Press Room

Press Releases

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


Durbin, Leahy, Senate Democrats Urge Biden To Finally Close Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility

U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today led 22 Senate Democrats on a letter to President Joe Biden expressing their support for finally closing the detention facility at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In their letter, the Senators wrote that as a symbol of lawlessness and human rights abuses, the detention facility continues to harm U.S. national sec… Continue Reading


Statement Of Vermont’s Congressional Delegation On Extension Of The Public Comment Period On Border Patrol Surveillance Towers

Joint statement from Leahy, Sanders and Welch: "We are pleased to announce that the Department of Homeland Security has agreed to our request to reopen the public comment period related to the proposed construction of massive surveillance towers along the Vermont-Canadian border. We have heard from many Vermonters who are concerned that surveillance cameras will further intrude on their privacy in border communities that have already been dramatically changed by increased border surveillance … Continue Reading


Leahy And Sanders Join Bid To Get Fed. Govt. Out Of Fossil Fuel Business

Oregon's U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA-2) are leading a bicameral group of 21 lawmakers in introducing the Keep It in the Ground Act-urgent legislation to stop new fossil fuel leases and put an end to nonproducing leases for extraction of coal, oil, gas, oil shale, and tar sands extraction on public lands and in public waters. The combustion of fossil fuels that have been extracted from America's public lands and waters currently amount to more than 20 percent… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch Announce $11 Million For Housing Construction In Vermont From The American Rescue Plan

(MONDAY, April 12, 2021) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced Monday that Vermont has received more than $11 million in additional funding for affordable housing construction, under the American Rescue Plan Act, through the Department of Housing and Urban Development's HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME). This includes more than $9.5 million for the State of Vermont and $1.5 million for the City of Burlington. … Continue Reading


Statement On President Biden’s Budget Blueprint

A budget is where an administration can set its priorities, and it is clear from President Biden's initial proposal that his administration's priorities reflect the real needs of the American people. This blueprint makes strong investments in Americans and communities who have not benefited from the economic expansion prior to the pandemic and who fell further behind because of COVID. The budget proposes long overdue and historic investments in jobs, worker training, schools, food security, in… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy Visits Richmond Elementary School’s Outdoor Classrooms

RICHMOND, Vt. (THURSDAY, April 8, 2021) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) visited Richmond, Vt., to see how the elementary school has adapted to COVID-19 by using outdoor classrooms. He also discussed federal funding coming to Vermont to help schools respond to the pandemic. The state will receive $443.3 million in funding through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund, including $285 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) passed earlier last month. Leahy, w… Continue Reading


Leahy Secures $32 Million To Vaccinate Vermonters

MORRISVILLE, Vt. (THURSDAY, April 8, 2021) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday announced that Vermont has received an additional $32 million from the federal government to aid the state's efforts to vaccinate against COVID-19. Leahy, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, also announced $8.5 billion in aid to rural health care providers included by the Senate in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) which was signed into law by President Biden in March. He announced the federal fun… Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy, Who Has Led Efforts In Congress To Ban Anti-Personnel Landmines, To A Statement By A Pentagon Spokesman That The Trump Administration’s Policy On Anti-Personnel Landmines Remains U.S. Policy

I have spoken to Secretary of Defense Austin, as recently as last week, about the need to return to the Obama policy on landmines. I have spoken to President Biden about this over many years, and I'm confident that his administration will do the right thing and renounce these indiscriminate weapons that have no place in the arsenal of civilized nations. That is why, 27 years ago, President Clinton ordered the Pentagon to develop alternatives to anti-personnel mines. It is completely unaccepta… Continue Reading


Comment On President Biden’s Infrastructure Plan

President Biden is proposing a bold plan to repair and revitalize our nation's crumbling infrastructure. This is an investment that is long overdue, and it will create tens of thousands of jobs and make our country more competitive on the global stage. The President is proposing new investments in clean drinking water, revamping our electrical grid, and expanding access to high-speed broadband that will be crucial to rural areas like Vermont. And importantly, the President is addressing the … Continue Reading


Durbin, Cornyn, Leahy, Young, Coons, Collins Introduce Bipartisan Bill Addressing Shortage Of Doctors, Nurses

