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Press Releases

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

03.15.21

Leahy, Grassley And Feinstein Introduce Bill To Reinforce Transparency In Wake Of Supreme Court FOIA Decision And Recent Regulations

(MONDAY, March 15, 2021) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Wednesday introduced the Open and Responsive Government Act, to reverse recent developments that undermine the public's right to access information and hold government accountable. The legislation would restore a longstanding legal interpretation of the Freedom of Information Act's (FOIA) exemption regarding confidential commercial information, which was recent… Continue Reading


03.11.21

Statement On The Passing Of U.S. Second Circuit Court Judge Peter Hall

Marcelle and I are so saddened to learn of Judge Peter Hall's passing. In addition to being a highly respected jurist, Peter was a good friend. Vermont and the country are richer for his many years of service. When he announced he would be taking senior status just last week, Judge Hall's tenure - as both judge and prosecutor -- was noted for his fair and thoughtful approach to the law. Our condolences go out to Judge Hall's family, as well as to all those in Vermont's legal community who kn… Continue Reading


03.11.21

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy: Central American Democracy Faces Existential Threats

Democracy in Central America is facing existential threats. In Guatemala, the Constitutional Court is under assault by the Congress and the Executive. If the Court's magistrates are replaced with cronies of the other branches of government, any semblance of a credible justice system will be lost. In Honduras, corruption permeates the highest ranks of government, civil society activists are under attack, and the justice system is complicit in perpetuating lawlessness and impunity. El Salvad… Continue Reading


03.10.21

Cornyn, Leahy Introduce Bill To Enhance Cybersecurity

U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) today introduced the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium Act to authorize the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to work with the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium (NCPC) to help prepare for and respond to cybersecurity risks at the national, state, and local levels. "Our communities must be prepared to defend against the ever-evolving cyber threats they face," said Sen. Cornyn. "Texas is fortunate to have uni… Continue Reading


03.10.21

Leahy Hails Final Passage Of The American Rescue Plan

(WEDNESDAY, March 10, 2021) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, hailed House passage Wednesday of the American Rescue Plan, which will bring much-needed financial relief to Vermonters and help to Vermont communities. The House passed the final version of the package that the Senate had passed on Saturday. Leahy said that through direct assistance to Vermonters, financial aid for the State of Vermont and local municipalities, and dozens of other pro… Continue Reading


03.09.21

Leahy And Feinstein Support House VAWA Bill

(TUESDAY, March 9, 2021) - Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) released the following statement in support of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act that was reintroduced in the House of Representatives: "Reauthorizing VAWA is long overdue since the law expired in 2018. The bipartisan bill introduced in the House mirrors legislation we introduced in the last Congress. Unfortunately, that bill was blocked in the Senate last Congress and didn't even… Continue Reading


03.06.21

Statement On Senate Passage Of The American Rescue Plan

Across our country, in every state, in every community, Americans are suffering. It doesn't matter if they are represented in Congress by Republicans or by Democrats, or whether they live in rural communities or in urban centers. All have suffered under an unprecedented health and economic crisis that has claimed the lives of more than 520,000, and of more than 2.58 million people around the world. Families are living under the tremendous burden of not knowing how they will pay their rent, fe… Continue Reading


03.04.21

Comments On The American Rescue Plan

Soon, every member of the United States Senate will have the chance to stand up and vote for, or vote against, relief for the millions of Americans who continue to struggle in the wake of this devastating pandemic. There can be no question: while we are finally beginning to turn the page, in large part because President Biden has made relief and recovery a singular priority, millions of Americans continue to contract this virus, millions are out of work, and millions need support. The American… Continue Reading


02.27.21

Reaction Of Senate Appropriations Chair Patrick Leahy And House Foreign Affairs Committee Vice Chair Tom Malinowski On The ODNI Report On The Murder Of Jamal Khashoggi

(SATURDAY, Feb. 27, 2021) -- "We are concerned by early indications that the Biden Administration does not intend to impose a visa ban on all those responsible for Jamal Khashoggi's murder, including Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. U.S. law is unequivocal: section 7031(c) of H.R.133, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 requires that "officials of foreign governments and their immediate family members about whom the Secretary of State has credible information have been involved, d… Continue Reading


02.23.21

Bennet, Kaine, And Leahy Introduce Medicare-X Choice Act To Achieve Universal Health Care

- Today, U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) reintroduced their legislation, the Medicare-X Choice Act, which would create a public option by expanding on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicare. The Medicare Exchange (Medicare-X) plan would offer families, individuals, and small businesses low-cost health insurance, decrease the number of uninsured Americans, control the cost of health care, and increase competition in the health insurance mark… Continue Reading


