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


Approps Vice Chairman Leahy Statement On Emergency Supplemental Appropriations For Recent Disasters

No one in this chamber is immune from disaster. Six years ago, Marcelle and I watched with great alarm as communities around Vermont felt the devastating impact of Tropical Storm Irene. That storm washed away entire communities in our state, tearing down homes, local landmarks and bridges alike. Republicans and Democrats in the Senate, from across the country, stood by Vermont's side then to help us rebuild. Because that is who we are as Americans. We lift each other up in times of disaste… Continue Reading


Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Meets With Governor Of Puerto Rico Ahead Of Senate Consideration Of Emergency Funding

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) late Thursday met with the Governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, ahead of Senate consideration of emergency supplemental appropriations to respond to recent natural disasters. Leahy said: "As a Vermonter, a Senator and the Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I assured Governor Rosselló that we stand with the people of Puerto Rico. The path to recovery from Hurricane Maria is not measured … Continue Reading


Senators Cruz and Leahy Pen Letter Urging Apple CEO Tim Cook to Stop Enabling the Great Firewall

U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Patrick Leahy on Thursday released a letter addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook regarding reports that Apple has removed Virtual Private Network (VPN) applications (apps) from the version of Apple's App Store available to users in the People's Republic of China. "The threat that the Great Firewall poses to the freedom of the people of China is similar to the threat that the Berlin Wall imposed on the people of East Berlin for twenty-eight years," the senators wrote… Continue Reading


Judiciary Democrats Call on DOJ to Produce Documents That May Show Coordination with Trump Voter Fraud Commission

Recently revealed court records suggest the Department of Justice coordinated with President Donald Trump's Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which has sought sensitive voter roll data on the majority of the voting public and conducted highly partisan hearings based on discredited allegations of voter fraud. Today, all Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee signed a letter, led by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), pushing the Justice Department to produce documents descr… Continue Reading


Leahy Statement On President Trump’s Decision To Not Certify The Iran Deal

"President Trump's decision not to certify the Iran deal recklessly endangers our national security interests, isolates our country, and is contrary to determinations made by his own Administration that Iran has been compliant with the agreement -- all for the sake of fulfilling a campaign slogan. It will signal to the world - including to North Korea - that the United States cannot be trusted to keep its word. "The Iran deal is not perfect. No multilateral agreement is. That is why there ar… Continue Reading


Leahy Statement On President Trump’s Recent Actions On Health Care

"The President does not want to provide "great" health care. The President wants to tear down the Affordable Care Act, stripping affordable, comprehensive health care coverage from millions of American people, and thousands of Vermonters. His latest attempt to do so is as blatant and obvious as throwing a brick through a plate glass window. His Executive Order and announcement late last night will both drive premiums higher, making it difficult for middle class families to afford health insur… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch Reaction To Mamadou Bah

Senator Leahy, Senator Sanders, and Congressman Welch wrote a letter to ICE on September 5th requesting that they take no further action to deport Mamadou Bah, pending the results of his motions in Immigration Court and his application to USCIS for a green card based on his marriage to a U.S. citizen. ICE denied the request on September 13th. "We are appalled that the Trump Administration is pursuing an unbridled effort to deport contributing members of our community with no room for compassio… Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Senator McConnell’s Remarks Concerning The “Blue Slip” Tradition

[The Constitution requires presidents to seek both the "Advice and Consent" of the Senate in appointing judges to lifetime posts on the federal courts. Blue slips distributed and collected by the Judiciary Committee are an enforcement mechanism for the "advice" prong of the Senate's constitutional role. When a senator returns a favorable blue slip it demonstrates that the senator elected to represent that state with the judicial vacancy was consulted, and that the nominee is likely to be confi… Continue Reading


Reaction To Trump Adm. Lifting Sanctions On Sudan

Reaction Of Appropriations Committee Vice Chair Patrick Leahy To The Permanent Lifting Of Sanctions On Sudan By The Trump Administration "I supported the Trump Administration's decision in July to extend the review period for easing sanctions against Sudan, but today's announcement to lift sanctions is shockingly premature. While Sudan's cooperation in some areas has improved, the government continues to impede humanitarian access and violate the fundamental rights of its citizens, as it has do… Continue Reading


Vermont Firefighters Receive $1.6 Million in Federal Grants

Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Vermont Firefighters Receive $1.6 Million in Federal Grants BURLINGTON, Vt., Oct. 6 - Vermont's congressional delegation announced Friday that firefighters throughout Vermont have received $1,635,648 through 15 federal grants. The awards are part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Assistance to Firefighters Grant program, which helps fire departments purchase critically needed equipment to better protect the public and first responders. This year's Assistance … Continue Reading