(FRIDAY, March 26, 2021) - This week, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, along with Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Todd Young (R-IN), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced bipartisan legislation to provide a temporary stopgap to quickly address our nation's shortage of doctors and nurses. The Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act would recapture 25,000 unused immigrant visas for nurses and 15,000 unused immig… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins Hassan And Others To Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Support And Expand Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs

(FRIDAY, March 26, 2021) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has joined Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and others in reintroducing bipartisan legislation to support and expand programs such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a collaborative effort across states including New Hampshire that uses market-based tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector. "Climate change threatens our economy, our health, and our natural resources. Initiatives like the Regional Greenhouse… Continue Reading


As Oil Prices Rise Amid Production Cuts, Leahy And Others Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Fight Price Fixing By OPEC

(FRIDAY, March 26, 2021) -- Amid rising oil prices fueled by foreign production cuts, a bipartisan group of Senate Judiciary Committee members have reintroduced legislation that will let the federal government take action against price fixing by OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act, or NOPEC, is led by the committee's ranking member, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and cosponsored by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Min… Continue Reading


Video And Text Of Leahy's Senate Floor Tribute To The Late 2nd Circuit Court Judge Peter Hall

Senator Leahy late Wednesday took the Senate Floor to pay tribute to the late Peter Hall, Judge on the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals - - - - VIDEO LINK: Senate Floor Wednesday, March 25, 2021 Remembering Judge Peter W. Hall Madam President, now on an entirely different matter, I want to speak about a dear friend, U.S. Second Circuit Court Judge Peter Hall, who died on March 11. Ever since then, I have thought back to a conversation I … Continue Reading


Merkley, Daines Lead Senate Introduction Of Bipartisan Legislation To Ensure That Legal Cannabis Businesses Aren’t Shut Out Of Critical Financial Services

Oregon's U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) today introduced the bipartisan Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which would ensure that legal cannabis businesses have access to critical banking services. Most state legal medicinal or recreational cannabis businesses are denied access to the banking system because banks fear they may be prosecuted under federal law given the ongoing federal restrictions on cannabis. The lack of access to bank accounts, cre… Continue Reading


Leahy, Collins And Durbin Reintroduce Bipartisan Bill To Combat Illegal Straw Purchasing And Firearms Trafficking

(TUESDAY, March 23, 2021) - U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) this week introduced legislation to combat straw purchasing and illegal trafficking in firearms in order to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals. The Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2021 would, for the first time, make it an explicit federal crime to act as a straw purchaser of firearms. The bill would also create penalties for anyone who transfers a firea… Continue Reading


Leahy And Others Re-Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Protect Older Workers From Discrimination

(MONDAY, March 22, 2021) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), with Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the Special Committee on Aging; Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA); and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Monday re-introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act (POWADA). Enacting POWADA would restore critical protections in the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and make it easier for employees to prove when they are a victim of age discrimination in th… Continue Reading


Leahy Introduces Federal Employee Access To Information Act To Protect Federal Employees From Retaliation For Filing FOIA Requests

(THURSDAY, March 18, 2021) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), along with Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), Thursday introduced the Federal Employee Access to Information Act to ensure that federal employees are able to use the nation's premier transparency law, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), without reprisal. FOIA helps expose government wrongdoing and abuses, and Leahy believes that federal employees must be free to use FOIA in the same way as … Continue Reading


Leahy, Grassley Introduce EB-5 Investor Visa Integrity Reform Bill

Today, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a senior member and former chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2021 to address fraud and national security vulnerabilities in the EB-5 investor visa Regional Center Program, which has been exploited and abused for years. Their bill includes significant integrity reforms to protect against fraud and national security weakness… Continue Reading


Durbin, Leahy, Feinstein, Klobuchar Statement On House Passage Of VAWA Reauthorization Act

(WEDNESDAY, March 17, 2021) - U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today released the following statements after the House of Representatives late Wednesday passed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021. The Senators have been working to prepare companion legislation, which they hope to introduce in the… Continue Reading


Statement On Reevaluating Trump’s Border Wall

The previous Administration's taxpayer funded vanity wall along the Southern Border was never a real solution to addressing the challenge of immigration in our country. It was a slogan made for a bumper sticker - not an effective national policy. A wall, no matter how high or secure, will not deter families and children who are turning themselves in at the border in an effort to flee violence, chaos, and poverty in their home countries. Congress was clear that the funding appropriated for CB… Continue Reading

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