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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 Departure Of Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy

"Director Clancy took over the United States Secret Service during an era of great challenges, and he has provided much needed leadership and stability during his tenure. I thank him for his service to the agency and his country. At a time when our nation is facing serious national security challenges, I hope the President appoints someone similarly qualified to lead the Secret Service."… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Resignation Of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn

General Flynn's resignation as National Security Advisor is not the end of this story. I fear it is only the beginning. I have been deeply troubled for months about Russian manipulation of the 2016 presidential campaign and growing evidence of Russia's influence inside the White House. Serious questions remain unanswered about whether the President knew of Flynn's conversations with the Russians, and about Vladimir Putin's relationship with other individuals close to the President. It should… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Nomination of Steven Mnuchin to be Secretary of the Treasury

Today the Senate will confirm the nomination of Steven Mnuchin to be the Secretary of the Treasury. It is a nomination I simply cannot support. The Treasury Department plays an essential role in the development of the economic policies that financially secure the United States in world markets, that expand the opportunities available to all Americans, and that help set the stage for a sound and growing economy. Our country's economic engine must be one that is accessible to all Americans, not… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Nomination of David Shulkin to Secretary of Veterans Affairs

As the Senate has spent the last few weeks considering controversial nominee after controversial nominee, it is a refreshing break to consider Dr. David Shulkin to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Shulkin is a man defined by his professionalism, competence and dedication to the mission of the agency he is tapped to lead. The son of an Army psychologist and an experienced hospital system administrator, Dr. Shulkin was selected by President Obama to restore trust and confidence at th… Continue Reading


Ensuring Judicial Independence Will Require SENATE Independence

The late Chief Justice William Rehnquist once described the independent judiciary as "one of the crown jewels of our system of government." That is because the judiciary, insulated by life tenure from elections, can provide a necessary check on the other two branches of government and uphold the constitutional rights of all Americans. Now the independent federal judiciary is under attack by a president who seems intent on precipitating a constitutional crisis. President Trump's attacks on a … Continue Reading


Statement Of Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy On The Cost Of The Border Wall

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday issued the following statement on reports of an internal DHS cost estimate of $21.6 billion to construct a 2000-mile-long wall on the Southern Border: Appropriations bills are tangible expressions of our priorities. How we use our taxpayer dollars is a reflection of our values, and wasting billions on a poorly conceived border wall does not meet that test. Instead of funding this costly and ineffective proxy for real… Continue Reading


Leahy Comment On Unanimous Ninth Circuit Decision On The Trump Administration’s Immigration Order

"With its unanimous ruling, the Ninth Circuit has now joined numerous other courts around the country in ruling that President Trump's discriminatory immigration order is likely unconstitutional. It imposes a religious litmus test designed to keep Muslims out of the United States. If the President were serious about bringing our country together and keeping us safe, he would rescind this arbitrary and discriminatory order and recall what makes our country great. "Immigrants and refugees have … Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch Commend Governor & Other State Leaders For Legislation On Trump Executive Orders

In a joint statement, Vermont's Congressional Delegation - Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) - commented on State of Vermont legislative efforts to protect the constitutional rights of Vermonters: "We commend Governor Scott, Attorney General Donovan and our state's legislative leaders for their commitment to protecting the rights of all Vermonters. Our offices have taken hundreds of calls from Vermonters who are deeply concerned about… Continue Reading


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

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