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


Leahy Statement On President Trump’s Plan To End Funding For International Family Planning

Mr. President, there are far too many illogical, arbitrary, and harmful cuts in spending, and wholly unbalanced priorities, in the President's proposed fiscal year 2018 budget to list at one time. I will have plenty more to say about that in the weeks and months ahead. But I do want to take a moment to highlight one, as it illustrates the foolhardy way this Administration has sought to appease right-wing ideologues rather than do what is truly in the national interest. For fiscal year 2017, t… Continue Reading


Appropriations Vice Chair Patrick Leahy Addresses The Senate On Wednesday Morning On The Trump Budget

Yesterday, we received President Trump's first budget submission. He calls it "A New Foundation for American Greatness." This could not be further from the truth. Instead of building a foundation for the American people, it pulls the rug out from under them. The President's 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 as a na… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy Department of State and Foreign Operations Hearing United States Assistance for Central America

For most of the 20th Century, there is a concern that United States policy toward Central America consisted primarily of propping up corrupt, abusive regimes led by families of oligarchs who benefited from the exploitative practices of U.S. corporations. During the Cold War, the armies of those regimes - trained and equipped by the United States - committed atrocities in the name of anti-communism. Democratic movements were crushed; their leaders assassinated. To this day, almost no one has b… Continue Reading


Comments Of Appropriations Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy On Vermont’s Priorities And President Trump’s Budget

[President Donald Trump on Tuesday released his budget proposal for fiscal year 2018. Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday morning issued a statement on the budget as a whole. Leahy also issued the following statement on the Trump budget's devastating cuts to Vermont priorities.] Rural America, including rural states like Vermont, is MIA in the President's budget. His budget eliminates key investments in rural communities, leaving them without federal part… Continue Reading


Statement Of Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy On The Trump Budget

[President Donald Trump Tuesday released his budget proposal for fiscal year 2018. The proposal is the latest iteration of the administration's budget since the release of the so-called "Skinny Budget" in March. Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday issued the following statement.] The President's 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 vulner… Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy After His Latest Meeting Today With Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos

"President Santos met with key senators and described both the significant achievements -- best illustrated by the peace agreement ending 50 years of armed conflict -- and the significant challenges ahead. In many respects the agreement represents the end of the beginning, and I hope the Trump Administration will include sufficient funds in the fiscal year 2018 budget proposal to support its implementation. With our help, it is now up to the Colombian Government, the FARC leaders and the Colom… Continue Reading


Leahy And Collins Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation To Combat Illegal Straw Purchasing And Firearms Trafficking

Senators Patrick Leahy and Susan Collins (R-Maine) on Thursday unveiled legislation to combat straw purchasing and illegal trafficking in firearms. Introduced during Police Week, The Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2017 would give law enforcement officials critical tools to more effectively investigate and deter straw purchasers and illegal weapons traffickers. Under current law, straw purchasing is not explicitly a crime, and it is only unlawful to transfer a firearm if the transf… Continue Reading


Leahy REAX On The Attacks In Front Of The Turkish Embassy

"The unprovoked, vicious attack on peaceful protestors by Turkish security agents was appalling and a graphic reminder of how political dissent in Turkey is routinely crushed with impunity. This is not the way we do things in America, and we have to stand up for universal values. This shameful incident also calls again into question President Trump's praise for President Erdogan, whose consolidation of power threatens the foundation of Turkey's democracy. Those responsible for this abuse of a… Continue Reading


Leahy Leads Letter To Trump Organization Requesting Answers On President’s Compliance With Constitution

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), joined by 16 other senators, sent a letter Thursday pressing the Trump Organization and the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust for answers about each entity's financial relationship to the President, and about the President's compliance with the Constitution. The letter comes as President Trump is set to leave on Friday for his first foreign trip, which includes stops in two countries - Saudi Arabia and Israel - where there have been questions of possible conflicts o… Continue Reading


Leahy Introduces Legislation To Encourage Museum Donations

With tax reform discussions emerging in Congress, Senator Patrick Leahy on Thursday - National Museum Day -- introduced legislation to encourage donations of museum-quality contemporary art. Leahy's Artist-Museum Partnership Act of 2017 would grant tax deductions to artists equal to the fair market value of their work that they donate to museums. Under current law, artists are only able to deduct the cost of materials used, while collectors can deduct the work's fair market value. This bill wo… Continue Reading


