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Press Releases

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


BREAKING: REAX From Appropriations Vice Chair Patrick Leahy To The President’s Drug Pricing Announcement

"The President has made some bold promises about reducing the price of prescription drugs, but unfortunately we've seen little in the way of action. Today's announcement was more of the same - a flurry of soothing words and wheel spinning, and no willingness or courage to take on price gouging and anti-competitive behavior by the giant drug firms. Incredibly, he again passed up the opportunity to support our bipartisan CREATES Act, which truly would cut prescription drug costs. The Congressio… Continue Reading


The International Commission Against Impunity In Guatemala Deserves Strong Support

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt. and Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee), responding to questions about U.S. funding for the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG): "Anyone who believes in justice supports CICIG." "CICIG is an absolutely essential institution that has shown itself to be able to crack through the layers of corruption in the Guatemalan justice system." "Velasquez is a person of great integrity, a very reputable, accomplished jurist. The … Continue Reading


Leahy Joins Hatch And Other Senators To Introduce Major Music Reform Package

Today, US Senator Patrick Leahy joined Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and a bipartisan group of Senators including Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chris Coons (D-DE), John Kennedy (R-LA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Bob Corker (R-TN), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Doug Jones (D-AL), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Bill Nelson (D-FL) David Perdue (R-GA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced a major music reform package. … Continue Reading


Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy Statement On The FY 19 Funding Request For The U.S. Department Of The Interior

Thank you, Chairman Murkowski and Ranking Member Udall. Secretary Zinke, we expressed our concerns to you last year when the President proposed to eliminate or reduce critical programs in the FY18 budget. You reportedly said to your own staff that you were "not happy" about the budget proposed by the White House, which proposed a 12 percent overall cut to the Interior Department. Now, you are in charge and have requested a 19 percent reduction compared to the FY18 enacted level, taking an axe… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Democrats Call On President To Withdraw Controversial Justice Dept. Nominee Tied To Russian Bank

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats are calling on President Trump to withdraw his controversial nomination of Brian Benczkowski to lead the Department of Justice's Criminal Division. Mr. Benczkowski represented Alfa Bank, a massive private commercial bank in Russia closely allied with President Vladimir Putin and his government, and has refused to pledge to recuse himself from Russia-related matters if confirmed. With new revelations coming to light about Russia's interference in U.S. ele… Continue Reading


Leahy, On Signing The Petition To Force A Senate Vote On The Resolution To Restore Net Neutrality Rules

"Vermonters have spoken loudly and clearly. They want a free and open Internet that is an equal platform for all. Vermonters, Vermont businesses and Vermont libraries underscored that in the Judiciary Committee hearing I held in Vermont. I am proud to be part of this effort that will force a vote to restore the FCC's 2015 net neutrality rules. Restoring strong net neutrality rules shouldn't be a partisan issue. Everyone benefits from an Internet that is free from corporate control and discr… Continue Reading


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

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