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


Leahy: Vermont Is A Crucial Step Closer To Improved Air And Rail Travel With Canada

Senator Patrick Leahy hails action this week by the Canadian Parliament to pass new customs preclearance language into law that will make possible improved rail and air travel between Vermont - and other points in the United States -- and Canada. The Canadian Senate passed the legislation, known as C-23, last week, and the bill took its last step in the Canadian legislative process on Tuesday night, receiving Royal Assent. The bill is companion legislation to Leahy's Promoting Travel, Commerce… Continue Reading


Leahy Floor Statement On Repeal Of Net Neutrality Rules

This week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is preparing to give a giant, early Christmas present to a few, deep-pocketed telecom companies, as it prepares to repeal critical net neutrality protections. Net neutrality is the simple principle that the Internet should be kept free and open by preventing the corporations who control the connections to selectively throttle or block certain content. Repealing net neutrality rules will benefit just a few powerful corporations-and it will … Continue Reading


Why Budget Parity Matters: The Need For Investing Equally In Our Military And Our Communities

Democrats and Republicans agree that we must fully fund and support our military. But our military readiness is being hampered by artificial and unrealistically low caps on defense spending, as a result of the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011, and that law's required spending cuts known as "sequestration." In July, Defense Secretary Mattis testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee that "for all the heartache caused by the loss of our troops during these wars, no enemy in the field h… Continue Reading


NET NEUTRALITY SHOWDOWN Leahy & Other Senators Use FCC Chair's Own Words To Urge Him To Delay Thursday's Vote, Until Full Impact Can Be Considered

As Next Week's Threatened Repeal Of Net Neutrality Rules Looms, Leahy And Other Senators, In A Letter To FCC Chair Pai, Use Pai's Own Words To Urge Delay Of The Net Neutrality Vote Until The Full Impact Of Repeal Can Be Faithfully Considered WASHINGTON (FRIDAY, Dec. 8, 2017) - Continuing the fight against next week's threatened repeal of net neutrality rules, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and other senators, led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), are urging Federal Communications Commission … Continue Reading


Appropriations Vice Chairman Leahy's Statement On A Continuing Resolution Through December 22

The current spending caps set in place by law will not responsibly fund the government or alleviate the consequences of sequestration on our domestic priorities or our military readiness. Since March, I have constantly repeated that we must reach a bipartisan budget deal that is based on parity, free of poison pill riders and not waste taxpayer dollars on President Trump's useless border wall. But with the current continuing resolution expiring tomorrow, we are running out of time to reach an a… Continue Reading


People's Academy High School

On December 6, 2017, Senator Leahy had the opportunity to chat with students from Peoples Academy High School in Morrisville. Senator Leahy enjoyed answering questions from students who are studying genocide, human rights, international law and foreign policy as well as students studying Spanish. Senator Leahy was very impressed with the students' thoughtful questions and enjoyed hearing their insights on human rights abuses and genocide and how the United States can be a global leader. He al… Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On Senator Al Franken

I just learned of the latest, disturbing allegation against Senator Franken. While the facts from case to case can differ, and while there are sound reasons for weighing evidence in such cases in a deliberate and carefully considered process, Senator Franken's situation has become untenable. I am concerned that even a prompt Ethics Committee investigation and recommendations will not come soon enough. He has to step aside. I hope as a nation that we are beginning to come to terms with the sy… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Leahy On President Trump’s Decision On The U.S. Embassy In Israel

"Campaign promises to score political points, without careful consideration of U.S. national interests, rarely make good policy, and I fear this is a particularly dangerous example of that. It will make the already distant goal of peace in the Middle East that much harder to reach."… Continue Reading


Leahy Statement On The Election In Honduras

Mr. President, I want to alert all Senators to the situation in Honduras. Those of us who care about Central America have watched the election for Honduras' next president with increasing alarm. It has been more than a week since November 26, when the people of Honduras cast their votes. Since then, repeated delays and suspicious behavior - which suggests either incompetence or fraud - by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) that has been tallying the ballots, have incited large public demons… Continue Reading


Leahy Statement Regarding the FCC's Rollback of Net Neutrality Protections

Next week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will consider a proposed rule that, if approved, will end "net neutrality" as we know it and will threaten the foundation of a free and open Internet. Net neutrality is the simple proposition that Internet service providers should treat all Internet traffic the same; they should not be able to exploit their power to charge for preferred treatment, allowing big corporations to dominate the Internet. The Chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, wants … Continue Reading


