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


Grassley, Leahy Press Justice Department on Whistleblower Protections

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senator Patrick Leahy today are pressing the Justice Department on its progress implementing whistleblower protections at the FBI. In a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Grassley and Leahy outline a series of concerns about whistleblower protections that have gone unaddressed despite government reports drawing attention to these problems and recommending changes. The Justice Department's own report from 2014 identified "key systemi… Continue Reading


Sense of Senate Resolution Commending Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos

Mr. President, today I am introducing a Sense of Senate Resolution commending Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for his extraordinary leadership in protecting Colombia's natural environment. Anyone who has lived in, traveled to, or read about Colombia knows it is a country of exceptional beauty and biological diversity. It is also home to many indigenous groups that have played an indispensable role as environmental stewards of their territories. During the years of his presidency, Presi… Continue Reading


Congressional Delegation Announces $480,000 in Federal Funds for Electric Buses

Vermont's congressional delegation announced Tuesday that the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) will receive a $480,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to purchase two electric buses that will be used by Green Mountain Transit in Burlington. In June, the Vermont delegation wrote to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in support of the grant. The two new federally funded electric buses will help Vermont reduce local air pollution and the carbon emissions that co… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Protecting Civil Society Activists

Mr. President, I want to speak briefly about a provision that was included for the first time by myself and Senator Lindsey Graham in the fiscal year 2018 Department of State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill, which was reported unanimously by the Senate Appropriations Committee on September 7th. Specifically, the Committee-reported bill includes $15 million to implement a U.S. inter-agency strategy - led by the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor - to s… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Funding for International HIV/AIDS Programs

Mr. President, I want to speak briefly about the funding to combat HIV/AIDS in the fiscal year 2018 Department of State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill, which was reported unanimously by the Senate Appropriations Committee on September 7th. In May, the Congress received the President's fiscal year 2018 budget request, which included a $1 billion cut to international HIV/AIDS programs. The White House proposed to focus the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief - the PEPFAR progr… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Funding to Address Cholera in Haiti

Mr. President, in 2004 the United States voted to establish the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) to police the country following years of political turmoil. While MINUSTAH was successful in bringing a semblance of order to the country, its mission was severely impacted by the 2010 earthquake which resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people and left hundreds of thousands more in need of assistance. Haiti has not fully recovered since then. Unfortunately, tha… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Supporting International Efforts to Apprehend and Prosecute War Criminals

Mr. President, I want to speak very briefly about an amendment that was adopted unanimously by the Appropriations Committee two weeks ago, during markup of the fiscal year 2018 Department of State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill. The amendment, which I offered, was identical to one that was adopted by the Committee last year and the year before that. It would permit the United States to provide technical assistance, training, assistance for victims, protection of witnesses, and law… Continue Reading


Comment Of Appropriations Vice Chair Patrick Leahy And Appropriations Member Chris Van Hollen On The U.S. Decision To Withdraw Approval Of Export of Firearms to the Turkish Presidential Protection Directorate

Reaction of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt), Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee and cosponsor of the amendment by Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), adopted by the Appropriations Committee on Sept 7, to prohibit exports of U.S. defense articles to the Turkish Presidential Protection Directorate: "This sale to President Erdogan's personal security guards should never have been approved, given their history of excessive force. But in the category of 'better late than never,' we welcome th… Continue Reading


Leahy Statement On Senate Passage Of National Defense Authorization Act

I want to thank Senator McCain and Senator Reed for their leadership in producing the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018. Both veterans, they have a particular understanding of the sacrifices that members of our Armed Services make every day. Every year, this authorization bill is drafted to reflect our commitment to the men and women serving in uniform, to authorize resources needed to maintain our national security, and to demonstrate the values and principles on which o… Continue Reading


Appropriations Vice Chairman Leahy's Statement On House Passage Of An Omnibus Appropriations Bill

What the House passed today does not bring us any closer to responsibly funding the government, and it will not pass the Senate. It wastes billions of taxpayer dollars on a useless border wall, which the President promised that Mexico would pay for, and contains poison-pill riders that have no place in the appropriations process. Its proposed increase for defense spending is a lie to the American people that would shatter the budget caps set in place by the Budget Control Act. This would dire… Continue Reading


NEWS From Sen. Leahy And Gov. Scott: VT Nets 5-Yr, $9.9M Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Grant

