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


Members of Congress Raise Ethics Concerns about Deputy White House Counsel

U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Conn.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Representative Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Friday sent a letter to Stefan Passantino, Deputy White House Counsel and Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO), questioning his previous financial connections to Carl Icahn, as well as other Trump Administration officials, and the resulting conflicts of inter… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders Join In Reintroducing Bill To Simplify Tax Filing

Vermont's U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D) and Bernie Sanders (I) have joined Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and others in announcing that they will reintroduce the Tax Filing Simplification Act of 2017 to simplify and decrease the costs of the tax filing process for millions of American taxpayers. This year taxpayers will spend an average of 13 hours preparing and filing their returns, and will pay $200 for tax preparation services -- a cost equal to almost 10 percent of the average federal… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders And Other Democratic Senators Demand Fair and Consistent Treatment of Student Loan Borrowers in Public Service

Sen. Patrick Leahy and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) joined a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos led by Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and sent by a total of 36 senators. The letter expresses concern over announcements that borrowers may not be able to rely on notices they have previously received about their eligibility for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Leahy said: "The Public Service Loan Forgiven… Continue Reading


Feinstein and Leahy, Joined By Others In Senate And House, Introduce Cluster Munitions Bill

Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Patrick Leahy and Congressman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) have introduced the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act, a bill to restrict the use and export of dangerous cluster munitions. Cluster munitions are bombs, rockets or artillery shells that contain submunitions that, when deployed, can leave behind unexploded ordnance. This unexploded ordnance can be buried in land, hidden from view or lay in plain sight and be mistaken for toys or even air-drop… Continue Reading


Dear Colleague Letter To Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson Regarding Military Assistance To Honduras

April 5, 2017The Honorable Rex TillersonSecretary of StateDepartment of StateWashington, DC 20520 Dear Secretary Tillerson: We write to urge the Administration to enforce conditions in U.S. law on assistance to, and investment in, Honduras. Over the past few years, Honduras has become an increasingly dangerous place for social and political activists, particularly indigenous rights activists. On January 31st, the nongovernmental organization Global Witness published a report which concludes t… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman, Senate Appropriations Committee, On Air Strikes in Syria

"After the appalling chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians, including children, believed to have been perpetrated by the Syrian government, I said Bashar al-Assad was a war criminal and must be held accountable. Last night the President launched a limited attack on the base that apparently carried out those attacks. "When brutality, like we have seen against the citizens of Syria by their own government, shocks our consciences, the desire to act decisively is strong. We must keep in min… Continue Reading


Full Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Nomination Of Judge Neil Gorsuch To The Supreme Court Of The United States

Just two days ago, the Judiciary Committee reported the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch by the narrowest margin, a party-line vote. Yet the Majority Leader has already filed cloture to cut off debate on this nominee. And he has promised to use whatever tactic is necessary to ensure this nominee is confirmed, no matter the concerns of the minority or millions of other Americans. Today is just the seventy-fifth day of the Trump administration. Only 75 days of having Republican control of both… Continue Reading


On Senate Floor, Leahy Speaks Out Against Gorsuch Nomination & Trump Agenda

After holding open a Supreme Court vacancy for over a year, Senate Republicans are now rushing to schedule a vote on President Trump's nominee to the highest court in the land. Senator Patrick Leahy, a longtime member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Wednesday that the Senate should not simply rubberstamp the Trump agenda and he reiterated his opposition to the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch. "Judge Gorsuch has a fine resume. I do not take issue with his qualifications on paper. My … Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders And Other Senators Query Major Broadband Providers About Privacy Rules

Senator Patrick Leahy joined Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and other Senate Democrats, including Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), in sending a letter querying the nation's largest broadband internet providers on their rules to protect the privacy and security of their subscribers. Their letter comes two days after President Donald Trump signed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution formally rescinding the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's) broadband privacy rules, which requir… Continue Reading


Senate Floor Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Nomination Of Judge Neil Gorsuch To The Supreme Court

Just two days ago, the Judiciary Committee reported the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch by the narrowest margin, a party-line vote. Yet the Majority Leader has already filed cloture to cut off debate on this nominee. And he has promised to use whatever tactic is necessary to ensure this nominee is confirmed, no matter the concerns of the minority or millions of other Americans. Today is just the seventy-fifth day of the Trump administration. Only 75 days of having Republican control of both… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On President el-Sisi’s Visit

