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


Leahy Leads Bill, Joined By Klobuchar and Durbin, To Increase Voter Participation

Senator Patrick Leahy introduced legislation Wednesday to modernize the nation's voter registration systems and make it easier for all Americans to vote and participate in our democracy. The Automatic Voter Registration Act of 2017 requires states to automatically register eligible vote when they interact with certain state and federal agencies, unless those people decline. The bill would streamline the voter registration process and allow citizens to register online, making it easier for ind… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Introduction of the Automatic Voter Registration Act of 2017

The right to vote is among the most sacred rights guaranteed by our Constitution. It forms the foundation for our democracy and inspires countless people across the world still striving for a meaningful opportunity to engage in the political process and shape their futures. My friend John Lewis has often said that "the right to vote is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have in a democracy." I could not agree more with him. America is a stronger and greater country when more Americans part… Continue Reading


Vice Chairman Leahy Statement On The President's FY 18 Funding Request For The Department Of Defense

Thank you, Chairman Cochran and Ranking Member Durbin, for the opportunity to make these brief remarks. Welcome to Secretary Mattis and General Dunford. This Committee benefits from your expertise and your candor. It has been almost 3 months since you last testified before this Committee, and there has been no shortage of world events in that short time. American missiles have targeted and struck Syrian forces. A massive ransomware cyberattack spread around the globe. North Korea has tested n… Continue Reading


Senator Patrick Leahy’s ‘Prebuttal’ Senate Address On Attorney General Sessions’ Testimony

This afternoon, Attorney General Sessions will return to the Senate for the first time since his confirmation hearing. It has been more than three months since the press revealed that the Attorney General gave false testimony in response to questions from me and from Senator Franken about his contacts with Russian officials. Yet, the Attorney General has made no effort to come back before the Judiciary Committee to explain his actions-actions that could be construed as perjury. There are now … Continue Reading


At Approps. Hg. On DOJ Budget, Vice Chair Leahy Slams AG Sessions’ Absence; Hits Slashing Cuts In Crime Victims Fund, Opioid Crisis Help, Law Enforcement Grants To Local Communities, And Cuts In FBI’s Operations Budget

Thank you, Chairman Shelby and Ranking Member Shaheen, for the opportunity to make these remarks. Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, I won't mince words: You are not the witness we were supposed to hear from today, and you are not the witness who should be sitting behind that table. That responsibility lies with the Attorney General of the United States. Attorneys General of the past did not shy away from this Committee's questions, regardless of the topic. Attorneys General of the past did… Continue Reading


Leahy, Shaheen Request AG Sessions Appear Before The Appropriations Committee

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy and Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Subcommittee Ranking Member Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) Monday released a letter to Senator Cochran, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, and Senator Shelby, Chairman of the Subcommittee of Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, asking that the hearing on the FY2018 budget request for the Department of Justice be postponed until Attorney General Sessions is available to atte… Continue Reading


Leahy And Local Vermont Leaders In Education Lead Charge Against Trump Education Cuts

Senator Patrick Leahy Friday joined community leaders to decry the "unconscionable" $9 billion in cuts that President Trump would slash from the U.S. Department of Education. The cuts have been panned from Washington to Winooski for dealing a devastating blow to families' to access quality education, from pre-K to college and the programs in between, for working families and the nation's most vulnerable people. Leahy, the Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said: "The best w… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Former FBI Director James Comey, And Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Testimony Next Week

[Following is the comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Attorney General Sessions' scheduled testimony next week, on Tuesday, before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science. Leahy is the Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee and a leading member of the Judiciary Committee.] "I have sought for months to clarify Attorney General Sessions' contacts with Russian officials following his false testimony in response to questions from me and from Senator F… Continue Reading


Leahy Statement On Hearing To Review The President's FY 18 Funding Request For The U.S. Department Of Commerce

Secretary Ross, thank you for being here today. We have many issues to discuss, not the least of which is the topic of today's hearing - the President's budget proposal for the Department of Commerce. The request for the Department cuts nearly $1.5 billion, or 16 percent, from the FY 2017 enacted appropriations level, eviscerating popular grant, research, and state-based programs; cutting next-generation weather satellites; and failing to sufficiently invest in the 2020 Census. The administra… Continue Reading


Statement Of Appropriations Vice Chair Leahy At Appropriations Hg. On HUD Budget, With Witness Secy. Ben Carson

Thank you, Chairman Collins and Ranking Member Reed for holding this important hearing. I am very concerned about President Trump's budget for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This budget would leave low-income, elderly and disabled Americans out in the cold. It would deny shelter to victims of domestic and sexual violence. It would bring to a screeching halt programs that spur economic development and help ensure that safe, sustainable and affordable housing is available in … Continue Reading


