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


REAX Of Appropriations Vice Chair Senator Leahy (D-Vt.) To The Guatemalan Government's Termination Of The Mandate Of The International Commission Against Impunity In Guatemala (CICIG)

"Over the past year, President Morales repeatedly asserted his support for CICIG. Yet throughout this period he has sought to cripple CICIG by expelling its commissioner and intimidating its employees. He has done so despite rulings of the Constitutional Court upholding the independence and mandate of CICIG and its commissioner. "President Morales, and those who have participated in or supported this flagrant abuse of power, have made their choice. It is a choice of self-interest over … Continue Reading


REAX Of Appropriations Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy To President Trump’s Claim That The Military Can Build His Wall

The real national emergency is the President's senseless and costly shutdown. There is no national emergency on the southern border. Between 2000 and 2018, border apprehensions fell sharply from roughly 1.6 million in fiscal year 2000 to approximately 400,000 in fiscal year 2018 -- that's a 75 percent drop. The President stealing resources from the Defense Department for the construction of a wasteful border wall, at taxpayer expense, to defend against the President's imaginary invasion woul… Continue Reading


Senate Floor Address Of Appropriations Vice Chair Patrick Leahy, On Day 13 Of The Trump Shutdown

We are in the thirteenth day of the Trump Shutdown. Thirteen days that nine of fifteen federal departments and dozens of agencies have shut their doors. Thirteen days in which hundreds of thousands of Americans have been furloughed or are working without pay, and thirteen days that Americans have been denied government services on which they rely on and pay their taxes for. The President is holding federal government funding hostage in an attempt to force Congress to pay for an ineffective a… Continue Reading



More Than 450,000 Are Working Without Pay, Many Of Whom Are Veterans, Including: More than 41,000 Federal Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers Including: 2,614 ATF agents; 16,742 Bureau of Prisons correctional officers; 13,709 FBI agents; 3,600 deputy U.S. Marshals; and 4,399 DEA agents. Up To 88 Percent Of Department of Homeland Security Employees, Including: 54,000 Customs and Border Protection agents and customs officers; 42,000 Coast Guard employees. 6,503 staff … Continue Reading


Senate Confirms Former Essex Police Chief Brad LaRose As Vermont’s U.S. Marshal

The U.S. Senate Wednesday night confirmed retired Essex Police Chief Brad LaRose as Vermont's next U.S. Marshal. He was unanimously confirmed with other noncontroversial nominees in the final hours of the just-expired congressional session. A new Congress begins on Thursday. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Governor Phil Scott (R) had jointly recommended LaRose to President Trump in January 2018 to fill the vacancy, and the President nominated him in June. The Senate Judiciary Committee app… Continue Reading


Statement Of Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy On House Democrats Introducing Legislation To Reopen the Government

There is one reason and one reason only that much of our federal government is shut down through the holidays and countless Americans are living with uncertainty - and that reason is President Trump. For 10 days he has held the federal government hostage in an attempt to force us to pay for an ineffective and expensive wall on the southern border, a wall he promised that Mexico would pay for. It will not work. He does not have the votes. Today, House Democrats introduced a commonsense path… Continue Reading


Statement of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy On The Trump Shutdown

Today nine of our 15 federal departments, and several dozen agencies have shuttered their doors, denying vital services to millions of American citizens. Since midnight last night, and just a few days before Christmas, more than 800,000 public servants and their families have been told not to expect their next paycheck for the foreseeable future. There is one reason and one reason only that our federal government has shut down today and countless Americans are living with uncertainty - and … Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Another Setback For Justice In Guatemala

Mr. President, like many Members of Congress who have long supported efforts to help build an independent judiciary and reduce public corruption and impunity in Guatemala, I have observed a pattern of alarming actions by President Morales' administration and his allies in Guatemala's Congress to thwart these efforts. In the latest development, earlier this week the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs withdrew the diplomatic immunity of 11 investigators and other personnel of the Internation… Continue Reading


Portman, Leahy Hail President's Signing Of Their Second Chance Act Into Law As Part Of Historic Criminal Justice Reform Package

U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced that their bipartisan Second Chance Reauthorization Act was signed into law Friday by President Trump as part of the First Step Act, bipartisan legislation to reform America's criminal justice system The legislation passed the Senate earlier this week by a margin of 87 to 12. The Second Chance Reauthorization Act reauthorizes and strengthens the Second Chance Act, a bipartisan law that supports state and local reentry progra… Continue Reading


Menendez, Leahy Call for Expulsion Of Top Sudanese Diplomat

Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, yesterday sent a letter to President Trump calling for the expulsion and potential sanctioning of the Charge D'Affaires at the Embassy of Sudan in Washington. Citing Mohamed Atta al-Moula's former role as the head of Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), the Senators refer to a well-documented pattern o… Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To The Resignation Of Defense Secretary Mattis

