Majority News Releases


Chairman Leahy Statement On President Biden’s Announcement On Funds Stolen By The Trump Administration

For years, President Trump raided taxpayer dollars from our military and military families to build a wall he promised the American people Mexico would pay for. He let schools for military children deteriorate, and he stripped our National Guard of the resources and equipment they needed to effectively carry out their mission. This smash-and-grab funding of bumper sticker policies left a backlog of unfunded projects vital to our national security that will take years to restore. The construct… Continue Reading


Statement of Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy On Congressionally Directed Spending.

I rise today to address the need for Congress to restore one of its constitutional powers, the power of the purse. My family arrived in Vermont in the 19th Century to work in the granite quarries in Barre. Later, my parents ran a printing business right across from the Vermont State House in Montpelier where I grew up. I stayed in Vermont for college, only traveling 45 minutes up the road to Saint Michael's College where I received an excellent education. After earning my law degree at … Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Restoration of the Power of the Purse: Reforms for a Return to Congressionally Directed Spending in Fiscal Year 2022

WASHINGTON (MONDAY, April 26, 2021) - Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Monday his intent to restore one of Congress' constitutional powers, the power to approve congressionally-directed spending items, and to do so with enhanced transparency and accountability. The Senate Appropriations Committee will, on a bipartisan basis, accept requests for congressionally directed spending items for appropriations bills for the fiscal year that begins October 1, 2021… Continue Reading


Closing Remarks of Chairman Leahy on “The American Jobs Plan: Infrastructure Climate Change, and Investing in Our Nation’s Future” Hearing

Thank you to everyone - from the witnesses here today to our Committee members to the staff that helped prepare - for this meaningful hearing. I will close with this. The American Society of Civil Engineers gives our roads a grade of D. Our bridges are graded at a C. Storm water and waste water systems are graded at D and D plus, respectively. Drinking water systems do slightly better - a C minus. Same with our energy grids. Our student populations have outgrown our schools. There is near … Continue Reading


Leahy Holds First Appropriations Committee Hearing On Infrastructure Climate Change, and Investing In America’s Future

WASHINGTON (Tuesday, April 20, 2021) - Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday convened the first full committee hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The hearing focused on The American Jobs Plan, the nation's crumbling infrastructure, and how to prepare for and mitigate the climate crisis. The hearing was the first of several thematic hearings Leahy will hold with the full committee. Leahy said: "The American Jobs Plan is a sweeping proposal that wil… Continue Reading


Opening Statement of Chairman Leahy for Hearing on “The American Jobs Plan: Infrastructure Climate Change, and Investing in Our Nation’s Future”

Today, we convene the first hearing of the full Senate Appropriations Committee for the 117th Congress. And what more appropriate topic than that of infrastructure. There is no other Committee within the Senate whose jurisdiction touches every aspect of our government and of Americans' lives. The same, of course, can be said for infrastructure. Gone are the days when "infrastructure" has meant only bridges, highways, roads, and rail. To narrow our view of infrastructure to just this is not … Continue Reading


Statement of Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) 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


Statement of Chairman Leahy 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


Statement of Chairman Leahy On Senate Passage Of The American Rescue Plan

Across our country, in every state, in every community, Americans are suffering. It doesn't matter if they are represented in Congress by Republicans or by Democrats, or whether they live in rural communities or in urban centers. All have suffered under an unprecedented health and economic crisis that has claimed the lives of more than 520,000, and of more than 2.58 million people around the world. Families are living under the tremendous burden of not knowing how they will pay their rent, fe… Continue Reading


Statement of Approps Chairman Leahy On Announcing Subcommittee Rosters and Leadership for the 117th Congress

The Appropriations Committee is where we put the necessary resources behind our policy priorities. It is where we can address the needs of the American people. This is a process that requires difficult decisions and bipartisan cooperation, and I believe we have a skilled and experienced team to confront this challenge head on. I want to thank my good friend Senator Shelby for his partnership in the 116th Congress, and I welcome his leadership as the Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations … Continue Reading


Leahy, Shelby Announce Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee Rosters And Leadership For The 117th Congress