Leahy Joins Franken In Pressing AT&T On Its Pervasive Use Of Forced Arbitration Clauses In Consumer Contracts

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday joined Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) and other senators in pressing AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson for answers about the company's widespread use of pre-dispute forced arbitration clauses in customer contracts that affect millions of consumers in Vermont and across the country. Leahy and Franken have partnered for several years in pressing for reforms to restore consumer rights by curbing the widespread use of mandatory arbitration clauses, which compel c… Continue Reading


Leahy Presses Tax Credit Incentives To Promote Safety And Conserve And Improve Historic Properties

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy Wednesday introduced legislation to improve the safety and accessibility of historic buildings in Vermont and across the country. Modeled after Vermont's own Downtown and Village Center Tax Credit Program, the Historic Downtown Preservation and Access Act will establish tax incentives for building owners to install fire sprinklers and elevators in historic multi-use buildings. The bill introduction comes ahead of Thursday's annual Vermont Downtown and Historic Pr… Continue Reading


Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy Statement on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing: “A Review of the FY18 Funding Request for the Army”

Thank you, Chairman Cochran and Ranking Member Durbin, for holding this hearing. Welcome General Milley, and Acting Secretary Speer. The mission of our Army today is unique. Ongoing conflicts around the world require our military to be ready, at any moment, to defend against threats to our national security, including the extremism and violence that undermine our core values. While today we will surely discuss the shortfalls the Army is facing, I think it is important to note the Army's succ… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The President’s Twitter Announcement That He Will Nominate Christopher Wray To Be Director Of The FBI

"I am particularly interested in his ability to be independent and resist presidential pressure at a time when the White House has repeatedly tried to interfere with the FBI. And the Judiciary Committee must get to the bottom of that interference as part of evaluating Mr. Wray's nomination. "For obvious reasons that could not be clearer right now, Mr. Wray's ability, willingness and commitment to be independent of the White House and of presidential pressure is the threshold hurdle, and a car… Continue Reading


Appropriations Vice Chairman Leahy’s Remarks Today For A News Conference By Democratic Leaders On The President’s Infrastructure Proposals

Following are Senator Patrick Leahy's remarks for a news conference in the Capitol Tuesday with Senate Democratic leaders, on the President's infrastructure proposal. Leahy (D-Vt.) is the Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Leahy's statement follows: In this country we don't have Republican roads and bridges or Democratic roads and bridges. Crumbling infrastructure isn't a red state problem or a blue state problem. It's a nationwide problem. We need to invest in our water… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders and Welch Announce $656,000 in Forest Grants

Vermont's congressional delegation announced Tuesday that Williston and Richmond have received a combined $656,000 in U.S. Forest Service grants to create town forests. In a joint statement, Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) said, "We are pleased these federal funds will allow the towns of Williston and Richmond to conserve key tracts of forest, increase public access and improve recreational opportunities for local residents." The federal in… Continue Reading


Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy’s Opening Statement At Appropriations Hearing On The FY18 Budget, With Witness Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

Thank you, Chairman Blunt and Ranking Member Murray, for holding this hearing today to examine the President's fiscal year 2018 budget proposal for the Department of Education. I appreciate the opportunity to make a few brief opening remarks. Unfortunately, the President's proposed budget displays a fundamental lack of understanding of the role of government of, by, and for the people, in supporting the middle class, lifting up the most vulnerable among us, and serving our values and interests… Continue Reading


President Signs Bill To Strengthen Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program, Including Three Improvements Authored By Senator Patrick Leahy

President Trump on Friday signed into law a bill to strengthen the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program (PSOB), which includes three improvements authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Leahy is a leading member of the Judiciary Committee, which handled the legislation, and the author of earlier PSOB improvements. Following are Leahy's remarks after the signing of the bill: "Our nation's law enforcement officers, firefighters and other first responders put their lives on the line every… Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To The President’s Decision On The Paris Climate Accords

"America gave its word to nearly 200 countries. America stays great when the world knows we'll keep our word. It doesn't make America great to break our word. "It would be a travesty to squander this moment of world unity, forged through U.S. leadership, and to undermine our early lead in building the new energy economy that promises millions of good jobs here at home. We are at our best when we work toward a common goal, and nearly every nation on Earth has agreed to do exactly that. The… Continue Reading


Leahy, Conyers, Lofgren Send Letter To Kushner Companies Asking About EB-5 Visas And Conflicts of Interest

Senator Patrick Leahy, Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), and Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) on Thursday pressed the president of Kushner Companies for answers on the company's use of EB-5 visas and its continued ties to Jared Kushner, President Trump's top advisor and son-in-law. At a time when Mr. Kushner is facing scrutiny over his contacts with Russian officials and his former company reportedly is facing financial trouble at its company headquarters and marquee building, th… Continue Reading

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