02.23.21

Merkley, Leahy, Durbin, Colleagues Introduce Legislation To Tackle Corruption, Human Rights Violations In Honduras

Oregon's U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, and Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) today led a group of eight lawmakers in introducing the Honduras Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Act of 2021-legislation that lays out a comprehensive framework for combating corruption, impunity, and human rights violations in Honduras. The introduction comes as U.S. federal prosecutors made public that they are investigating Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández for accepting large brib… Continue Reading


02.23.21

Markey, Senate Colleagues Back President Biden’s Return To Nuclear Diplomacy With Iran

(February 23, 2021) - Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, led 10 of his colleagues in the reintroduction of the Iran Diplomacy Act. The legislation supports President Joseph Biden's diplomatic effort to return all sides to full-compliance with their commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal. Last week, the Biden administration formally accepted an invitation by the European Union to join… Continue Reading


02.18.21

Senator Markey, Durbin, And Leahy Urge Full Exoneration And Release Of Senator Leila De Lima, Who Remains Unjustly Detained In The Philippines

(February 18, 2021) - Today, Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) top Democrat on the East Asia and Pacific Subcommittee, Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), released the following statement regarding the acquittal of Senator Leila de Lima in one of three bogus charges filed against her by the Government of the Philippines. Senator de Lima has been unjustly detained for four years next week on politically-motivated charges, widely condemned by human rights organizations and governmen… Continue Reading


02.17.21

Peters Leads Colleagues In Pressing Postmaster General To Restore On-Time Delivery And Stop Harmful Changes

U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, led 33 of his colleagues in pressing Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on persistent mail delays and what action he is taking to restore on-time mail delivery. Peters previously released a report that confirmed operational changes at the Postal Service ordered by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy last summer resulted in compromised service for communities in Michigan and across the country. While Con… Continue Reading


02.17.21

Inhofe, Leahy Lead 25 Colleagues To Urge Biden To Reverse Misguided Western Sahara Decision

U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) led 25 of their Senate colleagues today in sending a letter urging President Biden to reverse the previous misguided decision to officially recognize the Kingdom of Morocco's illegitimate claims of sovereignty over Western Sahara and recommit the United States to the pursuit of a referendum on self-determination for the Sahrawi people of Western Sahara. The senators wrote: "The abrupt decision by the previous administration on December 1… Continue Reading


02.16.21

Klobuchar, Leahy Introduce Jamal Khashoggi Press Freedom Accountability Act

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced legislation to ensure governments that commit human rights abuses against journalists are held accountable by the United States. It is widely believed that Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist and resident of the U.S., was murdered in Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul under orders from the Saudi government because of his writings in opposition to Saudi government policies. To help protect journalists across the w… Continue Reading


02.12.21

Statement Announcing Subcommittee Rosters And Leadership For The 117TH Congress

The Appropriations Committee is where we put the necessary resources behind our policy priorities. It is where we can address the needs of the American people. This is a process that requires difficult decisions and bipartisan cooperation, and I believe we have a skilled and experienced team to confront this challenge head on. I want to thank my good friend Senator Shelby for his partnership in the 116th Congress, and I welcome his leadership as the Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations … Continue Reading


02.12.21

Leahy, Shelby Announce Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee Rosters And Leadership For The 117th Congress

(FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2021) - Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Vice Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) Friday announced the majority and minority Chairmen, Ranking Members, and subcommittee rosters for the 117th Congress. The Senate Appropriations subcommittee Chairmen, Ranking Members, and rosters, with members listed in order of subcommittee seniority, are as follows: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Tammy Baldwi… Continue Reading


02.09.21

Leahy Leads Senators In Call For Equitable Access To Vaccines And Testing For Small And Rural States To Combat The COVID-19 Pandemic

(TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2021) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tuesday led a group of Senators representing small and rural states in calling for Congress to fix discrepancies that have caused small and rural states to receive significantly less funding for vaccine and testing than originally estimated. Small and rural states face unique challenges in addressing this pandemic. Unfortunately, funding allocated in December for vaccines and testing was d… Continue Reading


02.09.21

Leahy, Schumer, Durbin, Duckworth, And Other Senators Who Have Been Leading The Push For Full Restoration Of Federal Funding For The National Guard’s COVID Mission, Hail Biden’s Executive Action

(TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2021) -- Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) Tuesday praised President Biden's restoration of full federal funding for National Guard missions responding to COVID-19. The executive order of January 21 re-implements one hundred percent federal cost share for these missions, a step the senators had proposed in legislation introduced last August as coronavirus cases again began to surge. Yet former Preside… Continue Reading

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