11.16.21

Senate Floor Remarks

. . . . Senate Floor

Eight times, the voters of Vermont – who are my neighbors, my friends, my family – have had the great faith to send me to the United States Senate to represent them.

Yesterday, I told those neighbors and friends, and my family, that I will not run for reelection.  I told the Vermonters that have humbled me since my first election to the Senate in 1974 that I will resign this seat at the conclusion of my term.  It is a decision I do not come to lightly, but one in which Marcelle and I find great peace.

In the last 46 years, the Senate has become a family to both Marcelle and me.  Here we have found friends, some of the best friends, and relationships that will – and have – lasted a lifetime.  But the Senate has always been where I have come to fight for Vermont – a state that has been my home since birth, the place where I met Marcelle, where we started our family, and to which in early 2023, we will return.  For good.  It’s time to go home.

Here’s the thing about the Senate: here is where small states like Vermont have not just a seat at the table, but a voice at the table.  For decades I have fought for Vermont.  From the small, grown in Vermont ideas like the revitalization of our historic downtowns to farm to school programs, both of which started small, and have become increasingly popular across the country.  To Vermont’s trailblazing approach to criminal justice reforms and victim advocacy.  To taking Vermonters’ outward view that our great Green Mountain State is open and welcome to anyone, including those fleeing desperate situations in far off places.  On all these issues, and so many more, it has been an honor to represent the great state – the greatest state – of Vermont in the United States Senate.

I will have more to say about the challenges, the rewards, and yes, the disappointments of the last 46 years, at a later time.  Now, I want to celebrate the accomplishments that together with my constituents, we have achieved for Vermont over the last many decades.  I want to recognize the work still to do, this year, and this Congress.  I want to thank my current staff, and my staff throughout the years, who have steadfastly stood by me and our shared goals to deliver for Vermonters, and for Vermont.

And I want to thank my family.  My children and my grandchildren.  My parents, who were here with me to start this journey in my first Senate election, and who I know watch over the entire Leahy family today.  And, of course, Marcelle.  My closest friend, my partner.  The last couple of years have been challenging in ways we could never have imagined.  She was with me from the first moment of the first campaign, and together, we have decided that it is time to go back home.  We both look forward to the hard work the coming year will bring, and know, with the same conviction that brought us to Washington in the first place, that the brighter horizons of tomorrow hold the hope of the future.

Thank you.