WASHINGTON (FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2021) - Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Vice Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) Friday announced the majority and minority Chairmen, Ranking Members, and subcommittee rosters for the 117th Congress. The Senate Appropriations subcommittee Chairmen, Ranking Members, and rosters, with members listed in order of subcommittee seniority, are as follows: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Ta… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Urgent Need For A Bold Response To The Coronavirus Pandemic

For more than a year, our country has been in the grip of an unprecedented health and economic catastrophe. It was January of last year when the first confirmed case of COVID-19 arrived in our country. Since then, more than 444,000 of our fellow citizens have died, more than 26 million have been infected, and millions have lost their jobs. And every day there are thousands more deaths. A year ago, former President Trump boasted that there were only 15 COVID-19 cases in this country and he w… Continue Reading


Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy Statement On The Final Rescission Proposal From President Trump

For the last four years, President Trump has repeatedly displayed his inability to grasp that a government by the people works for the people. His budgets proposed to undermine our government's ability to help families in need and invest in future growth. Congress turned back each of these irresponsible budgets on a bipartisan basis. Apparently President Trump remains unable to understand the potential consequences of his failed policies. The $27 billion of rescission proposals he submitted… Continue Reading


Leahy Statement On President Elect Biden's Proposal To Address The COVID Crisis And Restart The Economy

I am relieved that we will finally have a partner in the White House who takes this unprecedented health and economic crisis seriously. There are pressing needs that have been unaddressed for far too long as hundreds of thousands died, tens of millions were infected, and millions lost their jobs. To restart the economy we must defeat the virus, and I am glad to see the bold action this crisis deserves proposed by President Elect Biden. I look forward to working with the incoming President… Continue Reading


Leahy Statement On The Law Enforcement Response To Wednesday's Tragic Events

Yesterday, the very heart of our democracy was laid under siege. I am grateful to the men and women in law enforcement who defended the people's house from this violent and lawless mob. However, there were clearly systematic failures, and this breach should have never happened. There are many questions we must answer. In the coming days the Appropriations Committee will be investigating yesterday's tragic events. # # # # #… Continue Reading


Statement of Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy on the FY 2021 Omnibus Appropriations Bills and COVID Relief Package

After months of delay and painstaking negotiation, this afternoon we will have before us a spending package that includes all 12 appropriations bills for fiscal year 2021, and a vitally important COVID relief package. It provides funding for programs that are critically important to the American people, and I urge its swift passage. We are already 2 months and 20 days into the fiscal year. We cannot delay further. As Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, I worked hard to reach agree… Continue Reading


Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Releases Fiscal Year 2021 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON (Monday, Dec. 21, 2020) - Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday released the $1.4 trillion fiscal year 2021 Omnibus Appropriations bill. Leahy said: "This agreement is the product of weeks of hard work and compromise. This is not the bill I would have written on my own. It includes things I support and things I oppose. But on balance, passage of this bill is unquestionably in the interest of the American people, and both the House and the Senat… Continue Reading


Vice Chairman Leahy Statement On House Passage Of The Continuing Resolution

I am glad that the House passed a one week continuing resolution that will allow us the time we need to complete our work on full year appropriations bills, and I urge the Senate to take up and pass it as soon as possible. We cannot - and will not - allow government funding to lapse in the midst of an unprecedented health and economic crisis. Chairwoman Lowey, Ranking Member Granger, Chairman Shelby, myself, and our staff, have been tirelessly working through the nights and the weekend to reac… Continue Reading


Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Urgent Need For COVID Relief

It's been 321 days since the first COVID-19 case was reported in the United States. It's been 282 days since the first COVID-19 death was reported in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the unemployment rate in November was 6.7 percent, nearly double the rate in November of last year. Hundreds of thousands of small businesses across the country have closed, permanently, due to COVID. As of today, there are more than 14.8 million reported cases of COVID-19 in the Un… Continue Reading


Senate Approps Vice Chair Leahy Statement On The Release Of The FY 2021 Senate Appropriations Bills

Today, Chairman Shelby released draft bills and explanatory statements for each of the twelve FY 2021 appropriations bills. Chairman Shelby and I agree on the importance of completing our work on the twelve bills before the continuing resolution expires on December 11. I am very disappointed that the majority chose to cancel Committee mark ups of the FY 2021 bills and that the bills were not considered by the full Senate, eliminating the ability of members to offer amendments. This is an imp… Continue Reading

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