Majority News Releases


Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) REAX To President Trump Signing The Disaster Supplemental

Since the House first passed a disaster package back in January, Senate Republicans needlessly delayed its progress at the direction of President Trump. It was in response to the President's direction to not provide a dollar of additional aid to Puerto Rico that Republicans delayed the disaster relief for over four months. Democrats have said from the beginning, the President cannot pick and choose which American citizens to help in the aftermath of a disaster. From the flood-stricken farmers… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy On The Passing Of Senator Thad Cochran

Thad Cochran was a devoted public servant, a lion of the Senate, and one of my dearest friends. Despite our political differences, I knew Thad held the interests of the people of Mississippi - and the country - close to his heart. We were close partners through the years on the Agriculture Committee, which we both chaired. Our friendship was a driving force behind our work as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, forging bipartisan agreement in an increasingly partisan … Continue Reading


Senate Passes Bicameral, Bipartisan Disaster Supplemental

WASHINGTON (THURSDAY, May 23, 2019) - The United States Senate Thursday passed a $19.1 billion bipartisan, bicameral disaster supplemental to provide aid for all American citizens recovering from 2017-2019 disasters by a vote of 85 to 8. The House first passed an emergency supplemental in January, only for the measure to stall in the Senate due to President Trump's insistence that it not include "one more dime" of funding for the American citizens of Puerto Rico recovering from two category 5 h… Continue Reading


Statement Of Appropriations Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Passage Of The Bipartisan, Bicameral Disaster Supplemental

Even though it may be five months late, today is a good day for the United States Congress, for the American people, and for the nation. I have said from the beginning that any disaster supplemental that passes this chamber cannot pick and choose which American citizens to help in their time of need. The American community bands together to support one another when disaster strikes, regardless of where we are from, our politics, or our beliefs. That is the American way, and it is the role of … Continue Reading


Senate Appropriations Committee Democrats Urge Secretary of Defense Not to Use Emergency Military Construction Authorities for Border Wall Construction

WASHINGTON (THURSDAY, May 16, 2019) - Senate Appropriations Committee Democrats Thursday continued their strong opposition to stripping funding appropriated for critical military construction projects that support service members and military families to build President Trump's ill-conceived border wall. The Department of Defense (DOD) is yet to provide any justification that such a move is necessary to support armed forces along the Southwest border. In a letter to Acting DOD Secretary Patric… Continue Reading


REAX of Vice Chairman Leahy To President Trump's Rally In Florida

At his campaign rally, President Trump again repeatedly and falsely claimed that Democrats are blocking disaster aid from reaching communities across the country. That is not true. The fact is that in early April, Senate Republicans - at the direction of the President - blocked more than $2.6 billion dollars in disaster aid to the very state the President held his rally in. The fact is that even though in his fiscal year 2020 budget the President requested $8.6 billion for his wall, he has no… Continue Reading


Vice Chairman Leahy Statement on Hearing to Review FY 2020 DHS Budget Request

All reasonable observers would agree that our southern border is experiencing a humanitarian crisis that deserves our attention. We are seeing a large number of asylum seekers and migrants - mostly families and unaccompanied children fleeing for their lives - arriving at our border, creating significant strains on our ability to treat all of them humanely and with due process. But a serious crisis demands serious solutions. Acting Secretary McAleenan: I genuinely believe you are here in good fa… Continue Reading


Schumer And Leahy Introduce Bill To Provide Assistance To All Disaster-Impacted Areas, Including the Midwest, Southeast, And Puerto Rico

WASHINGTON (Thursday, April 11, 2019) - Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday introduced a comprehensive, emergency disaster supplemental appropriations package that would provide relief to all American citizens from recent natural disasters. The package totals $17.2 billion and includes $3 billion in funding for disasters in the Midwest and Southeast. This amendment is a companion bill to the legislation i… Continue Reading


Senate Democratic Appropriations Chief Spokesman’s Comment On The Latest Republican Disaster Offer

"Over the weekend, Senate Republicans made an offer that did not provide a single cent in new funding to help the American citizens of Puerto Rico rebuild their communities. To call this a 'compromise offer' is not constructive at best. To say Senate Democrats are exacting 'pay back' for votes against Hurricane Sandy relief is a ludicrous effort to shift responsibility for this stalemate. The issue has been, and the issue remains, providing relief to ALL Americans suffering from recent natura… Continue Reading


Senate Republicans Block Comprehensive Disaster Relief For All American Communities For Second Time In A Week

WASHINGTON (Thursday, April 4, 2019) - Senate Republicans Thursday blocked a disaster assistance package that would address the needs of all American communities affected by recent natural disasters for the second time in a week. The move follows President Trump's campaign of holding aid to all American communities hostage over a petty, political grudge with the American citizens of Puerto Rico. Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said: "I have always stood wit… Continue Reading


