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


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Nomination of Representative Tom Price to Serve As Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services

The Cabinet nomination we are considering today is one of great consequence. The reach of the Department of Health and Human Services is extensive, with direct and indirect consequences for the health and well-being of all Americans. Like many other nominations that this body is rushing to confirm, Representative Price has not satisfied the many questions that have been raised about his ability to defend programs that are vital to so many Americans. In fact, his record in Congress runs counte… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions To Be The Attorney General Of The United States

Yesterday I spoke at length about my fear that Senator Sessions would not have the ability to act as an independent Attorney General. The Attorney General is not the president's lawyer. He or she is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States. And he or she must faithfully serve all Americans. Even if Senator Sessions could demonstrate independence from President Trump, my review of his extensive record leaves me unconvinced that he is capable of serving and protecting all American… Continue Reading


Remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy On President Trump, Vladimir Putin, and Senator Sessions

Mr. President, it is ironic that as we consider the nomination of Senator Sessions to be the Attorney General, a position in which he will be responsible for defending the fundamental rights and liberties of the American people, President Trump has continued to praise Russian President Vladmir Putin who has repeatedly demonstrated his disdain for freedom of speech, of association, of due process and of the rule of law. In less than a week the President has attacked a federal judge for performi… Continue Reading


Leahy Introduces Senate Resolution Affirming That The U.S. Does Not Have Religious Or Other Discriminatory Litmus Tests For Refugees

Following multiple federal court decisions ruling that President Trump's Muslim ban likely violated the constitution, Senator Patrick Leahy introduced a Senate resolution this week reaffirming that the United States "should remain a global leader in welcoming and providing refuge to refugees and asylum seekers." The resolution is similar to Leahy's religious freedom amendment adopted in the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2015, which drew broad bipartisan support. Leahy's new Senate resolution, … Continue Reading


Senator Leahy & Leading Senators Demand Answers About Outrageous Price Hike For Lifesaving Anti-Opioid Drug

Thirty-one Senators led by Senator Patrick Leahy are demanding answers from a leading pharmaceutical company about the dramatic price hike for a life-saving medication used to respond to opioid overdoses. Recent reports unveiled that drug maker Kaléo Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures an easy-to-use injector device containing the overdose-reversing drug naloxone, raised its price from $690 in 2014, to $4,500 currently. While the Evzio device has the potential to help thousands of indiv… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy, Introduction of a Senate Resolution Expressing Support for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has reported that more than 65 million people have been forcibly displaced around the globe by the end of 2015. In the face of such staggering human suffering, we must not shutter our doors and abandon our foundational principle of religious freedom. Yet that is exactly what our new president would have us do with the Executive Order he signed two weeks ago. This is not something I support. And for good reasons. Our freedom of religion was e… Continue Reading


Leahy, On Senate Floor: Senator Sessions Lacks Independence To Be Attorney General

Sustained legal challenges to President Trump's unconstitutional Muslim ban underscore the need for an independent attorney general to uphold the Constitution, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Tuesday. "There is a reason the Justice Department is not led by a Secretary of Justice: the Attorney General is the people's attorney, not the president's attorney. The Trump administration has already shown us why this distinction matters," Leahy said during a lengthy floor statement about the nomina… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy, On the Nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions To Be The Attorney General Of The United States

This week we must decide whether Senator Sessions-someone many of us have known and worked with for years-is the right person to lead the Department of Justice. I have decided that he is not, and I want to share a few reasons why. Last week, the Trump administration underscored what is at stake with this nomination. When the administration accused Acting Attorney General Sally Yates of having "betrayed the Department of Justice," it exposed a view of the Justice Department that is disturbing … Continue Reading


Remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Recognizing Vermont’s Commitment to Refugees

On February 1st, Vermont welcomed 31 new U.S. citizens from 14 countries through a naturalization ceremony in Rutland. Later that night, more than one thousand people from our small state of Vermont gathered on our statehouse lawn in support of refugees and immigrants. Vermonters understand what "community" means. It is a helping hand in a time of need. It is a kind word in a moment of distress. It is a welcoming embrace to calm a fear. We may be small, but in Vermont, there is no limit to… Continue Reading


Leahy's Senate Floor Speech This Afternoon In Opposition To The Nomination Of Betsy DeVos To Be Secretary Of Education

Mr. President, I thank the distinguished senior Senator from Minnesota for her comments. She speaks from experience and knowledge, as has the senior Senator from Washington State, on this issue. In my years here, I have seen thousands of confirmation votes, literally at all levels, up to and including Cabinet members and Supreme Court justices. I have voted for a large majority of a President's nominations--both Republican and Democratic Presidents. Some may not have been those I would have cho… Continue Reading


