Press Room

Press Releases

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


VAAFM Announces Vermont ‘Pay-For-Performance’ Agricultural Phosphorus Reduction Program Now Taking Applications

MONTPELIER (Saturday, January 8, 2022) - The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) recently opened applications for the new Vermont Pay for Phosphorus (VPFP) program, one of the first of its kind in the United States. VAAFM received a $7 million grant award from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in September of 2020, enabling the Agency to launch a statewide Vermont Pay for Phosphorus (VPFP) Program to further expand and support agriculture's role in deli… Continue Reading


Statement On South Sudan

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, several months ago I spoke of the hope we all felt that after decades of civil war, famine, and political turmoil, after millions were killed and millions more became refugees including thousands of "lost boys" and "lost girls", South Sudan's independence and a peace agreement would be the beginning of a period of lasting stability and progress. Regrettably, what has unfolded since then is the antithesis of stability or progress. The past decade has been plagued by c… Continue Reading


Remarks On The Anniversary Of The Jan. 6 Attack On The Capitol

These are among the most somber and sorrowful remarks that I have had to make as President Pro Tempore and in my several decades of service in this body. What an unthinkable event it is that we are marking today. An attempted coup incited not against a president, but by a president, who promoted and still promotes a litany of lies, to overturn the results of an election in order for him to hold on to power that he no longer possesses. We are in the business of words, but there are none to ad… Continue Reading


Comments On The Passing Of Former Majority Leader Harry Reid

Harry Reid was a warm and caring soul and Marcelle and I were grateful to know Harry and Landra as friends. He was one of a kind, a nugget of pure gold at the center and a little rough around the edges. His unlikely journey from the tiny and remote Nevada hamlet of Searchlight was the story of a fighter for ordinary Americans who was drawn to public service and politics for all the right reasons. ###… Continue Reading


Sanders, Leahy, Welch Send Letter To DeJoy On Mail Delays And Issues At White River Junction Facility

Burlington Vt., Dec. 23 - Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) on Thursday sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy demanding action to address the postal issues across Vermont, including the immediate installation of a functioning cancellation machine at the White River Junction mail processing facility. "We write with great concern about the Postal Service's continued failure to meet its own standards of service," Sanders, Leahy and Welch wro… Continue Reading


Leahy Urges Supreme Court To Take Up Case With Major Implications For The U.S. Patent System

(MONDAY, Dec. 20, 2021) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chair of the Senate's Intellectual Property Subcommittee, part of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) Ranking Member of the House Intellectual Property Subcommittee, Monday filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to hear a case with major implications for the American patent system. Their official brief explains how a key post-grant review process at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) - c… Continue Reading


Leahy And USDA Announce Conservation Program Improvements Which Will Benefit Participating Vermont Farmers

(MONDAY, Dec. 20, 2021)- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday announced changes to USDA conservation programs which will make the programs work better for Vermont farmers and landowners. Participants in the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) will now have more flexibility in how they meet a required 50 percent match, making it easier for landowners to conserve land through the program. The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) helps farmers implement clean water practices, such a… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces $2.66 Million For OVW Programs Addressing Sexual And Domestic Violence

(MONDAY, Dec. 20, 2021) -- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy announced Monday that four Vermont organizations will share in $2.66 million in federal grants from the U.S. Dept. of Justice Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). Leahy said: "Domestic and sexual violence are complex problems which we need to address on multiple fronts, which these grants do. There is funding for law enforcement investigators, specialized prosecutors and training for judges, all of which is necessary, but there is also … Continue Reading


Recognizing Dan And Whit's General Store

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, in Vermont, the general store is the epicenter of a community. It is where people not only buy their groceries and newspapers, but also tools and hardware, mittens and hats, axes and chainsaws, gas for their cars, and too many other things to name. But just as important, general stores are where Vermonters meet their neighbors, and when the weather is good, pass the time and talk about their families, things going on in town, or the state of the world. Marcelle and I h… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Nomination Of Vermonter To Serve As Northern Border Regional Commission Co-Chair

(THURSDAY, Dec. 16, 2021) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) says he is proud to announce that a longtime member of his staff, Chris Saunders, has been nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as the co-chair of the Northern Border Regional Commission. Leahy said: "I am proud of Chris, who I count among my most long-serving and valued staff. Chris has worked hard for Vermont and the nation in both Vermont and Washington, and this appointment is wonderful news for the entire Northern Border… Continue Reading


Leahy, Murray, Wyden Lead Senate Democrats In Call To Ensure All Eligible Same-Sex Couples Receive Pension Survivor Benefits

