civil war, when an estimated 200,000 people were killed or disappeared. Most of them were innocent victims of the armed forces, and only a small number of the military officers and their accomplices w… Continue Reading


03.21.17

Statement Of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy On President Trump’s “Skinny Budget” Proposal

Last Thursday the Trump Administration submitted his first "Budget Blueprint" to Congress. He called it "America First, A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again." This title would be laughable if the topic were not so serious. Like some of the President's tweets, his budget is a hasty list of appallingly unbalanced, shortsighted, politically driven priorities. He proposes to eliminate or drastically cut programs that benefit the middle class and safeguard our most vulnerable citizens, … Continue Reading


03.21.17

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy, On United States Sentencing Commission Nominations

Today the Senate will vote on two nominees to the United States Sentencing Commission who should have been confirmed last year. Judge Danny Reeves was nominated more than one year ago and he was unanimously reported by the Judiciary Committee, yet Senate Republicans refused to approve him before the end of last year. Judge Charles Breyer was nominated last September for a reappointment, and despite overwhelming support Republicans blocked him as well. These are not controversial nominees and … Continue Reading


03.21.17

Leahy: Revision Military Wins $98 Million Contract For Advance Combat Helmet Generation II

In a development with direct implications for future work at Revision Military Newport, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday announced that the U.S. Army awarded Revision Military a contract for as much as $98 million to produce the next generation of combat helmets for soldiers. The announcement follows an intense competition for the project. Leahy is the Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which oversees the Senate's work in writing annual defense budget bills. He has bee… Continue Reading


03.20.17

Joint Statement Of The Vermont Congressional Delegation On ICE Enforcement Actions In Vermont

"We have expressed our serious concerns to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about these arrests of several farmworkers and farmworker advocates. We are also reaching out to ICE about the potential impact in Vermont of President Trump's executive order calling for increased immigration enforcement. Instead of focusing on removing those people who pose a threat to public safety or national security, the Trump Administration is targeting all undocumented persons, including the people tha… Continue Reading


03.20.17

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing On The Nomination Of Neil Gorsuch To Be An Associate Justice Of The Supreme Court

Today marks the first time that the Senate Judiciary Committee has met publicly to take action on the Supreme Court vacancy that resulted from Justice Scalia's death 13 months ago. Just hours after we learned of Justice Scalia's sudden passing, the Majority Leader declared that the Senate would not provide any process to any nominee selected by President Obama, despite the President having nearly a year left in his term. This was an extraordinary blockade, and one backed by then-candidate Dona… Continue Reading


03.16.17

Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On President Trump’s “Skinny Budget” Proposal

The Trump budget shows as much foresight as TrumpCare. Like some of the President's tweets, the Trump budget is a hasty list of appallingly unbalanced, shortsighted, politically driven priorities. We cannot make America "Great Again" at the expense of middle class families and the most vulnerable among us, and you do not make America "stronger" by eliminating the very programs that make our nation more secure. The President's proposal would abandon months of bipartisan negotiations, and break… Continue Reading


03.15.17

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman, Senate Appropriations Committee, On President Trump’s Announced Rollback Of EPA Fuel Economy Standards

"This is another giant step backward in President Trump's race to the bottom, environmentally and economically. After President Obama's actions saved the American auto industry, U.S. automakers have met fuel economy standards, while thriving economically as never before. They would have met the existing standards as well, as they always have in the past. The current standards would have saved consumers and businesses billions of dollars in fuel costs at the pump, and this is especially import… Continue Reading


03.13.17

During Sunshine Week, Leahy Calls On Judge Gorsuch To Provide Complete & Truthful Answers To The Judiciary Committee

Sunshine Week's emphasis on transparency should continue into the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch next week, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Monday. "I hope next week, when the president's Supreme Court nominee will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he provides transparent, truthful answers to Senators' questions," Leahy said. "I will insist on real answers from Judge Neil Gorsuch, because there are real concerns about his record and his judicia… Continue Reading


03.13.17

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Nomination of David Friedman to be U.S. Ambassador to Israel

Mr. President, the Senate will soon consider the nomination of David Friedman to be U.S. Ambassador to Israel. Unlike several of President Trump's other nominees, we know a great deal about Mr. Friedman's views on the challenges he would confront if confirmed. Unfortunately, that is because he has made a career of disparaging and inflammatory statements about U.S. policy in the Middle East, about former U.S. officials, about the Palestinians, and about American Jews who have views that dif… Continue Reading


03.13.17

Appropriations Vice Chair Leahy Releases Letter To Senate Budget Committee, Warning Of Dangerous Double-Impact Of Trump Budget + Budget Sequestration

