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


Leahy Welcomes Hundreds Of Vermonters To Nation’s Capital For The Women’s March

(SATURDAY, Jan. 21, 2017 ) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Marcelle Saturday welcomed hundreds of Vermonters to the Nation's Capital for the Women's March. More than 800 Vermonters registered for the event. Speaking to the Vermont marchers, Leahy said: "Our brave little state says NO to hate." He said he was reminded of this quote from Martin Luther King Jr.: "We have to accept finite disappointment, but not give up infinite hope. Only light can crowd out darkness." You can view a gal… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Nomination of James Mattis To Be Secretary Of Defense

Today I will vote for James Mattis to be the next Secretary of Defense. General Mattis stands out as a top-practitioner in his field. He has earned - and rightly deserves - near-universal respect. While I opposed the hurried waiving of a carefully considered statutory cooling off period for members of the military before they can become eligible for this civilian position, I made clear then, and restate now, that my opposition to this waiver was never about General Mattis himself. I was grat… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Nomination of General John Kelly To Be Secretary Of Homeland Security

General Kelly is no stranger to the problems we face along the southern border. As the commander of U.S. Southern Command, he is familiar not only with immigration challenges, but with drug trafficking. While I am grateful that he has not subscribed to the singular approach that President Trump has thus far proposed with respect to constructing a wall along our southern border, I am deeply concerned that he has admonished so-called sanctuary cities and has testified that accelerating the depor… Continue Reading


Leahy Releases Follow Up Questions To AG Nominee Sessions

(Tuesday, January 17, 2017) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday released written questions submitted for the record to the Attorney General nominee, Senator Jeff Sessions. The written queries focus on topics addressed in last week's confirmation hearings - including Senator Sessions' opposition to the Violence Against Women Act - as well as other subjects. During last week's confirmation hearings Leahy, the lead author of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, pressed Sessions abo… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Attending The Inaugural Ceremony

I will be attending this ceremony, as I have attended every previous inaugural ceremony - involving presidents of both parties -- while I have represented Vermonters in the U.S. Senate. I am taking part as a member of the Senate, which is one of our foundational institutions. I most certainly will not be taking part as a supporter of candidate Donald Trump, but as a guardian of our constitutional process and of the office of the presidency. It is no secret that I strongly opposed Donald Trump… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Democrats to Jeff Sessions: Don’t Block Russia Hack Investigation

Senate Judiciary Democrats to Jeff Sessions: Don't Block Russia Hack Investigation Washington-Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and all committee Democrats today called on Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), nominee for attorney general, to allow investigations of Russia hacking to proceed and to recuse himself from those proceedings. The letter poses two questions to Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the nominee to become attorney general:… Continue Reading



(TUESDAY, Jan. 17, 2017) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the State Department and Foreign Operations, reaction to the State Department announcement of the second U.S. contribution of $500 million to the green climate fund: "I commend the Administration for making this contribution, which has bipartisan support in the Senate. It will help give us a 'seat at the table' in future climate change ne… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Waiver Legislation for the Next Secretary of Defense

The Senate is faced with a clear but complicated choice: support this expedited legislation that will pave the way for the confirmation of the next nominee to be Secretary of Defense, or embroil one of the most consequential Cabinet positions - and with it the lives of thousands of men and women, as well as our national defense - in what would surely become a legal and legislative morass. The Framers of the Constitution established that the Senate should provide advice and consent in the appoin… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The DHS Proposed Rulemaking To Reform The Flawed EB-5 Program

[Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Thursday after the Department of Homeland Security released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that, once implemented, will make significant improvements to the EB-5 Regional Center Program. The proposal would raise the minimum investment levels for the first time since the EB-5 program was created in 1990, and it would restrict the ability of high-end real estate developers to take advantage of development incentives intended for distres… Continue Reading



(THURSDAY, Jan. 12, 2017) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced the subcommittee ranking members for the 115th Congress. Leahy said: "The Appropriations Committee has a challenging year ahead. We must finish the work of the 114th Congress and pass the remaining fiscal year 2017 bills, while simultaneously preparing to address the needs of the next. Appropriations bills are where policy debates meet fiscal realities. Approp… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins Senator Tammy Baldwin And Others In Calling For Disclosure Of Trump Cabinet Nominees’ Golden Parachute Bonus Payouts

