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


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


Leahy Statement On Defending Indigenous Activists In The Phillipines

Mr. President, I want to speak about a subject that other Senators should be aware of. Many Members of Congress have visited the Philippines, a country with which we share a long history of strategic, economic, cultural, and other interests. We also know that for many years the Philippine government has been fighting an extremist insurgency in Mindanao. The United States has been supporting the Philippine government in that effort. According to information I have received, on February 21, 20… Continue Reading


Leahy Statement On The International Commission Against Impunity In Guatemala

Mr. President, many of us here are familiar with the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, known as CICIG. The United States Congress, and Republican and Democratic administrations, have supported it for years, and with few exceptions it is strongly supported by the Guatemalan people. That is because CICIG, working closely with the Office of the Attorney General, has proven what many Guatemalans thought impossible: that even the most powerful government officials who commit … Continue Reading


Leahy Statement On The United Nations High Commissioner For Human Rights

Mr. President, I want to take a moment to pay tribute to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, who some here also know from his service as Jordan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations and as Jordan's Ambassador to the United States. The High Commissioner has held his post since September 1, 2014, and his term will end on August 31, 2018. He has carried out his responsibilities with exceptional courage, compassion, commitment, and even humor - … Continue Reading


FACT SHEET: Details Of Major Lake Champlain Funding Announced By Appropriations Vice Chair Patrick Leahy

N E W S B a c k g r o u n d e r At-A-Glance Summary Of Senator Leahy's Lake Champlain Funding Priorities FY2018 In Senator Leahy's first full year as Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, funding to protect and restore Lake Champlain is at an historic high water mark. This is despite a spending plan from President Trump and his administration that would have eliminated many clean water programs. The EPA Lake Champlain Program is funded at $8.399 million, an increase of $4… Continue Reading


Leahy On Trump Tariffs: President Risks A Scorching Trade War That Would Harm VT Producers And Workers

The President's rash actions again show that he has no real ideas about how to increase American manufacturing jobs. Slapping tariffs on three of our four largest trade partners would be bad enough, since retaliatory tariffs will erode demand for American exports. But the President incredibly is also acting without any plan to invest in American steel and aluminum workers here at home to take any advantage of this action. Canada is Vermont's largest trading partner, and Vermonters stand to lo… Continue Reading


Appropriations Vice Chair Leahy Engineers Boost In Funding For Organics

(FRIDAY, May 25, 2018) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that the fiscal year 2019 Agriculture Appropriations bill advanced by the Committee Thursday includes significant increases to organic programs. Leahy has long championed organic agriculture and is recognized as the 'father' of the National Organic Program, having created it as part of the 1990 Farm Bill. The bill, as approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee, includes $15 … Continue Reading


Appropriations Vice Chair Leahy Wins Significant Increase In Funding For Economic Development In The Northeast Kingdom

(FRIDAY, May 25, 2018) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that the two appropriations bills approved by the Committee Thursday include a combined $22 million in Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) grant funding. The grants are part of a continuing effort, long supported by Leahy, to revitalize communities in Northern Vermont. The $22 million is a $7 million increase for the NBRC, which awards grants in Caledonia, Essex, Franklin,… Continue Reading


Appropriations Vice Chair Leahy Advances Funding Boost For Maple Syrup Research Program In Bill Approved By Senate Panel

(FRIDAY, May 25, 2018) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday approved $4 million for USDA Acer Access and Development grants in the Senate fiscal year 2019 Agriculture Appropriations bill. The Acer program, created as part of the 2014 Farm Bill that Leahy helped craft and enact, offers grants to organizations conducting research and education related to the maple syrup industry. The $4 mill… Continue Reading


Senate Bill Includes $4 Million In New Funding To Combat Invasive Forest Pests

(FRIDAY, May 25, 2018) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Thursday announced that a spending bill approved by the Committee includes $4 million in new funding to combat invasive forest pests that threaten a variety of native hardwood species across New England like maple, birch, elm, poplar, horse chestnut and willow trees. Leahy said: "New England, and Vermont in particular, is iconic for our annual explosion of color, with fall foliage and t… Continue Reading


Leahy Leads Effort To Bring Down SNAP Barriers At Local Farmers’ Markets

(FRIDAY, May 25, 2018) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Thursday secured language in the Senate Appropriations report on the annual Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations bill that would bring down barriers to low-income families using their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at local farmers' markets. The language would increase access to local, healthful and fr… Continue Reading


Leahy Advances $6 Million In New Funding To Support Rural Businesses Through Senate Appropriations Committee

(FRIDAY, May 25, 2018) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Thursday announced the Committee approved a $6 million increase for the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program, for a total of $40 million. The legislation now heads to consideration before the full Senate. Leahy said: "In Vermont, rural businesses are the center of our communities. Supporting these businesses means supporting Vermont's rural economy, and I'm proud the Committee… Continue Reading


Senators Leahy And Daines Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Expand Broadband To Rural Americans

(FRIDAY, May 25, 2018) -- U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Steve Daines (R- Mont.) have introduced the bipartisan Reprioritizing Unserved Rural Areas and Locations for Broadband (RURAL Broadband) Act of 2018, which will prioritize federal funds that are used to provide broadband access to areas that are unserved with no access, before they are used to upgrade areas with existing service. Their bill is a significant step toward prioritizing unserved rural areas in Vermont and other states.… Continue Reading


Leahy And Nelson Introduce The Crime Gun Tracing Modernization Act

(THURSDAY, May 24, 2018) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) on Thursday introduced the Crime Gun Tracing Modernization Act (S. 2974), a bill to modernize crime gun tracing capabilities. Under current law, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is barred from electronically searching gun records, and must comb through hundreds of millions of records manually, delaying criminal investigations around the country that depend on ATF to trace guns… Continue Reading


Blumenthal & Leahy Call On DOJ To Cancel Meeting To Disclose Sensitive, Classified Information To House Republicans

Today U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to cancel a meeting scheduled to take place tomorrow between the Department of Justice and exclusively Republican Members of Congress to discuss highly sensitive, classified information relating to counterintelligence efforts surrounding Russian meddling in our election. "We write to express our alarm about the Justice Department's r… Continue Reading


NEWS Vermont Dairy Farmers Can Use

New info on the improved Margin Protection Program (MPP) for dairy farmers and the SIGNUP DEADLINE ON FRIDAY, JUNE 1: USDA now says they will begin ON JUNE 1 issuing checks to producers who signed up early for the February and March margins, as an incentive for enrolling before the June 1 deadline and to offer immediate help to dairy farmers struggling with low milk prices. Leahy, who authored the MPP improvements and steered them into law as part of the Appropriations/budget agreement in Febr… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch Announce $2.5 Million in Public Housing Grants

Vermont's congressional delegation - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) and Rep. Peter Welch (D) - Wednesday announced the allocation of more than $2.5 million in federal grants to six Vermont housing authorities to preserve, improve and develop public housing across Vermont. The grants were awarded under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Capital Fund Program. In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said: "At a time when wages have been stagnant f… Continue Reading


Leahy Leads Appropriations Dems In Calling On President Trump To Not Claw Back Vital Funds To Combat Ebola And Other Infectious Diseases

In a letter led by Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), committee Democrats are urging President Trump to not claw back vital funding intended to combat the Ebola virus and other deadly infectious diseases around the world. Millions of Americans are traveling, studying, and working overseas. And outbreaks of dangerous diseases are only one airplane flight away from reaching the United States and other nations. In early May, President Trump asked Congress to r… Continue Reading

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