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


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


As Venezuela’s Humanitarian Situation Worsens, Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce TPS Legislation to Support Venezuelans Fleeing Maduro Regime

Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations, was joined Thursday by Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in introducing the Venezuela Temporary Protected Status Act of 2019, a bill to immediately grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible Venezuelans fleeing the dire conditions in their home country and to strengthen migration systems in the countries surrounding Venezuela. "The scale of … Continue Reading


Leahy Leads Eight Senators In Reintroducing Reforms To Restore The Rights Of Americans Deprived Of Justice By Forced Arbitration

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Thursday reintroduced his legislation to restore the rights of Americans who are forced into forced arbitration in civil rights cases, sexual harassment claims, employment disputes and other legal cases. Forced arbitration clauses are often included in contracts that Americans must sign for employment, a bank account or credit card, or myriad other everyday activities, precluding them from seeking remedies in court. The Restoring Statutory Rights Act would ensu… Continue Reading


Senate Floor Address Of Appropriations Vice Chair Senator Patrick Leahy On The Need To Reach A New Two-Year Budget Agreement

While it was only two short weeks ago that we finished the Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriations bills, there is no rest for the weary on the Senate Appropriations Committee. I come to the Floor today to talk about the need to reach a new two-year budget deal so that the Appropriations Committee can begin its work in earnest on the Fiscal Year 2020 bills. Unless we get a budget deal, sequestration returns in Fiscal Year 2020, necessitating steep cuts in programs that invest in America and support… Continue Reading


Statement Of Appropriations Vice Chair Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) At The Appropriations Committee Hearing On The Opioid Epidemic

Thank you Chairman Blunt and Ranking Member Murray for convening today's hearing to learn more about how states are working to combat opioid addiction. The opioid epidemic is the health crisis of our time. Every community and every family has been touched in some way by this tragic loss of life or the struggle of addiction. An epidemic of this scale must be met with bold new ideas and the resources to back them up. Vermont, like other states, is not immune to the scourge of opioid addiction.… Continue Reading


Address Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Urgent Call For Real Action On Climate Change

More than 30 years ago, when cooperation and bipartisanship were a hallmark of the United States Senate, a bipartisan group of Senators sounded the alarm about climate change. They made a modest request of the Office of Technology Assessment: study the issue of climate change, and make recommendations to avert global disaster. Those Senators were concerned that human activity might directly cause permanent, destructive, and widespread changes to our planet's climate system -- changes that would … Continue Reading


Leahy Leads 46 Senators In Introducing The Voting Rights Advancement Act Of 2019 To Restore & Strengthen The Landmark Voting Rights Act

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a leading member and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, led 46 senators Tuesday in introducing the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019, alongside Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), who led more than 200 House members in introducing companion legislation in the House of Representatives. In 2013, the Supreme Court's Shelby County v. Holder decision gutted Section 5 of the landmark Voting Rights Act, consequently crippling the federal governmen… Continue Reading


Senate Floor Address Of Senate Appropriations Vice Chair Patrick Leahy On President Trump’s Declaration Of A National Emergency

When President Trump declared a national emergency two weeks ago in order to build his pet project - and in the process declared his intent to siphon billions of dollars that Congress had appropriated for our men and women in uniform- I am not sure which lawyers he consulted, but those lawyers seemed to overlook our nation's founding document, the United States Constitution. I know the President likes to communicate in 280 characters or less, so I'll point him to a 77 character phrase he may wa… Continue Reading


Senate Floor Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Introduction Of The Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019

Nearly 54 years ago, a courageous band of civil rights activists - including my friend and hero, Congressman John Lewis - began a march for the right to vote from Selma to Montgomery. They marched non-violently in the face of unspeakable violence. They shed their blood for the ballot. Their march - and that struggle for voting equality - lives on to this very day. Just months ago, during our midterm elections, several states methodically attempted to disenfranchise minority voters. Their tacti… Continue Reading


Leahy And Vermont State Police Announce Victory Over The Trump Threat To Withhold Anti-Crime And Anti-Heroin Task Force Funds

(MONDAY, Feb. 25, 2019) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, in a victory following a two-year long dispute with the Trump administration, on Monday announced that approximately $2.3 million in Department of Justice grants to fund public safety needs and combat the opioid epidemic in Vermont will finally be released. In 2017, the Vermont State Police was awarded a $1.3 million COPS Anti-Heroin Task Force (AHTF) grant that, in addition to two-ye… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Statewide Expansion of Economic Development Effort

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. (THURSDAY, February 21, 2019) - During a Thursday event at the Middlebury Town Offices, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced that all communities in Vermont are now eligible to apply for funding from the Northern Border Regional Commission's (NBRC) grant programs. The NBRC is a federal-state partnership with a mission to help alleviate economic distress and encourage private-sector job creation throughout portions of Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire and New York. Leahy inc… Continue Reading


Senate Appropriations Vice Chair Patrick Leahy Delivers Weekly Democratic Address

Following the passage of a bipartisan, bicameral compromise to fund the government, Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) delivers the Weekly Democratic Address, outlining how the agreement reins in the extreme immigration policies of the Trump administration and makes investments in the real priorities of the American people. The agreement includes significant increases in the programs and investments on which American workers, families, farmers and communities rely… Continue Reading

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