Statement on Indonesia

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On A History of Impunity in Indonesia October 4, 2017 Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I want to speak briefly about a recent report by the Secretary of State concerning, among other things, impunity within Indonesia's military. This has been a concern of mine, and of many others, for decades. Senate Report 114-290, which accompanies division J of the fiscal year 2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act, requires the Secretary of State to submit a report on steps taken… Continue Reading


Statement On Nomination Of Eric S. Dreiband To Be Assistant Attorney General For Civil Rights

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) On Nomination Of Eric S. Dreiband To Be Assistant Attorney General For Civil Rights Senate Judiciary Committee Executive Business Meeting October 5, 2017 I cannot in good conscience support the nomination of Eric Dreiband to lead the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division - the division charged with defending the civil and constitutional rights of the most vulnerable members of our society. This nominee has routinely criticized the very laws he wou… Continue Reading


Appropriations Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy Statement On Second Disaster Supplemental Request

Appropriations Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Statement On Second Disaster Supplemental Request Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017 [Senate Appropriations Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday released a statement on the Trump administration's request for new emergency supplemental funding to address recent natural disasters. The request totals $29.4 billion for emergency disaster relief, flood insurance assistance, and to replenish federal firefighting accounts.] "I am glad the administratio… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins In Pressing For Full Public Disclosure Of JFK Assassination Documents

Congressman Walter B. Jones and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley are calling for full public disclosure of documents pertaining to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Today, Jones and Grassley introduced companion resolutions to accomplish just that. The first, H. Res. 556 in the House and S. Res. 281 in the Senate, calls on the President of the United States to allow the release of all remaining documents currently held by the National Archives and Records Administ… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins In Bipartisan Introduction Of Comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform Package

A bipartisan group of senators, including Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Wednesday reintroduced the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017 to recalibrate prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders, target violent and career criminals and save taxpayer dollars. The legislation permits more judicial discretion at sentencing for offenders with minimal criminal histories and helps inmates successfully reenter society, while tightening penalties for violent criminals and preserving key pr… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins In Introducing Bill To Close Automatic Weapon Loophole (On Bump Stocks, Other Accessories)

Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), joined by Senator Patrick Leahy and several other Democratic senators, Wednesday introduced the Automatic Gun Fire Prevention Act, a bill to close a loophole that allows semi-automatic weapons to be easily modified to fire at the rate of automatic weapons, which have been illegal for more than 30 years. In addition to chief sponsor Feinstein, cosponsors include Leahy and Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.),… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch: St. Albans Awarded $10.6 Million In USDA Rural Development Assistance For Wastewater System Improvements

Vermont's congressional delegation - Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I), and Representative Peter Welch (D) - announced Tuesday that the City of St. Albans was awarded a $10.6 million grant and loan package from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development to make major improvements to its wastewater treatment plant. The improvements will reduce the inflow of phosphorous pollution to Lake Champlain, increase plant reliability, and improve the plant's energy… Continue Reading


Reaction To State Department's Announcement That It Will Expel Cuban Diplomats

We have a right and a duty to protect American diplomats serving overseas. But before we retaliate against another country by expelling their diplomats, we should have proof that they, and not a third country or party, harmed our citizens. We do not know who is doing this or why, yet we are punishing the Cubans for not preventing it. That will not help solve the mystery of this serious offense, and it won't make our diplomats safer. We are in the early stages with Cuba on most issues, and th… Continue Reading


Statement On President Trump's Plan To Cut FY 18 Refugee Admissions

Last Friday, President Trump announced that he will slash our refugee admissions to 45,000 in fiscal year 2018 - the lowest annual target since the passage of the 1980 Refugee Act. Instead of embracing our moral and legal obligation to address the worst refugee crisis in global history, as has been our tradition for decades, President Trump seems intent on relinquishing our role as the humanitarian leader of the world. The dimming of our beacon is not just a symbolic loss - tens of thousands of… Continue Reading


Statement On The Nomination Of Ajit Pai To Be Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission

In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) did something that can be all too rare in Washington - it listened to the American people. After a record number of Americans spoke in favor of clear rules to protect a free and open Internet, the FCC voted to adopt strong net neutrality protections that accomplished this goal. These protections, which ensure that innovation and free speech can flourish online, are currently under threat as the FCC now moves to repeal them. On net neutralit… Continue Reading

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