Under current law, some individuals in same-sex relationships who lost their partners shortly after being married or before they were able to legally marry are being denied survivor benefits by retirement plans Senators: "We should not let the echoes of the bigotry that robbed so many people of the right to marry for so long rob them once again after they have lost their loved ones." WASHINGTON (FRIDAY, Dec. 10, 2021) - On Friday, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Health, … Continue Reading


Leahy-Led Changes To Federal Dairy Program Will Deliver Millions To Vermont Farmers

(WEDNESDAY, Dec. 8, 2021) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced changes made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to the dairy safety net program that will benefit Vermont's small dairy farms. As it opens enrollment of the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program for 2022, changes to the program sought by Leahy will deliver additional payments to Vermont producers. A change in how feed costs are calculated will mean an additional $3.1 million in retroactive payments will b… Continue Reading


Comment On The Confirmation Of Nikolas Kerest To Serve As Vermont’s Next U.S. Attorney

I am so proud that Nikolas 'Kolo' Kerest, whom I recommended to President Biden to serve as Vermont's next U.S. Attorney, was just confirmed by the United States Senate. Kolo is an exemplary prosecutor, dedicated to upholding the rule of law and putting the interests of Vermonters first, above all else. As a former prosecutor myself, I am confident that Kolo has just what it takes to keep our communities safe while also honoring Vermont's values. I look forward to seeing him take the helm of Ver… Continue Reading


Statement On Cuba

Mr. LEAHY. As someone who has observed the evolution of relations between the United States and Cuba for nearly 50 years, particularly since I first traveled there in 1999, I find the situation between our two countries today bewildering, tragic, and exasperating. Bewildering, because senior Administration officials - who have publicly and privately acknowledged that the 60-year policy of unilateral United States sanctions, isolation, and threats has failed to achieve any of its objectives an… Continue Reading


Chairman Leahy Statement On The Further Extending Government Funding Act

It is my hope that soon the Senate will vote on a bipartisan agreement to keep the government open and funded through February 18th. I am pleased we reached this agreement. The only thing worse than running the government under a continuing resolution (CR) is a government shutdown. A shutdown only hurts the American people and wastes billions in taxpayer dollars. I am glad that the bill includes critical funding to support Afghan refugees as we help them get resettled here in the United Sta… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy, Governor Scott Announce $63 Million In Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding For Vermont’s Clean Water and Wastewater Revolving Loan Funds

(THURSDAY, Dec. 2, 2021) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D) and Vermont Governor Phil Scott (R) on Thursday announced that Vermont will be receiving $63,041,000 in funding for drinking water systems and wastewater treatment as a result of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed by President Biden late last month. The funds will go into the State's revolving loan funds for drinking water and wastewater. Those funds are loaned or granted to municipalities for constructing, impr… Continue Reading


Leahy Statement On The Continuing Resolution

I am glad that we have reached a bipartisan agreement to keep the government funded through February 18 that includes needed funding to support Afghan refugees. These brave men and women were our allies through 20 years of war, and we have an obligation to support them as they begin their new lives. Since May, I have called for bipartisan, bicameral negotiations with the White House to establish toplines. On October 18, Senate Democrats released a comprehensive opening offer in an effort … Continue Reading


Gillibrand, Leahy, Collins Introduce Bill To Lift Voices Of Dairy Farmers By Calling For Federal Milk Marketing Order Hearings Addressing Class I Milk Pricing

(WEDNESDAY, Dec. 1, 2021) - U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) Wednesday introduced the bipartisan Dairy Pricing Opportunity Act, which would direct the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to initiate the process of holding Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) hearings within six months. The hearings would provide an opportunity for producers, who understand the dynamics of milk pricing first hand, to have a voice in formulating any pote… Continue Reading


Statement On Hossam Bahgat

Mr. LEAHY. In June of this year, Egyptian prosecutors opened a criminal investigation concerning human rights defender Hossam Bahgat, in relation to a December 2020 tweet criticizing Egypt's flawed parliamentary elections. The acts he has been accused of would not be considered crimes in the United States, nor in any other country that respects freedom of expression. Hossam Bahgat is the Executive Director and founder of one of the most respected Egyptian human rights organizations, the Egypti… Continue Reading


Leahy Comments On USDA Accepting Applications For ReConnect Broadband Funding

(TUESDAY, Nov. 30, 2021) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is currently accepting applications for $1.15 billion in funding through the ReConnect Program. This program provides loans and grants to help Americans living in rural communities get access to quality, high-speed internet service. Eligible applicants are state, local or territory governments, corporations, Native American Tribes, limited liability companies and cooperative organizations. This funding is available for proje… Continue Reading

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