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


Cardin, Leahy, Raskin Introduce Legislation To Improve Transparency For Prisoners And Detainees In Private Facilities

U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) today introduced legislation to require that government agencies comply with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests relating to private prisons, jails or detention facilities, including immigration detention facilities. The Private Prison Information Act (S. 3164/H.R. 5853) is essential for holding detention facilities accountable. "The PPIA would create a baseline of accountability for private c… Continue Reading


Approps. Chair Leahy On Need To Finish FY 2022 Appropriations Bills And Impact Of A Full-Year CR

We are now four weeks into the fiscal year, the federal government is running on auto-pilot, and we only have four more weeks until the government shuts down unless Congress takes action. This is not a theoretical exercise. The actions we take, or don't take, in this Chamber with respect to the Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriations bills affect people's lives and the direction of this nation. These bills provide for our national defense, help educate our nation's children, provide medical care for… Continue Reading


Statement On The Desperate Situation In Tigray

The situation in Tigray continues to deteriorate. Recent bombings by the Ethiopian Government of Tigray's densely populated capital city, Mekele, has reportedly killed civilians, including children. Millions of people have been displaced and many in Tigray are facing famine. Combatants on both sides of the conflict have committed atrocities. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported recently that only 14 percent of trucks with relief aid were getting thr… Continue Reading


Leahy, Murkowski, Durbin And Manchin Announce Bipartisan Compromise On The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

(TUESDAY, Nov. 2, 2021) - U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) Tuesday released a bipartisan compromise on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. This proposal - which builds on the version introduced earlier in October - reflects months of bipartisan negotiations and seeks to garner broader support in the Senate. Leahy, Murkowski, Durbin, and Manchin are committed to continuing their work on this compromise bill t… Continue Reading


Reaction of Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy Following Four Corners Appropriations Meeting

"Republicans seem to want to drive us into a full year continuing resolution. Democrats made a good faith offer last month that provided a 5 percent increase in defense spending, which is consistent with the bipartisan NDAA, but it takes two to negotiate. We still have not received a topline offer in response to ours. An endless cycle of continuing resolutions is not a responsible way to govern. It means cuts to veterans, cuts to national security and defense, handcuffing our response to the pan… Continue Reading


Opening Statement Specialty Crops, Organics And Research

Thank you, Chairman Booker for today's hearing. We are still in the midst of a pandemic that has seen food insecurity rise, and children left behind. I am proud of the efforts we have seen to try to meet the hunger needs of those struggling in our communities. This includes the historic investment in child nutrition programs currently included in the Build Back Better Act, which will increase access to school and summer meals for millions of children. But we need to do more than just get food on… Continue Reading


Floor Statement On The Confirmation Of Beth Robinson To The Second Circuit Court Of Appeals

The Senate today will vote on confirmation of Vermont's own Justice Beth Robinson to serve as a Judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. As an advocate, Beth Robinson has been rightfully hailed as a tireless champion for equal rights and equal justice. But more importantly, her record as a Vermont Supreme Court Justice clearly demonstrates her fairness, impartiality, and loyalty to the rule of law, above all else. Vermonters overwhelmingly support her nomination, including elected offici… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy Joins State To Announce Most Recent Round Of Grants For Dairy Farmers And Producers

(THURSDAY, Oct. 28, 2021) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has joined the Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets (VAAFM) in announcing the latest round of grants available to dairy farmers, value-added dairy producers and agricultural service providers through the Northeastern Dairy Business Innovation Center (DBIC). A wide range of grants and contracts, from implementing on-farm grazing practices, to food safety, to business technical assistance, are available at levels of up to $… Continue Reading


Comment On President Biden’s Nomination Of Kathi Vidal To Serve As Director Of The U.S. Patent And Trademark Office

I congratulate Kathi Vidal on her nomination to serve as the next Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Intellectual property is a vital engine for economic growth. Now more than ever, it is critical for the agency to have a permanent leader in place who will support its mission of promoting American ingenuity and competitiveness. I look forward to speaking with Ms. Vidal about her goals for the agency, including her ideas for continuing to improve patent quality while curbing abu… Continue Reading


Statement On Repression In Nicaragua

Mr. LEAHY. It has now been more than four months since Daniel Ortega's police arrested and subsequently disappeared political opposition leaders Félix Maradiaga and Juan Sebastián Chamorro in Nicaragua. On June 8, police stopped Maradiaga's vehicle, forcibly removed him, and took him away. Later that day, over 40 police officers forced their way into Chamorro's home and arrested him as well. For nearly three months, they were held in undisclosed locations, without access to the… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy Hosts 24th Annual Vermont Women’s Economic Opportunity Conference