Mr. President, this week, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is in Washington where he is meeting with President Trump and other senior Administration officials, as well as some Members of Congress. President Trump has spoken glowingly of President el-Sisi, as he has of Russian President Putin and Philippine President Duterte. "Strong leaders", he calls them, as if that is enough to justify our wholehearted support. Unfortunately, world history is replete with examples of strong, messian… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy, Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, On President Trump’s Decision To End U.S. Funding For UNFPA

[Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee and Ranking Member of the Department of State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, Tuesday issued the following comment on President Trump's determination under "Kemp-Kasten" to end U.S. contributions to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).] "President Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. funding for UNFPA not only will backfire; it is based on a false narrative. The law that President Trump invoked was written t… Continue Reading


Ludlow Elementary School

On April 4, 2017, Senator Leahy conducted an online chat with the sixth graders of Ludlow Elementary School. The Senator was impressed by the students' curiosity on climate change and immigration, and about the importance of ensuring all Vermonters have access to health care. He also appreciated their questions about Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court.… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Nomination Of Neil Gorsuch To Be An Associate Justice Of The Supreme Court

Let me begin with the nomination of Rod Rosenstein to be Deputy Attorney General. Mr. Rosenstein has spent 27 years in the Justice Department and the last 12 years as U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland. He has a reputation for integrity that is unusual for this administration's nominees. But, if confirmed, he will inherit a situation that no Justice Department nominee has faced since 1973: an active criminal investigation into a sitting president's campaign and administration. Every … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Justice and the Rule of Law in Central America

Mr. President, last week I spoke about the importance of the rule of law in Guatemala, and praised the work of Attorney General Thelma Aldana and the Commissioner of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, Ivan Velasquez. These two individuals have helped to create hope among the Guatemalan people in the possibility of justice in a country where the justice system has too often been used to perpetuate corruption, impunity and inequality. The International Commission Agains… Continue Reading


Leahy Slams The Latest Republican-Led Rule Rollback, Which Threatens Women’s Access To Health Care, Especially In Rural Areas

[Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday presided over the U.S. Senate to cast a tie-breaking vote to end debate on a controversial bill to disapprove Obama-era rules that prevented states from restricting funds available to clinics through Title X of the Public Health Service Act. This is the 12th time this year that Republicans have rammed through legislation to kill Obama-era rules on topics ranging from clean and water and climate change regulations, to worker safety, to women's health, using… Continue Reading


Senator Patrick Leahy Statement At Department of State and Foreign Operations Hearing on Civil Society Perspectives on Russia

Mr. Chairman, I want to make one observation before we begin, which is that for the past month or two our staffs have been working daily with their House counterparts to finalize our Fiscal Year 2017 bill. They are on track to resolving all but the most contentious issues this week. Then late last Friday we learned that the White House may be proposing a $2.8 billion cut to our 2017 allocation, as part of an $18 billion transfer of funding for non-defense operations and programs to the Pentago… Continue Reading


Leahy Statement On Proposed FY 2017 Cuts

[BACKGROUND: Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt. ) Tuesday issued the following statement after reports surfaced of a document from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) had been released detailing cuts proposed by the Trump Administration for FY 2017. This document was not shared directly to Leahy's office or the offices of other Democratic members of the Appropriations Committee by OMB.] Unfortunately, this appears to be more of the same partisan campaign g… Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy, Vice Chairman, Senate Appropriations Committee, On President Trump’s Executive Order Rolling Back Obama-Era Clean Air, Clean Water And Clean Energy Gains

These cynical and patently misleading actions are damaging in many ways to our economy and to the public's health. This is part of the 'know-nothing' anti-science agenda that President Trump and many Republicans in Congress continue to pursue, undermining sound policy decisions and setting back America's technological leadership and American jobs in the emerging clean energy economy. This will cost us precious time and initiative in establishing our world lead in these new clean energy technol… Continue Reading


Stowe Elementary School

On March 28, 2017, Senator Leahy had his annual online chat with the student council of Stowe Elementary School. Senator Leahy enjoyed answering the 5th and 6th graders questions about his thoughts on the Trump's administration's policies, from climate change to healthcare. The Senator was impressed by the Stowe students' thoughtful questions on highly relevant political issues.… Continue Reading

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