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


Senate Floor Remarks Of Sen. Patrick Leahy On Abandonment Of The Senate’s Blue Slip Tradition In Judicial Confirmations

As the longest-serving member of the Senate - and a former chairman of the Judiciary Committee - I feel obligated to speak up about the steady erosion of the norms and traditions that protect the Senate's unique constitutional role. This week we are witnessing a further degradation of the once-respected role of the "blue slip" in the judicial confirmation process. Partisans who value only political expediency have argued that blue slips are archaic remnants, or mere slips of paper. But blue s… Continue Reading


Leahy Opening Statement At DHS Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing To Review 2019 DHS Budget

Secretary Nielsen - you are here to defend the Department of Homeland Security's budget request. This budget request is a reflection of the Trump administration's priorities for your agency. And it is those priorities that I want to discuss with you today, and whether they are supported by the facts. Within days of taking office, the President attempted to make good on his Muslim ban pledge by ordering a travel ban on citizens of certain Muslim majority countries. He did this despite a consen… Continue Reading


Senior Democrats To President Trump: Don't Abandon Iran Nuclear Agreement

Senator Patrick Leahy joined Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and a coalition of 11 Senate ranking members calling on President Trump to not unilaterally abandon the Iran nuclear agreement. "We have supported broad, comprehensive sanctions to target Iran's support for terror groups, its ballistic missile program, and its human rights violations, and continue to support strong measures to counter these destabilizing and troubling actions by Iran," the senators wrote. "All of us st… Continue Reading


Blumenthal, Leahy, Durbin, Whitehouse Seek Assurances Special Counsel Investigation Is Protected From Unauthorized Disclosure to Giuliani

Four members of the Senate Judiciary Committee - U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Patrick Leahy, Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) - wrote Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray today to request information on any changes in procedure or personnel implemented by the FBI in response to unauthorized disclosures made to former Mayor Rudy Giuliani during the 2016 election. The senators raise the issue as Giuliani continues to speak publicly a… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces More Than $16 M. In Affordable Housing And Community Development Funds For Vermont

Senator Patrick Leahy announced Tuesday that Vermont will receive more than $16 million in new affordable housing and community development funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and NeighborWorks America. Earlier this year, as Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Leahy successfully negotiated a bipartisan deal to lift the budget caps on discretionary funding to allow Congress to fund the nation's domestic priorities, including significant incre… Continue Reading


Leahy And Rubio Ask AG Sessions For Information About China’s Abuse Of Interpol To Coerce Chinese Dissidents

(FRIDAY, April 27, 2018) -- U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) have led a bipartisan group of Senators in asking U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to provide information regarding recent reports of Chinese authorities abusing Interpol red notices to harass dissidents living abroad and threaten suspects' family members who remain in China in an attempt to compel their return. The full text of their letter is below: Dear Attorney General Sessions: Recent reporting in… Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Passing Of Former Governor Phil Hoff

Marcelle and I are saddened by the passing of a great Vermonter and a true leader. But we are proud of and grateful to Phil Hoff for all he has done for our state and all of its people. He and his family are in our thoughts and in our prayers. Any summary of Phil Hoff's life is an exercise in superlatives. He was a visionary, a trailblazer, a reformer and a transformative influence in both Vermont and on the national stage. He was an example of political courage to so many of us. Even his Kenne… Continue Reading


Leahy Statement On The Nomination Of Mike Pompeo To Be Secretary Of State

Mr. President, I did not vote for Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State. Although Mr. Tillerson was a successful corporate executive, I did not believe that heading the world's largest oil company was the right resume for the Nation's top diplomat. Mr. Tillerson is a man of substantial intellect who wanted to do the right thing, but his record as Secretary of State speaks for itself. He did not do well, and the country, the State Department, and its employees - including some of our most exp… Continue Reading


Leahy Statement On International Students And Scholars

Mr. President, I want to take a moment to highlight the benefits of international students and scholars who come to the United States to live and study, and who have been unfairly penalized by the current Administration's efforts to limit travel to our country. I wonder how many Americans are aware of the many ways that international students contribute to our colleges and universities, to our communities, and to our nation. In economic terms, last year alone international students contributed… Continue Reading


Senate Unanimously Passes Leahy-Led Resolution Urging China To Respect Tibetan Human Rights And Religious Freedom