On Saturday (Oct. 23) Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and his wife, Marcelle, hosted their 24th Annual Women's Economic Opportunity Conference (WEOC). Xusana Davis, Vermont's Executive Director of Racial Equity, was the keynote speaker. Her remarks were followed by a panel discussion with three Vermont women who own businesses about how they were able to refocus their businesses during the pandemic. The online conference drew 270 participants, half of them first-time attendees. In his opening r… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy Hosts 24th Annual Vermont Women’s Economic Opportunity Conference

On Saturday (Oct. 23) Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and his wife, Marcelle, hosted their 24th Annual Women's Economic Opportunity Conference (WEOC). Xusana Davis, Vermont's Executive Director of Racial Equity, was the keynote speaker. Her remarks were followed by a panel discussion with three Vermont women who own businesses about how they were able to refocus their businesses during the pandemic. The online conference drew 270 participants, half of them first-time attendees. In his opening r… Continue Reading


Statement On Moving The Nomination Of Justice Beth Robinson To The Second Circuit Court Of Appeals

I want to thank Chair Durbin for expeditiously moving the nomination of Justice Beth Robinson to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. I know firsthand the amount of work that is involved in the nominations process and appreciate his leadership on the Committee this year. Over the past few months I have received an outpouring of support from Vermonters across the political spectrum commending President Biden on Justice Robinson's nomination and urging this Committee's support. Justice Robinson… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy, Hearing On: "Pride In Patent Ownership: The Value Of Knowing Who Owns A Patent"

The most fundamental underpinning of our patent system is transparency. In exchange for limited exclusive rights, inventors disclose their invention to the public, benefitting our society as a whole. This same fundamental principle of disclosure should extend to ownership information about a patent. But today, there is no requirement that ownership information be publicly available after a patent issues. Senator Tillis and I both agree that our patent system would be improved by requiring mo… Continue Reading


Chairman Leahy Releases Remaining Nine Senate Appropriations Bills

(Monday, Oct. 18, 2021) - Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday released the remaining nine Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriations Bills. Monday's announcement follows months of Leahy calling for bipartisan, bicameral negotiations with the White House on topline spending and the successful, bipartisan passage of the Energy & Water, Military Construction and Veteran's Affairs, and Agriculture and Rural Development appropriations bills out of the Committee back in Aug… Continue Reading


Leahy Is Part Of Bipartisan Group Reaffirming U.S. Commitment To Fighting Rising Food Insecurity Ahead Of World Food Day

(FRIDAY, Oct. 15, 2021) -- In a resolution, U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and John Boozman (R-Ark.) celebrate World Food Day and recommit to fighting hunger in the face of rising food insecurity around the world. Last week, the senators passed a resolution designating October 16, 2021 and 2022 as World Food Day. U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) has introduced a companion resolution in the House of Represen… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders And Welch Commend The Biden Administration’s Move To Reopen The U.S.-Canadian Border

In a joint statement, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) said: "We welcome and commend the Biden Administration's decision to safely reopen the U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico. Like so many communities along both borders, Vermont towns have close, longstanding ties with Canadian ones. It is good news that fully vaccinated family members and loved ones will now be able to reunify and businesses will once again be able to wel… Continue Reading


Opening Remarks: Protecting A Precious, Almost Sacred Right: The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

[A day after Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced his long-awaited bill modifying his John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday is holding a hearing on Leahy's bill. Leahy has long been the author and chief sponsor of the Senate bill to remedy Supreme Court decisions that undermined the Voting Rights Act. Leahy's opening statement FOLLOWS:] Today, the Committee is discussing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, a bill that I have champione… Continue Reading


Leahy Leads 48 Senators In Introducing John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

(TUESDAY, Oct. 5, 2021) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a senior member and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Tuesday along with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and 45 other Senators introduced legislation to restore the landmark Voting Rights Act (VRA) and stop the spreading scourge of voter suppression. The legislation - the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act - is named for an icon of the Civ… Continue Reading


Statement On Introduction Of The Senate John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

It is with hope, pride, and optimism that I rise today to honor the legacy of an icon of the Civil Rights Movement, a hero of democracy, and a dear friend of mine: John Lewis. More than anything, John Lewis was a man of action. Where he saw suffering, he tried to end it. Where he saw injustice, he tried to correct it. Where "good trouble" was needed, he showed up for it. The most fitting way to honor the legacy of John Lewis is to take action ourselves. So it is with pride that today I int… Continue Reading

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