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Press Releases

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


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


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Las Vegas Massacre

Vermonters today are feeling the shock and sorrow that the entire country is feeling about the massacre in Las Vegas. We want all of these victims and their families to know that our hearts are broken and we stand in solidarity with them and with all of the people of Las Vegas. We are still learning the facts, but it's painfully clear that yesterday will go down as one of the darkest days in our nation's history. It is difficult or impossible to say whether any single shooting is preventable,… Continue Reading


Leahy REAX On The U.S. Withdrawal Of Most U.S. Embassy Personnel And Their Families From CUBA

"The health and safety of our diplomats and their families is the overriding concern here. "It remains a mystery to both of our governments what is causing this and who is behind it. Whoever is doing this obviously is trying to disrupt the normalization process between the United States and Cuba. Someone or some government is trying to reverse that process. "We should do all that is possible to minimize the effects of these protective steps on our diplomacy and on our ability to assist Amer… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins Bicameral Bill to Help Fix Broken Campaign Finance System

Senator Patrick Leahy Wednesday joined Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) in introducing bicameral legislation that addresses a series of comprehensive democratic and electoral reforms to restore integrity, accountability, and transparency to our broken political system. Counterpart House legislation, also introduced Wednesday, is led by Representative David Price (D-N.C.). The We The People Democracy Reform Act is more expansive than past versions and includes proposals to comprehensively reform camp… Continue Reading


Statement On Funding For Safe, Public Latrines In Africa And Asia

In the year 2017, when some people live in extravagant homes with half a dozen or a dozen bathrooms with marble floors and the latest fixtures, an estimated 2.5 billion people live in squalor with no access to modern sanitation. One billion people have no access to latrines and defecate in the open, like our ancestors did thousands of years ago. The United States spends about $400 million a year on water supply and sanitation programs worldwide, pursuant to the Senator Paul Simon Water for th… Continue Reading


Statement During Judiciary Hearing on "Special Counsels and the Separation of Powers"

Today Special Counsel Robert Mueller is in the midst of a critical national security investigation: determining the extent to which the Russian government attacked our democracy by interfering with our elections in an effort to elect President Trump, and determining whether any members of the President's campaign assisted in that effort. Alarmingly, President Trump has issued thinly-veiled threats aimed at the Special Counsel, and has drawn artificial red-lines around the investigation. The Pr… Continue Reading


Statement On The Devastation To Puerto Rico And The U.S. Virgin Islands

It was 6 years ago that Tropical Storm Irene tore through my home state of Vermont, leaving behind a wound that we are still trying to recover from today. Just days after that storm, I came back to this Chamber, stood where I am standing today, and asked for the support Vermont needed to recover and rebuild. Republicans and Democrats in the Senate, from across the country, stood by Vermont's side then to help us rebuild. Today, we must stand with the people of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin… Continue Reading

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