Comment On Partisan Attacks On The Federal Judiciary

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), On Partisan Attacks On The Federal Judiciary February 4, 2017 "The President's hostility toward the rule of law is not just embarrassing, it is dangerous. He seems intent on precipitating a constitutional crisis. He fired the nation's top law enforcement official for recognizing that his so-called 'travel ban' was indefensible. It is in fact an arbitrary and shameful attempt to discriminate against Muslims. Last year, he made baseless accusations and at… Continue Reading


Leahy Presses Trump Administration For Details On Trump’s Immigration Order

Senator Patrick Leahy pressed the Trump administration Friday for specific details on the number of individuals, including U.S. citizens and valid green card holders, who were banned, detained, or mistreated when trying to enter the United States following the president's executive order that was signed last week. President Trump's executive order banning refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries has been challenged in federal court, and three district court judges ruled that at least parts… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins Other Key Senate Leaders In Writing To The New Defense Secretary And CIA Director, Opposing Return To ‘Ineffective, Immoral Policies’ On Torture And Detention

Senator Patrick Leahy, Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and the Ranking Members of the Senate Intelligence, Armed Services, Foreign Relations and Judiciary Committees Friday sent a letter to Secretary of Defense James Mattis and CIA Director Mike Pompeo expressing alarm at reports that the Administration is reportedly considering an Executive Order that would revoke the bans on CIA "black site" detention facilities and interrogation techniques outside of the U.S. Army Field … Continue Reading


Leahy Joins In Introducing Legislation To Codify Membership On The National Security Council

Senator Patrick Leahy joined Senate Select Committee On Intelligence Vice Chairman Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) Thursday in introducing legislation that will clarify the permanent membership of the National Security Council (NSC). The introduction follows the unprecedented reorganization of the NSC by President Trump, which diminished the permanent roles of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence and extended NSC membership to Steve Bannon, a top campaign a… Continue Reading


Leahy Statement On The Resignation Of Eric Miller, U.S. Atty For The District Of Vermont

During his time as U.S. Attorney for Vermont, Eric Miller has demonstrated exceptional leadership in tackling our state's most serious challenges. His ability and his energy in bringing together federal, state and local agencies in Vermont to address the heroin and opioid epidemic have yielded impressive results. He is a man of absolute integrity, and his commitment to uphold civil rights has been another hallmark of his time in office. Time and again, his thoughtful approach and calm demean… Continue Reading


Senate Floor Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy In Opposition To The Resolution To Kill The SEC Resource Extraction Rule, Which Protects Investors And The Public By Increasing Transparency To Discourage Massive Payments By Oil Companies And Others To Corrupt Foreign Kleptocrats

Mr. President, Republicans in both chambers have introduced a resolution to permit oil, gas, and mining companies to continue making secret payments - involving billions of dollars - to corrupt foreign governments in exchange for access to their countries' natural resources. This resolution would overturn legislation on which I worked closely with former Republican Senator Richard Lugar and Senator Cardin, and was included as Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Prote… Continue Reading


Leahy's First Senate Floor Speech On The Nomination Of Neil Gorsuch To The Supreme Court

Since public hearings began in 1916, the Senate has never denied a hearing or a vote to a pending Supreme Court nominee. That was until last year. Last year Senate Republicans waged an unprecedented blockade against the nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland, a fine judge with impeccable credentials who should be on the Supreme Court today. Instead, bowing to the extreme right of their party, Republicans who knew and respected Chief Judge Garland refused even to meet with him, let alone ac… Continue Reading


Statement On the Nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch To The Supreme Court Of The United States

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch To The Supreme Court Of The United States January 31, 2017 "In light of the unconstitutional actions of our new President in just his first week, the Senate owes the American people a thorough and unsparing examination of this nomination. I had hoped that President Trump would work in a bipartisan way to pick a mainstream nominee like Merrick Garland and bring the country together. Instead, he outsourced this process to … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy on the Nomination of Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State

Mr. President, today the Senate is considering the nomination of Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State. Mr. Tillerson is an intelligent, hard-working, and successful businessman. He is also, in my view, the wrong choice to be our Nation's top diplomat. To effectively confront the many challenges our country faces in an increasingly globalized and volatile world, we need a Secretary of State who, with credibility and conviction, can clearly and effectively articulate our interests and values… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy’s Statement In Opposition To The Sessions Nomination For Attorney General, At The Judiciary Committee Voting Session

What we saw last night illustrates what is at stake with this nomination. The President's decision to fire Acting Attorney General Sally Yates is shameful. And his accusation that she "betrayed the Department of Justice" is dangerous. The Attorney General is the people's attorney, not the President's attorney. He or she does not "wear two hats." Ms. Yates exemplified the best of this role. I want to thank Ms. Yates for her nearly three decades of service to this country, and for serving in… Continue Reading

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