Press Room

Press Releases

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

06.17.20

Leahy, Sanders And Welch Announce 2-Month Extension Of Farmers To Families Food Box COVID-19 Relief Program In Vermont

(WEDNESDAY, June 17, 2020) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I), and Representative Peter Welch (D) announced Wednesday that two Vermont-based entities, the Abbey Group and Willing Hands, have secured extended contracts through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to continue the delivery of food boxes throughout this summer through the end of August. These two contracts will bring an additional $8.5 million in nutrition assistance to Vermont and the Upper Valley commun… Continue Reading


06.17.20

Statement On The Nominations Of Justin Walker To The D.C. Circuit And Cory Wilson To The Fifth Circuit

This morning the Senate narrowly invoked cloture on the nomination of Justin Walker to the D.C. Circuit. Within a week the Senate is expected to confirm by the thinnest of margins both Judge Walker and a separate nominee, Cory Wilson to the Fifth Circuit, filling the final two available seats on our circuit courts. This will complete Leader McConnell's rush to pack our appellate courts with President Trump's nominees. It is fitting that both Judge Walker and Judge Wilson are partisan ideologu… Continue Reading


06.17.20

Leahy And Sanders Welcome Senate Passage Of The Great American Outdoors Act

, June 17 - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Wednesday welcomed the Senate passage of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) to fully and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and address long overdue maintenance backlogs on our public lands and waters. The bill now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives for passage before becoming law. Since its passage in 1965, the LWCF has provided over $140 million for Vermont parks, athletic facili… Continue Reading


06.17.20

Statement On Senate Passage Of The Great American Outdoors Act

This nation faces an uncertain future. Gripped by a pandemic, economic disruption, and racial injustice, the American people are yearning for bold, forward-thinking leadership. Now is the time for elected leaders to stand up and make the investments necessary to secure a better world for our children and grandchildren. The Great American Outdoors Act, which I am proud to cosponsor, does that. While it addresses a narrow set of challenges and opportunities, it should remind us all that we are cap… Continue Reading


06.16.20

Senate Approves Robert Levinson Hostage Recovery And Hostage-Taking Accountability Act

(TUESDAY, June 16, 2020) - Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chris Coons (D-De.), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) today released the following statements after the Senate unanimously approved S.712, the Robert Levinson Hostage Recovery and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act. Named in honor of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, whose unlawful detention by the Iranian regime is recognized as… Continue Reading


06.15.20

Hirono Leads 20 Senate Democrats In Calling For DOJ Inspector General Investigation Into Attorney General Barr’s Conduct In Suppressing Peaceful Protests Around Lafayette Square On June 1

Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) led 20 Senate Democrats in requesting that Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz open an investigation into the conduct of Attorney General William Barr and the Department of Justice in directing the use of force against peaceful protestors around Lafayette Square on June 1, 2020. The Senators also called on the Inspector General to probe the deployment of federal law enforcement to suppress protests and intimidate protestors across the coun… Continue Reading


06.15.20

Leahy REAX To Today’s Momentous Decision On LGBTQ Rights

(Comments of Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., today, on Twitter. Leahy is a leading member of the Judiciary Committee and has long led on LGBTQ rights, including holding Congress's only hearing on the issue of marriage equality, which preceded the Supreme Court's earlier landmark decision) - The American motto "Equal Justice Under Law" is engraved in Vermont Marble above the Supreme Court. Today SCOTUS honored that aspiration by ruling that the Civil Right Act bars discrimination based on sexual o… Continue Reading


06.15.20

Statement Of Senators Markey, Durbin, And Leahy On The Conviction Of Journalist Maria Ressa In The Philippines

(June 15, 2020) - Today, Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) released the following joint statement regarding the conviction in the Philippines of journalist Maria Ressa. Ressa, founder of the news platform Rappler, and Reynaldo Santos Jr., former researcher-writer, were found guilty of "cyber libel" and may be imprisoned for up to six years. In an apparent effort to silence her, Ressa has been arrested multiple times after publishing articles tha… Continue Reading


06.13.20

Rubio, Wyden, Colleagues Demand And Answers From Zoom After Company Deactivated Accounts Of Pro-Democracy Chine Activists

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), along with Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Ed Markey (D-MA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Pat Toomey (R-PA), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) demanded information from Zoom's CEO after the company admitted it deactivated the accounts of U.S-based, pro-democracy Chinese activists - at the request of the Chinese government - after they held a Zoom meeting on t… Continue Reading


06.12.20

Senators Leahy And Durbin Commend The Justice Department For Indicting Alleged Gambian Human Rights Violator