The Vermont Department of Mental Health (VDMH) has been awarded a $9.9 million federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The grant, which will be disbursed over a five-year period, will fund the Vermont Family Centered Healthcare Home Project (VFCHP) in its facilitation of a comprehensive approach to health - including mental, emotional and physical health - for children and their families. VFCHP will provide services that are family-driven with … Continue Reading


Leahy Cosponsors Medicare For All Bill To Provide Health Care For All Americans

Senator Leahy Wednesday joined Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in introducing a bill that would ensure all Americans have quality health care. Leahy, long a supporter of universal health care, is an original cosponsor of Sanders' Medicare For All Act of 2017. Leahy said: "We've made progress in offering health insurance to millions of uninsured Americans, but the complex and costly system that ACA reformed still leaves millions without coverage. We need to begin serious conversations about ge… Continue Reading


Leahy Part Of Senate Coalition Pushing Equifax To End Use of Consumer-Harming Forced Arbitration Clauses

Senator Patrick Leahy has joined Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) in a broad Democratic effort to push Equifax - the massive credit bureau that recently made public a data breach affecting 143 million Americans - to completely end its use of forced arbitration agreements, which limit the ability of consumers to pursue justice in a public court of law or challenge widespread corporate wrongdoing. Leahy and Franken are longtime allies in pressing for an end of anti… Continue Reading


Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy Notches Key Win For Lake Champlain In Committee Vote

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) secured more than $6 million in funding to support fisheries, water quality, and flooding issues in Lake Champlain and Lake Memphremagog, a $2.3 million increase over last year, in the State, Foreign Operations And Related Programs appropriations bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday. Leahy said: "It's important that we make this investment in continued progress for preserving and protecting Lake Champl… Continue Reading


Leahy Leads Appropriations Committee In Rejecting Trump Administration’s Elimination Of Home-Heating Assistance Program

Appropriations Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday led the funding panel in rejecting President Trump's proposal to completely eliminate the Low Income Home Energy Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which would have left tens of thousands of Vermont across all 14 counties of the Green Mountain State vulnerable to high heating costs this winter. Leahy said: "By eliminating LIHEAP, the President would have left thousands of Vermonters out in the cold. The government should not be in … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Trump Directive To End The DACA Program

After promising he would treat DACA recipients with "great heart," President Trump has instead made a heartless decision to abandon protections for our Nation's DREAMers. An unfortunate pattern has emerged with this White House. Facing historic low approval ratings, the President desperately rallies his dwindling supporters by exploiting fear and resentment. Such conduct is shameful and unbecoming of the presidency, an office intended to represent our proudest ideals - not play to basest inst… Continue Reading


Summary: Departments of Labor, Health And Human Services, And Education, And Related Agencies FY 2018 Appropriations Bill

The fiscal year 2018 Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) Appropriations bill provides a total of $166 billion. This figure includes $164.1 billion in discretionary funding as well as $1.896 billion in cap adjustment funding to prevent waste, fraud, abuse and improper payments in the Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security programs. U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Ranking Member of the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, … Continue Reading


Summary: State, Foreign Operations, And Related Programs FY 2018 Appropriations Bill

The bill provides $51.195 billion in discretionary budget authority, including $20.785 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations. The allocation is $10.7 billion above the President's request as scored by CBO, but it is $1.9 billion below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level when factoring in fiscal year 2017 funding for famine relief but not the Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017. U.S. Senator Leahy Ranking Member (D-Vt.), Ranking Member of the State, Foreign Operations, and Related… Continue Reading


Leahy And Cochran Re-Introduce Bill To Renew And Expand Farm To School Program

U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) Wednesday re-introduced their legislation to extend a key nutrition program for school-aged children. The bipartisan Farm to School Act of 2017 will increase federal resources that bring fresh and nutritious local foods to schools across the country. Leahy, Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, is the author of the existing Farm to School program. Cochran is the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, and both se… Continue Reading


Statement Of Appropriations Vice Chair Patrick Leahy On Harvey Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Bill

(Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017) - The U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday, by a vote of 419 to 3, approved $7.4 billion in appropriations for FEMA and $450 million for the Small Business Administration to support continued disaster relief following the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey. The bill now moves to the Senate where Senate Appropriations Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will play a key role in passing it through the chamber.] Marcelle and I have held the people of Texas and Lou… Continue Reading

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