"I am very disappointed and concerned that the Department of Defense will lose the exceptional leadership of Secretary Mattis. He has been an outstanding leader there at a time when his steady hand and decades of experience were sorely needed. He and I and most Americans share the belief that the United States is stronger when we work with our allies and partners to defend an international order that protects our security and upholds our commitment to peace and respect for human rights. I dee… Continue Reading


Senators Patrick Leahy And Mike Lee Press Intelligence And Justice Dept. Leaders On Surveillance PowersSenators Patrick Leahy And Mike Lee Press Intelligence And Justice Dept. Leaders On Surveillance Powers

Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) Thursday asked the Director of National Intelligence and the Acting Attorney General to report on the government's implementation of surveillance authorities granted in the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015, which was authored by the two senators. The USA FREEDOM Act imposed substantial reforms on the government's foreign intelligence surveillance powers, including to a controversial telephone metadata program that allowed for the bulk collection of Am… Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Leahy To USDA's Proposed Rule On Work Requirements For SNAP Recipients

"Today, on the very same day the President is signing a Farm Bill that was approved in both the House and the Senate with strong bipartisan support, USDA is proposing new rules that make an end-run around this brand new Farm Bill. This bad-faith rule change relates to work requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), to make it harder for states to request waivers based on local job conditions. These rules will do nothing to 'restore the dignity of work,' and instead a… Continue Reading


Statement of Senate Appropriations Vice Chairman Leahy On Passage Of The Third Continuing Resolution

Today we will pass a third Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government operating through February 8th. I support this CR because a government shutdown is never good for our country - in fact it is a terrible idea - but this whole process has been a missed opportunity. For six of the seven appropriations bills covered under today's CR, we have a clear path forward. These bills - Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, Interior, Financial Services, Transportation-Housing and Urban Develop… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Leahy On The Agreement Between Major League Baseball And The Cuban Baseball Federation

"Baseball has always been a bridge between our two nations, facilitating people-to-people connections and larger agreements that have brought our countries closer together. One of the first breakthroughs in U.S.-Cuba relations was a baseball game that I attended in Havana in 1999 between the Baltimore Orioles and the Cuban national team. I vividly remember the crowd's enthusiasm for both the American and Cuban players, an enthusiasm that was reciprocated by American fans when they played in Ba… Continue Reading


Leahy And Portman Praise Senate Passage Of Their Second Chance Reauthorization Act, As Part Of Criminal Justice Reform Package

U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced that their bipartisan Second Chance Reauthorization Act passed the Senate as part of the First Step Act, bipartisan legislation to reform America's criminal justice system. The reform package passed the Senate late Tuesday night in a strong bipartisan vote of 87 to 12. The House is expected to pass it by the end of this week, and President Trump is expected to sign it. The Second Chance Reauthorization Act reauthorizes and… Continue Reading


Leahy Hails Senate Passage Of Sentencing Reform Pkg.; Leahy, A Leading Cosponsor, Helped Build Strong Bipartisan Consensus

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) hails the Senate's strong bipartisan vote late Tuesday night on the First Step Act as a "rare chance to reform the nation's prison and sentencing system to reduce recidivism, save tax dollars, and foster safe communities." The First Step Act is years in the making and Leahy, an original cosponsor of the bill, played a lead role in methodically forging over the past six years the bipartisan coalition that led to its passage. The bipartisan First Step Act uses ev… Continue Reading


Leahy On Senate Floor Urges Approval Of The First Step Act, As Senate Begins Debate On Historic Criminal Justice Reforms

Today the Senate is considering perhaps the most significant bill to reform our criminal justice system in nearly a decade. The First Step Act takes modest but important steps to remedy some of the most troubling injustices within our sentencing laws and our prison system. It is my hope that this bill represents not just a single piece of legislation, but a turning point in how Congress views its role in advancing criminal justice. I have been working to bring fairness to our criminal justice… Continue Reading


BREAKING: Leahy Leads Senators In Filing Amicus Brief As Part Of Litigation Against President Trump's Illegal Asylum Ban

On Thursday night, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) led Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) in filing an amicus brief as part of O.A. v. Trump, a lawsuit filed by six asylum seekers in the D.C. District Court challenging the legality of President Trump's Presidential Proclamation and rule effectively barring all asylum claims outside of ports of entry. The senators' core… Continue Reading


Portman-Leahy SECOND CHANCE ACT Now Included In Crim. Justice Reform Pkg., Set For Senate Debate And Votes NEXT WEEK

U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) announced that their bipartisan Second Chance Reauthorization Act this week was incorporated into the First Step Act, bipartisan legislation to reform America's criminal justice system authored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). The Second Chance Reauthorization Act rea… Continue Reading

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