(FRIDAY, June 12, 2020) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Dick Durbin (D-IL.) Friday commended the Department of Justice for indicting Gambian national Michael Sang Correa, who was residing in Denver, Colo., for allegedly torturing civilians - including U.S. citizens - in The Gambia. The indictment comes on the heels of a letter both Senators wrote to the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security pressing the agencies to thoroughly investigate - and prosecute, if warranted - Mr. Correa bas… Continue Reading


06.11.20

Reaction To The White House Announcement Of Sanctions Against Employees Of The International Criminal Court

"This announcement is predictable from a President whose idea of justice is to encourage the police to abuse prisoners, pardon his friends, and override the Pentagon in cases of military justice. The White House accuses the ICC of being 'an ineffective and out-of-control international bureaucracy.' To the contrary, the ICC has successfully prosecuted some of the world's worst war criminals, and has done so judiciously and professionally. "The United States was instrumental in negotiating the… Continue Reading


06.11.20

Statement On Cory Wilson, Nominee To The Fifth Circuit

This morning we are scheduled to report the nomination of Cory Wilson to the Senate floor. Judge Wilson is nominated to fill the very last vacant circuit court seat in the federal judiciary. Some on this committee may consider this rapid, slap-dash rush to pack our circuit courts with President Trump's nominees a great accomplishment. But at what cost, I ask? What have we sacrificed in the process? Too much, I believe. First, the Senate has now shaped our courts-especially our appellate courts-… Continue Reading


06.10.20

Judiciary Democrats to Chairman Graham: Hold Hearings With Attorney General Barr

All 10 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote Chairman Graham requesting Attorney General Barr be invited to next week's hearing on police use of force. The senators also requested a separate hearing with the attorney general to discuss the federal government's response to the nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd, including the decision to use tear gas and rubber bullets to remove peaceful protestors from near the White House. "Any significant hearing on police re… Continue Reading


06.08.20

Comment On The Introduction Of The Justice In Policing Act

Today I am joining Senators Booker and Harris, and other leaders in criminal justice and policing reform, to introduce the Justice in Policing Act. The protests that have swept our nation following the murder of yet another black man by an officer of the law have once again laid bare America's long, tragic history of systemic racial injustice. Many communities across the country have recognized that our justice system is far too often anything but just. I am proud that Vermont requires all l… Continue Reading


06.08.20

Leahy, Sanders And Welch Push IRS To Ensure All Eligible Vermonters Receive Stimulus Checks

Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) on Friday sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig demanding improvements to the Economic Impact Payment program. Delegation offices have heard from many Vermonters who are frustrated that they still have not received their payments and about the IRS's poor communication. The delegation letter asks the IRS to address late or incomplete payments, confusion around… Continue Reading


06.04.20

Van Hollen Leads Democratic Senators in Demand for Details, Cost of Staging Active Duty Troops in the National Capital Region

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) joined by Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) led a letter demanding answers from Defense Secretary Mark Esper about this week's haphazard decision-making around the transfer of 1,600 active duty troops to the National Capital Region. The Senators begin, "Earlier this week, the country watched in horror as U.S. military personnel and federal la… Continue Reading


06.04.20

Statement On Defending The Constitution And The Country

On Monday I watched the shameful scene a block from the White House as the President of the United States ordered U.S. Park Police, backed by the D.C. National Guard and following threats throughout the day, to use the U.S. military against peaceful American protesters so he could have his photograph taken in front of St. John's Church holding a Bible. It was an appalling, almost surreal, abuse of power that showed a flagrant disregard not only for our Constitution, but for those who have devot… Continue Reading


06.03.20

Letter To Department Of Defense Regarding Insurrection Act

Dear Secretary Esper and General Milley: We write to express our grave concern regarding President Trump's recent announcement that he intends to invoke the Insurrection Act to mobilize active duty military personnel or federalize National Guard personnel to deploy within the United States in response to nationwide protests following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Under the Posse Comitatus Act, the U.S. Armed Forces are prohibited from performing law enforcement duties … Continue Reading


06.03.20

Leahy Unveils Legislation To Defend Power Of The Purse

(WEDNESDAY, June 3, 2020) - Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday unveiled the Congressional Power Of The Purse Act to restore Congress' constitutional authority and rein in encroachment on federal spending decisions by the Executive Branch. Leahy said: "When Congress appropriates federal dollars we expect those dollars to be used as directed. We expect appropriations laws to be upheld. And we expect the Administration to be transparent in its actions.… Continue Reading


06.03.20

Statement On The Killing Of George Floyd

America is hurting. Reeling from a deadly pandemic that has taken more than 100,000 lives. Witnessing the broad daylight murder of yet another black man by an officer of the law. Seething with rage and sorrow about the racial injustices that still plague our society. And suffering from unprecedented political divisions, routinely worsened and deepened by a President whose every utterance only tears us further apart. In my 45 years in the United States Senate, I have never seen our country s… Continue Reading

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