Ahead of the Trump Administration releasing its budget proposal later this week, Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy Monday released a letter to the Senate Budget Committee outlining the consequences that sequestration has already had on the American people and warning of the dangerous cuts proposed by the Trump Administration for Fiscal Year 2018. In the five years since the passage of the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), discretionary programs have been slashed by $2 … Continue Reading


03.13.17

Clouds On The Horizon: The Public’s Right To Know Is Under Attack

This is the first Sunshine Week, since it began in 2005, when the public's right to know has been under direct assault, and on several fronts. "Fake news," "alternative facts," retaliatory restrictions of press access by the White House, and demonizing attacks on the working press are eroding the public's access to real facts and real information about what their government is doing. Next week the Senate Judiciary Committee will convene for crucial hearings to consider the nomination of Judge … Continue Reading


03.13.17

Clouds On The Horizon: The Public’s Right To Know Is Under Attack

By Patrick Leahy This is the first Sunshine Week, since it began in 2005, when the public's right to know has been under direct assault, and on several fronts. "Fake news," "alternative facts," retaliatory restrictions of press access by the White House, and demonizing attacks on the working press are eroding the public's access to real facts and real information about what their government is doing. Next week the Senate Judiciary Committee will convene for crucial hearings to consider the no… Continue Reading


03.11.17

Comment On The Firing Of Preet Bharara And Other U.S. Attorneys

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Firing Of Preet Bharara And Other U.S. Attorneys "The abrupt, Friday night firing of all remaining U.S. Attorneys -- including Preet Bharara, a well respected, tough prosecutor who the President promised could stay -- is another reminder that the independence of the Justice Department is at risk under this administration. The President and Attorney General demanded resignations immediately, not even allowing them to remain until successors are nominated a… Continue Reading


03.10.17

Cornyn, Leahy, Cruz Introduce Bill to Enhance Cybersecurity

. . . Bill Would Allow DHS to Work with Consortium to Train States, Local Governments on Cybersecurity WASHINGTON (FRIDAY, March 10, 2017) - U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) have introduced the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium Act to authorize the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to work with the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium (NCPC) to help prepare for and respond to cybersecurity risks at the national, state, and lo… Continue Reading


03.09.17

Leahy Statement On The ASCE Infrastructure Report Card

. . . 'Infrastructure Investment Must Again Become A High Priority, A Bipartisan Priority, And A Balanced Effort That Meets The Needs Of Both Rural America And Urban Regions' Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday issued the following statement on the American Society of Civil Engineers Report Card, which was released this week. In January, Leahy joined other leading Senate Democrats in introducing the Blueprint to Rebuild America's Infrastructure. This… Continue Reading


03.09.17

Letter By Appropriations Vice Chair Patrick Leahy And Other Senators To Secretary Of State Tillerson, Warning About Effects Of Slashing Cuts To The State Department

The Honorable Rex TillersonSecretary of StateDepartment of StateWashington, DC 20520 Dear Secretary Tillerson: Your thoughtful opening remarks to Department of State personnel on February 2, and extensive executive experience gave hope that you would effectively lead the Department and its many talented professionals through this otherwise turbulent transition amid a host of pressing international challenges. However, we write today out of concern that the Department of State is experiencing s… Continue Reading


03.09.17

At House Hearing, Leahy And Grassley Again Press For Reforms To Foreign Investment Program (EB-5)

Problems plaguing the EB-5 Regional Center program must be addressed through bipartisan legislation once and for all, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Wednesday. Appearing before the House Judiciary Committee, Leahy noted that the Obama administration's proposed rules to rein in abuses of the program "represent a significant step forward," but that a lasting legislative fix is needed. Leahy pressed the Trump administration to uphold the proposed rules, which will better ensure that the EB-5 … Continue Reading


03.08.17

Appropriations Vice Chair Leahy's Statement At Subcommittee Hearing: "Investing in America: Funding our Nation’s Transportation Infrastructure Needs"

The infrastructure needs of every community are unique, yet we all share similar stories of our crumbling roads and bridges, and we contemplate high speed rail and hope for improved airport systems. I, like many, am tired of talking about our withering infrastructure systems and Congress doing nothing, especially when we have the power to improve them. It was not all that long ago when transportation and infrastructure investments were bipartisan efforts. Since that time, small, intransigent… Continue Reading


03.08.17

Appropriations Vice Chair Leahy's Statement At Subcommittee On Labor, Health and Human Services Hearing: “Saving Lives Through Medical Research”

I want to thank Chairman Blunt and Ranking Member Murray for holding this important hearing to discuss the importance of medical research in saving lives. Medical research holds tremendous promise and is responsible for breakthroughs with diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's. Federal research dollars provide the nation's top professions with the resources they need to continue expanding medical knowledge. The tireless devotion of researchers to finding cures has served as a catalyst for nati… Continue Reading

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