Vice Chairman Leahy Statement On The Disaster Supplemental Appropriations Bill

It is unfortunate that the Senate reached an impasse on the emergency disaster supplemental appropriations bills. For months, I repeatedly urged Senate Republican leadership to take up and pass the House bill, H.R. 268, and for nearly 3 months they did nothing. During those three months, American communities suffered, and new disasters struck the Midwest and Southeast. The new criticism from Republican leadership became that Democrats pushing for more comprehensive aid to Puerto Rico in H.R. … Continue Reading


ICYMI – Leahy, Schumer Introduce Path Forward On Disaster Bill, Will Push For Floor Action This Week

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Tuesday introduced an amendment that would provide $16.7 billion in disaster assistance, including $2.5 billion in new funding for communities in the Southeast and Midwest and restoring certain funding for Puerto Rico and other states and territories. Leahy and Schumer will push for the Senate to take up their amendment this week. Release announcing the amendment is available HERE: http… Continue Reading


Vice Chairman Leahy and Leader Schumer Introduce Path Forward For Disaster Supplemental – New Amendment Provides New Funding for Midwestern Disasters & Restores Certain Funding for Puerto Rico, Other Territories

WASHINGTON (TUESDAY, April 2, 2019) - Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Tuesday introduced a substitute to the emergency disaster supplemental to provide a path forward to resolving the current impasse on the disaster funding bill. The Leahy/Schumer amendment totals $16.7 billion and includes $2.5 billion in new funding for disaster stricken communities in the Southeast and Midwest and restores certain fundi… Continue Reading


Senate Republicans Reject Leahy Amendment To Provide Aid For 2019 Disasters

WASHINGTON (MONDAY, April 1, 2019) - Senate Republicans Monday rejected an amendment to the emergency disaster supplemental offered by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, to provide aid to communities affected by 2019 disasters. Leahy said: "It is disappointing that the Republicans rejected my amendment. As Americans and as Senators, we should stand with all American communities that are affected by disaster. We should not pick and choose who … Continue Reading


Statement Of Vice Chairman Leahy On The Disaster Emergency Supplemental

It is the responsibility of the federal government to stand with American communities in crisis. And I appreciate the efforts of Chairman Shelby and his staff to move this process forward. I know communities in the Chairman's state recently experienced their own natural disaster, and as Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee, as a United States Senator, and as a Vermonter, I am ready to stand with the people of Alabama. Because that is what we as Americans do. When Tropical Storm … Continue Reading


Vice Chairman Leahy Introduces Compromise Path Forward On Emergency Disaster Supplemental

WASHINGTON (Wednesday, March 27, 2019) - Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday introduced a compromise path forward on the Emergency Disaster Supplemental that adequately addresses the needs of communities affected by recent natural disasters, including the American citizens of Puerto Rico and other territories. For more than two months, Senate Republicans - at the direction of President Trump - have refused to take up a comprehensive disaster relief pack… Continue Reading


Statement Of Vice Chairman Leahy On The Disaster Supplemental Appropriations Bill

On January 16th, over two months ago, the House passed a supplemental appropriations bill, H.R. 268, that addressed the needs of all communities impacted by disasters. The House-passed disaster bill provided assistance to help people impacted by Hurricanes Florence and Michael, the Hawaii volcanoes, and the California wildfires. It provided aid to the people of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam who were struck last year by typhoons, and the people of American Samoa who… Continue Reading


Comment of Vice Chairman Leahy On Secretary Ross Declining To Testify Before The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee On Commerce, Justice and Science

[The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science on Tuesday announced an annual hearing to review the budget for the Department of Commerce. Giving no public explanation, Secretary Ross declined the Subcommittee's invitation to appear at the hearing, as Department Secretaries traditionally do. Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy on Wednesday commented:] "Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross was supposed to appear before a Senate Appropriations subcommitt… Continue Reading


Leahy, Schumer Blast Trump Administration For Abysmal Response To Puerto Rico Recovery And Demand Timeline For Correcting Its Uncoordinated, Long-Delayed Response

WASHINGTON (TUESDAY, March 26, 2019) - In a letter to Office of Management and Budget Director, and Acting Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney; Acting FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor; and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson, Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) blasted the Trump administration for continuing to undermine the immediate and long-term recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, and de… Continue Reading


Vice Chairman Leahy Statement on Senator Udall Announcing He Will Not Run For Reelection

Tom Udall has been a steadfast partner on the Appropriations Committee, a workhorse senator, and a dear friend. In the key role of Ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, he has worked with me as we fought together to turn back the devastating cuts to environmental programs proposed by the Trump Administration, to protect the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and to enhance cultural programs around the country. I'm confident that Senator Udall will spend the n… Continue Reading

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