. . . Resolution was introduced by Leahy, Feinstein, Cruz and Rubio WASHINGTON (THURSDAY, April 26, 2018) - The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed a resolution calling on China to respect human rights and religious freedom in Tibet. Introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the resolution addresses one of the most important issues for the future of Tibet: the right of Tibetan Buddhists to determine their own leaders… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders And Welch Announce $1.35 Million In Brownfields Grants For Vermont

Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced Wednesday that four Vermont organizations will share a total of $1.35 million in Brownfields Program assessment and cleanup grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Brownfields grants allow communities to clean up contaminated properties, facilitating their redevelopment and reuse and improving local economies. In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said: "These sizeable… Continue Reading


Statement Regarding Hearing On The Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Request For USAID

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy, Vice Chairman Of The Appropriations Committee, And Ranking Member Of The State Department And Foreign Operations Subcommittee Hearing On The Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Request For USAID April 24, 2018 I join Chairman Graham in welcoming Administrator Green. President Trump's fiscal year 2019 budget repeats most of the cuts in his budget request last year, which was widely criticized by military leaders, foreign policy experts, the international development and… Continue Reading


Leahy Statement On The Need For A Strategy On Syria

Mr. President, the magnitude of atrocities and devastation in Syria caused by ISIS and the Assad regime, with support from Russia and Iran, is appalling. When this calamity began in 2011, I doubt anyone predicted it would come to this. Hundreds of thousands of people killed. Half the population of the country displaced, many living as refugees in neighboring countries. Whole cities reduced to rubble riddled with landmines and booby traps. For years, I, like others here, have called for a c… Continue Reading


David Moats, A Vermont Treasure

In this week when new Pulitzer Prizes were awarded to outstanding reporters and courageous news organizations, I want to take a moment, on behalf of all Vermonters, to recognize and thank an earlier Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Vermont's own David Moats. Until earlier this year, David has been the editorial page editor and the editorial page voice of The Rutland Herald. David Moats is a Green Mountain treasure. John Walters of the newspaper Seven Days called David "a beacon of quality" in… Continue Reading


Leahy’s Appropriations Work Provides $792,000 To Improve Electronic Medical Records At The Vermont Veterans’ Home In Bennington

Senator Patrick Leahy, joined by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.), announced a $792,000 grant to bring the medical records system at the Vermont Veterans' Home in Bennington into the 21st century. The grant meets a longstanding priority of the Bennington facility and was made possible by new funding for veterans in the bipartisan budget agreement reached by Congress in February. Leahy, Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, played a leading r… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Passing Of Barbara Bush

Marcelle and I honor the memory of Barbara Bush and send our condolences to her husband President Bush and her family. We first knew her when George Bush was Vice President and she spent time with the Senate spouses while her husband was President of the Senate. Over the years we treasured time with both of them and cherished the warmth of her friendship and her wit and her good humor. Hers was a life well lived.… Continue Reading


ALL Senate & House Judiciary Committee Dems, In Letter to AG Sessions, Condemn Recent DOJ Acts Undermining Due Process Protections For Immigrants

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), U.S. Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and U.S. Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) have led all Senate and House Judiciary Democrats in a letter condemning recent actions by the Justice Department undermining basic due process protections for immigrants. As Members of the committees of jurisdiction over the Justice Department, immigration law, and constitutional law, they raised concerns that the Justice Department's actions flo… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Trump Administration's Strike On Syria

"The use of chemical weapons is a crime against humanity that calls for an appropriate response. But it is Congress' responsibility to declare war. Threatening the use of military force by tweet, and firing off missiles without a coherent policy or clear legal authority, raises obvious dangers and constitutional concerns and risks drawing us into a wider war. The President needs to be crystal clear with the American people and with the Congress about what our goals are in Syria and how he inte… Continue Reading


Guns, Commonsense, And Vermont's Example

I am a proud Vermonter. My family has lived there for over 150 years. Yesterday, Vermont set an example for the Congress, and for the Nation. A Democratically controlled legislature and a Republican Governor, in a rural State with a strong gun-owning tradition and very few gun laws, worked together to debate, forge, and enact meaningful, commonsense gun safety laws. Yesterday, Governor Phil Scott, who is a Republican, signed three bills into law. They expand background checks, require tho… Continue Reading


Grassley, Goodlatte, Leahy Urge Trump Administration to Finalize EB-5 Regulatory Reforms

In a joint letter to the Secretary of Homeland Security, Senate and House Judiciary Committee chairmen Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and former Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) urged the swift implementation of regulations that would drastically curtail the amount of fraud and abuse that has become common in the EB-5 regional center program. "As we have noted several times since the publication of these proposed regulations, they would, if finalized,… Continue Reading

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