(WEDNESDAY, Jan. 11, 2017) -- U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin led a group of her colleagues in sending President-elect Trump a letter calling for his cabinet nominees to disclose any payments they may receive from former employers that is contingent upon accepting a job in the federal government. Senator Baldwin was joined by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) in sending th… Continue Reading


Leahy Presses AG Nominee Not To Roll Back Key Protections For Victims Of Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

(TUESDAY, Jan.10, 2017) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the lead author of the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act which was enacted in 2013, challenged Attorney General nominee Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) on Tuesday not to roll back the important progress made to protect all victims of domestic and sexual violence, including LGBT individuals and those living on tribal lands. During the Judiciary Committee's consideration of the Sessions nomination Tuesday, Leahy asked: "… Continue Reading


Floor Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Budget Resolution, S. Con. Res. 3 (To Instruct Committees To Draft Legislation To Repeal The ACA)

The 115th Congress convened just last week. I had hoped that with all the turmoil in the country that we would begin the year with a renewed sense of cooperation. But I am sorry to say, my friends in the Republican Party have chosen a different path. The very first thing on the agenda is to press forward with a sham budget. If you ask why we have a sham budget, a fake budget, an unrealistic budget-we find out that its only purpose is to set up a process to repeal the Affordable Care Act with a … Continue Reading


Leahy And Other Judiciary Committee Democrats Urge Panel To Prevent Politicization Of The Justice Department Under Trump

(TUESDAY, Jan. 10, 2017) -- With Senator Jeff Sessions's (R-AL) confirmation hearing underway, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have written to Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) requesting that the Committee serve as a bulwark against any politicization of the U.S. Department of Justice during the Trump administration. In their letter, the senators cite both the targeting of attorneys within the Department based on their previous advocacy and recent actions taken by the Trump … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), On Senator Dianne Feinstein Becoming Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee convenes for the first time in the 115th Congress and we mark an historic moment in the Committee's 200 year history. Last week, Senator Dianne Feinstein was named the Committee's ranking member, the first time in American history that a woman has served in this capacity. It is striking that 352 members have served on the Committee, and only six of those -- all Democrats-- have been women. Three of those six women are proudly serving on this important Com… Continue Reading


Jeff Sessions Was Too Extreme For Republicans In 1986. Is He Too Extreme For Republicans Now?

This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee will meet in a legendary room that has been the site of such historic events as the Watergate hearings, and Senator John Kennedy's presidential campaign announcement. This ornate room has since been named for my friend, the late Senator Ted Kennedy, and more recently senators have met in this room for the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Attorney General Eric Holder. As senators prepare to gather in the Kennedy Cau… Continue Reading


As New Congress Opens, Leahy Joins Klobuchar And Others To Introduce Legislation To Lower Prescription Drug Prices For Seniors

(THURSDAY, Jan. 5, 2017) -- At the start of the new Congress, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has joined Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and others in introducing legislation to lower prescription drug prices for seniors. The lawmakers have introduced the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act, which would allow Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs. Current law only allows for bargaining by pharmaceutical companies and bans Medicare from doing so. The legislation woul… Continue Reading



Today, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, released the following statement in response to reports that President-elect Trump will ask Congress to pay for the border wall: "A troubling pattern is quickly emerging, with the fuzzy talk about killing the Affordable Care Act, and now with 'the wall.' It's jump first, and make real plans later, if ever. That may be the way Mr. Trump ran his businesses but it's not how we should treat American … Continue Reading


Further Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Senator Jeff Sessions’ Nomination To Be The Attorney General Of The United States

"I have made clear the issues that especially concern me as the Senate considers Senator Sessions' nomination to be Attorney General of the United States. The Attorney General serves as the chief law enforcement officer in the country. The Attorney General must be independent and fair. The Attorney General must be deeply committed to the rule of law and must ensure that all people are treated equally before the law. This means that he or she is also the chief protector of civil rights and ci… Continue Reading


Senators Cardin, Feinstein, Leahy, Carper, Klobuchar Introduce Legislation to Create Independent Nonpartisan Commission to Investigate Russian Interference in Election

U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) introduced legislation Wednesday to create an independent, nonpartisan commission to comprehensively investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election. The commission would fully investigate Russian cyberattacks on U.S. political entities and election infrastructure and any other attempts by the Russian government to influence U.S. elections, seek to identify… Continue Reading

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