Majority News Releases


The Mounting Cost Of COVID Inaction: The Election

COVID-19 On July 13, 2020 U.S. Infections - 3,296,599 | U.S. Deaths - 134,884 U.S. Unemployment - 11.1 Percent | Since House Passed Heroes Act - 60 Days What Is Absentee Voting? Absentee voting, also known as mail-in voting, allows voters who are unable or unwilling to vote in person, to vote by mail. Voting Fact Absentee voting has a long history in our country. About 150,000 Union soldiers voted absentee during the presidential election of 1864, and the armed forces have used absentee … Continue Reading


The Mounting Cost Of COVID Inaction: Access To Education

COVID-19 On July 10, 2020 U.S. Infections - 3,047,671 | U.S. Deaths - 132,056 U.S. Unemployment - 11.1 percent | Since House Passed Heroes Act - 56 Days What Is Remote Learning? In an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, schools across the country have moved partially or entirely to remote learning. This frequently requires students to interact with their educators through online platforms in place of in person classes and complete course work online. Remote Learning Fact Not all a… Continue Reading


The Mounting Cost Of COVID Inaction: Domestic Violence

COVID-19 On July 9, 2020 U.S. Infections - 2,982,900 | U.S. Deaths - 131,065 U.S. Unemployment - 11.1 percent | Since House Passed Heroes Act - 56 Days What Is Domestic Violence? Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior, including the threat or use of violence, fear, and intimidation, to establish power and control over another person. Domestic Violence Fact More than 12 million people in the United States experience violence by an intimate partner every year, with one in four wo… Continue Reading


The Mounting Cost Of Inaction: The Census

COVID-19 On July 7, 2020 U.S. Infections - 2,932,596 | U.S. Deaths - 130,133 U.S. Unemployment - 11.1 Percent | Since House Passed Heroes Act - 54 Days What is the Census? Mandated in Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution, the Census is a decennial count of our country's population used to determine Congressional apportionment and how $1.5 trillion in federal spending is allocated. Census Fun Fact Before the U.S. Census in 1790, censuses were used primarily to tax or conscript people … Continue Reading


Leahy Statement On The Need To Pass Another COVID-19 Emergency Appropriations Bill

Over three months ago, Congress came together in rare bipartisan fashion to pass the CARES Act, to help address the unprecedented needs of the country and the American people as it began to address a global pandemic. It was the third emergency appropriations bill Congress has passed this year to address the impact of the coronavirus, yet despite its scope and size, we knew then that absent a miracle, it would not be the last one required. Since that time, the number of COVID-19 cases have co… Continue Reading


Statement of Vice Chairman Leahy On 9th Circuit Ruling Halting Transfer of Military Funds to President Trump’s Wall

"In a decisive victory for the Constitution and the American people, the Ninth Circuit wisely ruled that President's Trump effort to raid congressionally appropriated funds for our military troops and their families to build his wall was plainly illegal. In upholding the lower court's decision to halt the transfer of military funds to President Trump's wall - a wall that Congress refused to fully fund, prompting this President to lash out and shut down the government - the Ninth Circuit reaffir… Continue Reading


REAX Of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) To Senate Republicans Delaying Fiscal Year 2021 Markups

Senate Democrats are committed to producing bipartisan bills. There is bipartisan agreement that we need to address the COVID pandemic. And if we want to truly address the issues of racial injustice that George Floyd's tragic death has brought to the surface, we need more than symbolism, we need to appropriate money for programs that advance these issues. Offering and considering amendments related to appropriations to address the most important issues of the day is not partisan, it is the jo… Continue Reading


Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) REAX On House Passage Of The Heroes Act

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed more than 86,000 lives in our country. More than 36 million people have filed for unemployment, and at 14.7 percent the unemployment rate is the highest it has been since the Great Depression. And yet, Leader McConnell claims there is no urgency to act. I strongly disagree. House Democrats have put forward a strong proposal that provides assistance to struggling families, supports state and local governments, funds a responsible testing program, and recog… Continue Reading


Leahy And Merkley Call On USDA To Speed Food And Farm Assistance Out The Door

WASHINGTON (Friday, May 15, 2020) - Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Agriculture, Rural Development, Food And Drug Administration, And Related Agencies Ranking Member Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) Friday released a letter to United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue calling on the Department to increase its efforts to speed funding for food aid appropriated by Congress out the door and to those in need. Congress appropriated $36 billion to the… Continue Reading


Leahy, Tester Urge FEMA To Increase Efforts To Deliver Food To Those In Need

WASHINGTON (MONDAY, May 11, 2020) - Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee On Homeland Security Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) Monday released a letter to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Peter Gaynor urging the agency to increase its efforts to deliver food aid to those in need. The CARES Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act collectively appropriated $850 million to help stock food b… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Senate Passage Of The Coronavirus Aid Package 3.5