Leahy Statement At Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing "Addressing The Opioid Crisis In America"

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Here's a startling statistic: last year alone, drug overdoses claimed the lives of 64,000 people. This is the latest figure in a shocking rise in overdose deaths, driven by the opioid epidemic that has hit every corner of our country, and plagues every community. This is a public health crisis. We need to start treating it like one. We need to allocate every necessary resource to finally - and meaningfully - confront it. Vermont has made tremendous strides by leve… Continue Reading


Senators to Trump Administration: Reject Calls for New Nuclear Weapons

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) joined Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and 12 other Senators today to urge the Trump administration to reject calls for new nuclear weapons and to reevaluate the affordability of the current nuclear modernizations effort in the next Nuclear Posture Review. "Many of us oppose the development of new nuclear weapons and believe that the sole purpose of our nuclear arsenal is to deter a nuclear attack," the senators wrote. "In light … Continue Reading


Leahy Statement On The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act

During Thanksgiving last week, families across the country came together to give thanks for the blessings of the past year. One group in particular - corporate CEOs - had a special reason to be thankful: the Republican tax bill we are considering today. Rather than engaging in a bipartisan process to develop and enact meaningful tax reform that will benefit working Americans and small businesses, Republicans in Congress have spent the last few weeks crafting tax cut legislation that will overw… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces $1.3 Million Grant To Help The Vermont State Police Combat The Opioid Epidemic

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced a grant of more than $1.3 million for the Vermont State Police (VSP) to continue its aggressive work fighting the opioid epidemic in Vermont. This was the second-largest of only eight grants awarded nationwide through the highly competitive COPS Anti-Heroin Task Force (AHTF) grant program that Leahy created in the fiscal year 2015 Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) appropriations bill. In his new role as … Continue Reading


Durbin, Leahy Statement on FY18 Defense Appropriations Chairman's Mark

U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), vice chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, vice chairman of the Appropriations Committee, released the following statement on the release of the Fiscal Year 2018 Defense Appropriations Act. The bill exceeds President Trump's request by $15.3 billion, and exceeds the sequestration caps by $70 billion. This is a step forward, though we remain deeply concerned about the process. So before anyone cheers t… Continue Reading


Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Leahy Calls On Congress For Bipartisan Budget Deal

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy Tuesday renewed his call for a bipartisan budget deal that would allow for real investments in the American people. Leahy said: "With just 17 days until the current continuing resolution expires and the threat of sequestration looming in January, our toughest path remains ahead. We must come together to reach a bipartisan budget deal that allows for an increase in both defense AND non-defense spending to alleviate the devastating cons… Continue Reading


Leahy Slams Border Wall Funding As “Bumper Sticker Budgeting”

Slamming the proposal as "bumper sticker budgeting," Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday focused on a provision in the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill that would provide $1.6 billion from American taxpayers for President Trump's border wall with Mexico. Leahy said: "This is bumper sticker budgeting to save face for one of President Trump's failed campaign promises. Instead of wasting billions of taxpayer dollars to fund this costly … Continue Reading


Appropriations Vice Chair Leahy’s SUMMARY of/REAX To Chairman’s Mark For The FY2018 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill

The Senate Appropriations Committee Tuesday made public the Chairman's Mark of the fiscal year 2018 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill. The bill provides a total discretionary appropriation of $51.565 billion. The net discretionary total is $44.050 billion after the following amounts are excluded: $559 million in emergency appropriations for disaster relief; cap adjustment funding of $6.793 billion for disaster relief; and $163 million for Overseas Contingency Operations. … Continue Reading


Sen. Leahy, Sen. Cardin And Others Send Letter To Mnuchin On SEC Oil, Gas, Mining Transparency Rule

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, led 14 of his colleagues Tuesday, including Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), in a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, urging him to withdraw the Department's recent recommendation that a key extractive industry transparency provision be completely repealed by Congress. Earlier this year, Congressional Republicans halted the Securities and Exchange Commission's implementation of the rule but left the… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Federal Judge’s Nationwide Injunction Blocking Trump Executive Order On “Sanctuary Jurisdictions”

[Last week the U.S. Department of Justice notified 29 jurisdictions, including the State of Vermont and the City of Burlington, of its plans to withhold federal funding based on claims that their policing policies violated federal law with respect to immigration enforcement. Both Vermont jurisdictions have steadfastly denied the DOJ claims, which threatened more than $500,000 in Byrne JAG funding to Vermont law enforcement agencies. Following is Senator Patrick Leahy's reaction to the court's n… Continue Reading

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