Leahy Opposes Associate Attorney General Nomination And Reiterates Call For Independent Investigation

With a cascading series of events over the past week bringing the country to the brink of a constitutional crisis, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) took to the Senate Floor Wednesday to oppose the nomination of Rachel Brand to be the Associate Attorney General and to again demand a special counsel and an independent investigation into the potential Russian interference in the 2016 election. Leahy said: "Every day seems to bring new, disturbing revelations involving this President and his administ… Continue Reading



Pending before the Senate is the nomination of Rachel Brand to be the Associate Attorney General of the United States. The United States. Not of the President. Her nomination to the third most senior position at the Department of Justice comes at an unprecedented time of chaos and upheaval - not only at the Justice Department, but also at the White House, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and across much of this administration. The events of this past week have given me, and many members… Continue Reading


Leahy And Sanders Join Warren And Others In Introducing Student Loan Refinancing Bill

Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders are original cosponsors of a bill introduced Wednesday by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2) and 136 of their congressional colleagues -- the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act -- in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House. The legislation would allow those with outstanding student loan debt to refinance at the interest rates offered to new federal borrowers in the 2016-2017 school year. A previous version of the bill… Continue Reading


Appropriations Vice Chairman Leahy Outlines Consequences Of Sequestration And Trump Budget

In a letter to the Senate Budget Committee, Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy Wednesday outlined the consequences of returning to post-sequestration budget caps and the dangerous cuts proposed by the Trump Administration for fiscal year 2018. The administration is expected to release its full budget next week. In the five years since the passage of the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), discretionary programs have been slashed by $2 trillion under post-sequestration budget cu… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch Announce $1.4 M In First Round Of Affordable Housing Grants

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced more than $1.4 million in grants to revitalize communities and support access to affordable housing across Vermont. These funds mark the first round of FY17 federal grants awarded by NeighborWorks America, now being released after the passage of a federal appropriations bill on May 4, 2017. NeighborWorks is a national nonprofit organization that supports 245 local community developm… Continue Reading


Leahy, with Senators Rand Paul and Jeff Merkley, Introduces Bipartisan, Bicameral Sentencing Reform Bill In The Senate

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) on Tuesday reintroduced the Justice Safety Valve Act, S. 1127, in the U.S. Senate. Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) are reintroducing companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives. Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions directed federal prosecutors to pursue the most serious charges and maximum sentences in their cases, returning to stricter enforcemen… Continue Reading


Senator Patrick Leahy Comments On General Clapper’s Remarks About The Serious Threat Of Russian Interference, And On Not Taking The Stability Of Our Democratic Institutions For Granted

"I think everyone should listen to what General Clapper said this weekend. We face a serious threat from Russia interfering with our elections and we need an independent special counsel to get to the bottom of that. But another part of his warning is that we need to stand guard against diminishing our own checks and balances in America. We can no longer take the stability of our democratic institutions for granted. I am deeply concerned when I see this Administration trying to undermine a fre… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy Statement on the Senate Floor on the Nomination of Mark Green

Mr. President, as ranking member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of State and Foreign Operations, I welcome the nomination of Ambassador and former Member of Congress Mark Green to be the next Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. Ambassador Green brings a wealth of experience to this important position. He has been president of the International Republican Institute since 2014. In 2013, he was president and chief executive officer of the Initiativ… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Judiciary Committee Member, And Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman, On Attorney General Sessions’ New Sentencing Policy

"The Attorney General's new sentencing policy is an ideologically motivated attempt to resurrect the failed policies of the War on Drugs. Make no mistake, low-level offenders will spend years and even decades more in prison. This will not make us safer - quite the opposite, it will strip critical public safety resources away from targeting truly violent criminals in order to house nonviolent drug offenders. Unfortunately, I cannot say that I am surprised. In recent years, when he was still a… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy Subcommittee on the Department of State and Foreign Operations Hearing on Democracy Programs

Mr. Chairman, I want to join you in welcoming an exceptionally distinguished panel of witnesses. Thank you all for being here. Secretary Albright, the time and energy you have devoted to the topic we are here to discuss - both at the State Department and in the years since - is widely recognized and deeply appreciated. Jim Kolbe, who I remember as Chairman Kolbe when he held that position on the House Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, it is good to have you with us. And Vin Web… Continue Reading

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