I am glad Congress was able to reach bipartisan agreement on an interim bill to help small businesses that have been devastated by this crisis, and to provide aid to hospitals and improve testing capability for COVID-19. Now is not the time to let up. We cannot be led to believe that our work here is done. There are important changes that still need to be made to ensure the SBA programs work for our restaurants, small inns and hotels, and others that are waiting to reopen. Still others are w… Continue Reading


REAX Of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Being Appointed To President Trump’s Council To Reopen America

If the President is genuinely reaching out to listen to candid and diverse views on a decision that will profoundly affect millions of Americans for years to come, I look forward to sharing my views. They will be candid, and he knows if I disagree, I will tell him. Decisions affecting the public health of the American people must reflect the economic distress and sacrifices that are being borne in communities across Vermont and the nation. And to succeed, they must be based on facts and medic… Continue Reading


Meeting the Needs of States, Local Governments, and Tribes

Division B of H.R. 748, the CARES Act, contains $340 billion in new discretionary funding to address the needs of the American people as we confront the coronavirus pandemic. Below is a summary of programs funded in the bill that will be awarded directly to state and local government agencies, to tribes, or that will be provided to non-profit organizations in the states to help address the needs caused by this pandemic. This funding is in addition to the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund th… Continue Reading


Leahy Releases Appropriations Summary Of Bipartisan Coronavirus Aid And Economic Relief Agreement

WASHINGTON (WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2020) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday released the bipartisan Senate agreement to provide relief from the coronavirus pandemic to our nation's families and working people. As Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Leahy was a lead negotiator on the appropriations title of the relief package to provide direct assistance to the American people, preserve small businesses, and distribute billions of dollars in resources to hospitals, first r… Continue Reading


Approps. Vice Chair Leahy Remarks On Bipartisan Negotiations To Address the Coronavirus Pandemic

Today, the American people are making sacrifices to keep themselves, their family, and their communities safe. Health care providers, grocery store staff, state and local government workers, truckers, bank tellers, journalists and countless others are doing important and necessary work on the front lines of this crisis. As a Senator from Vermont, and a member of this Chamber for more than 40 years, I want to send my profound thanks. Right now, we are close to expressing our understanding of … Continue Reading


BREAKING: Senate Approps Vice Chair Leahy REAX To McConnell/Trump Stimulus Proposal + Analysis From The Vice Chair's Office.

Earlier this week I made clear that Senate Republicans' plan to proceed with a "Republican Consensus" proposal without bipartisan input from Democrats would be a waste of time and only delay aid from reaching the American people. It is extremely disappointing that my words fell on deaf ears. If ever there were a time to work directly across the aisle for the good of the nation, this is it. While I welcome direct financial assistance to American families, the McConnell/Trump Republican proposa… Continue Reading


Sen. Approps Vice Chair Leahy REAX To Senate Passage Of The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Today the Senate took a crucial first step to meet the American people where they are in this crisis by ensuring emergency, paid sick leave, enhancing unemployment insurance, and providing new funds to support nutrition programs, which will come under increasing strain during this crisis. Importantly, the bill also guarantees affordable testing, which is a necessary step to finally understanding the full scope of this disease in our country. But we must view our response to this crisis in pha… Continue Reading


Senate Appropriations Vice Chair Leahy Statement On Consideration Of The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Families across the country are facing an unprecedented challenge, and we must act, and act now, on solutions that put families and the American people first. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act takes a substantial step toward providing the relief and assurance communities need as we face this public health crisis. Families should not be forced to choose between a paycheck and their own health and safety, or the health and safety of their community. A restaurant worker in Vermont cann… Continue Reading


Appropriations Vice Chair Leahy REAX On President Trump's National Security Declaration

I am glad that President Trump took the responsible step this afternoon of making an emergency declaration under the Stafford Act. This will free up billions of dollars to assist the government-wide response to the coronavirus and provide states and local governments with the resources they need. But this is not a substitute for Congress acting and the President signing legislation to provide assistance to families and the American people as they confront this crisis at home and in their commu… Continue Reading


Senate Approps. Vice Chair Leahy Statement Ahead of Senate Passage of the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental

This week, Congress showed strong, decisive leadership in addressing the novel coronavirus. As Appropriators often do, and as members of Congress proved they are still capable of doing even in the most partisan times, we put our labels aside and came together for the American people. Unfortunately, this is something the President has not done. By actively spreading misinformation on national television and downplaying the potential risks to the American people, I am concerned the President… Continue Reading

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