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Press Releases

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


Leahy Amendment Adds Bipartisan Reauthorization Of The Northern Border Regional Commission To The 2018 Farm Bill

In a vote of 20 to 1, the Senate Agriculture Committee Wednesday passed a new five-year Farm Bill that includes an amendment by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to reauthorize the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) through 2023. Leahy advocated for the creation of the Commission in the 2008 Farm Bill and successfully reauthorized it in the 2014 Farm Bill. The commission promotes regional coordination and invests in job creation efforts and economic development in distressed counties in t… Continue Reading


Leahy Statement At The Agriculture Committee Markup Of The Farm Bill

Thank you, Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow, for working together in a bipartisan fashion to draft this 2018 Farm Bill. This bill is a demonstration of what the Senate can achieve when we cast aside the rancor and rhetoric, and focus on the real challenges we face. In fact, this bill reminds me of the compromises made during my tenure as Chairman or Ranking Member of this Committee. Our nation's agricultural, food, and environmental systems all benefit from provisions included in t… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Trump-Kim Summit Meeting

I commend President Trump for beginning direct negotiations. But it is troubling that the President has agreed to unilaterally halt military exercises with South Korea without verifiable commitments from North Korea to denuclearize, while giving Kim the recognition he has long craved. So far all we have seen is a photo op coupled with a few broadly worded commitments. Clearly it will be months, if not years, before we know whether yesterday's meeting achieves anything of lasting value, and I … Continue Reading


Leahy: Senate Appropriations Committee Approves $50 M. To Help Domestic Abuse Victims

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that an appropriations bill approved by the committee on Thursday includes $50 million for Domestic Violence Supportive Housing, a program that provides rapid and transitional housing to victims of domestic violence. Leahy, who led in writing and enacting the 2013 law that strengthened the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and was the bill's chief sponsor, made it a priority for the panel to include t… Continue Reading


Leahy Leads Charge Against Homelessness In Senate Appropriations Bill

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Thursday guided more than $2.6 billion in Homeless Assistance Grants through the Senate Appropriations Committee, helping to secure a $99 million increase over the fiscal year 2018 funding level in the fight to break the cycle of homelessness. Leahy said: "Too many Vermonters and families across the country are on the brink of crisis and becoming homeless. Together we can end homelessness, but it takes a villa… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Release Of The Committee’s Farm Bill Draft

With this draft, the Senate is moving toward next week's committee consideration of the Farm Bill on a starkly more bipartisan footing than the House has done with the pending partisan Republican bill. I applaud Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow for working together to draft this proposal as a bipartisan starting point. Every five-year Farm Bill is always important to Vermont families, to Vermont farmers and to our state's economy in many ways. Vermont farmers look to USDA for tech… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins Feinstein And Other Senate Democrats In Introducing Legislation To Halt Separation Of Immigrant Families At The Border

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a leading member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, joined Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and 30 other senators in introducing legislation to keep immigrant families together by preventing the Department of Homeland Security from taking children from their parents at the border. The Keeping Families Together Act was developed in consultation with child welfare experts to ensure the federal government is acting in the best int… Continue Reading


Leahy Comments As Oral Arguments Begin In Emoluments Lawsuit Against President Trump

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a leading member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement about the long-awaited beginning on Thursday of oral arguments, in a federal courtroom in Washington, in the Emoluments lawsuit brought by several members of Congress, Blumenthal, Nadler, et al. v. Trump. Leahy is a leading plaintiff in the lawsuit, which seeks to compel President Trump to comply with the Constitution's Foreign Emoluments Clause: "We filed this lawsuit because we… Continue Reading


Leahy Steers Housing And Community Development Programs Vital To Vermont Through The Senate Appropriations Committee

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Thursday steered a funding bill through the Senate Appropriations Committee that protects vital housing and community development programs important to Vermont from elimination by the Trump administration and maintains new investments achieved in last year's bipartisan budget deal. The committee-passed bill provides $3.3 billion in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), $1.36 billion for the Home Investmen… Continue Reading


Appropriations Vice Chair Leahy Announces Committee Approval Of Key Transportation Funding

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday preserves key infrastructure resources for communities across Vermont and the nation. The bill includes $255 million for Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Grants, $300 million for the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repai… Continue Reading


Leahy Protects Funding For Vermont-Based PTSD Research And Treatment Facility

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill approved on Thursday by the committee includes several key Vermont initiatives to help veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Notably, the bill protects $40 million in funding for the PTSD Consultation Program, run out of the National Center for PTSD at White River Junction, Vt., and created by Leahy in fi… Continue Reading


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

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