Majority News Releases


Vice Chairman Leahy REAX To Woefully Inadequate Coronavirus Supplemental Request

President Trump's instinct of robbing Peter to pay Paul is once again on full display, demonstrating a dangerous level of incompetence within his administration to confront the global spread of the novel coronavirus. His administration is only requesting $1.25 billion in emergency funding, and the rest is drained from resources to combat Ebola and other unspecified public health programs. Further, in taking his "America First" mantra to the extreme, the President has included nothing for US AI… Continue Reading


Trump Budget Slashes Programs Central For Combatting Diseases Like Novel Coronavirus

Novel Coronavirus: Cases - More Than 64,000 - Global Death Toll - 1,383 Trump's Proposal For: Center On Emerging Zoonotic Infectious Disease - Slashed By $85 Million Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Fund - Slashed By $35 Million Public Health Preparedness Response Program - Slashed By $25 Million Pandemic Preparedness Programs - Slashed By $10 Million National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Devastating Cuts Est. Unknown Viral Disease Species In Mammalian And Avi… Continue Reading


Approps Dems Raise Alarm On Trump Admin Decision To Divert Funding From National Guard & Other Security Programs To Border Wall

WASHINGTON - Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Democrats today loudly objected to the Department of Defense's short sighted and dangerous transfer of $3.8 billion from the Department of Defense to be used to build part of President Donald Trump's ineffective wall on the southwest border. The reprogramming targets the men and women of the National Guard and a variety of programs added by Congress to address shortfalls that were in many cases identified by military leaders in critical eq… Continue Reading


Statement Vice Chairman Leahy On President Trump’s Latest Raid On The Military

It is Congress - the representatives of the American people - who hold the power of the purse under the Constitution. Time and again, this President has subverted that constitutional authority and bipartisan majorities of Congress to pay for his vanity wall. Let us see whether congressional Republicans will brush off this diversion of funds from military programs that they support, or continue the inaction that has led this President to become increasingly brazen. Today, he stole from our Na… Continue Reading


Statement of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Coronavirus Virus

Since first emerging in Wuhan, China on December 31st, the outbreak of a new coronavirus, COVID-19 ("novel coronavirus"), has spread to 25 countries, infected more than 44,000 people, caused at least 1,100 deaths, forced entire cities into lockdown, triggered hundreds of international flight cancelations, restricted hundreds of Americans to U.S. military bases in a federal government quarantine, and caused significant economic harm to countries and businesses around the globe. All this in only … Continue Reading


President Trump’s Dangerous Pattern Of Slashing Global Health Programs

President Trump's reckless policy of slash-and-burn budgeting has consistently proposed devastating cuts to programs meant to prevent the outbreak and contain the spread of infectious diseases like the Wuhan Coronavirus (2019 Novel Coronavirus). Bipartisan coalitions in Congress have rejected these cuts and increased investments in global and domestic health programs. Global Health Programs Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development global health programs support a wid… Continue Reading


Dispelling The Myth That President Trump’s Ukraine Aid Freeze Was Rooted In His Desire To Combat Corruption

After President Trump's illegal Ukraine aid freeze scheme was exposed, he has claimed that he froze the aid out of a desire to fight corruption. That is a myth. There is no evidence that he cares about fighting corruption in Ukraine or anywhere else. The Trump administration has sought to gut foreign aid accounts that help fight corruption, including in Ukraine; has not sought to freeze aid to governments widely considered to have more corruption challenges than those in Ukraine; and is actively… Continue Reading


FACT CHECK: President Trump’s False Claim Equating His Illegal Ukraine Aid Freeze With President Obama’s Lawful, Legitimate Pauses On Aid

President Trump has argued that the House Managers' case against his Ukraine aid freeze is "loaded with lies and misrepresentations" because it fails to acknowledge that the "Obama administration withheld aid from many countries." This argument, which has been echoed by other Republicans, draws patently false equivalence between Trump's misconduct and President Obama's actions. Unlike Trump's Ukraine aid freeze, which was for personal, political purposes and which the Government Accountability … Continue Reading


Leahy, Durbin, Reed And Schatz Demand Answers On Reports That President Trump Intends To Raid $7.2 Billion From The Military And Military Families For His Wall

WASHINGTON (FRIDAY, January 17, 2020) - Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Ranking Member Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) Friday released their letter to Department of Defense (DoD) Secretary Mark Esper demanding a… Continue Reading


Senate Appropriations Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy: "Disaster Funds Appropriated By Congress (For Puerto Rico) Are Not Discretionary"

[More than 850 days after the first of two category five hurricanes struck the island of Puerto Rico, Politico reported that the Department of Housing and Urban Development will be lifting its unjustifiable hold on $8.2 billion in disaster aid appropriated by Congress. For more than two years, Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has repeatedly called out President Trump and his administration for dragging their feet and prolonging the suffering of the American ci… Continue Reading


REAX of Vice Chairman Leahy To Reports That President Trump Will Divert An Additional $7.2 Billion For His Border Wall

[Monday night, the Washington Post reported that President Trump and his administration intend to confiscate $7.2 billion appropriated for military construction projects and counter-narcotics programs to build his ineffective wall along the Southern border. In fiscal year 2019, President Trump confiscated $6.3 billion from the military and military families to fund his vanity wall. For fiscal year 2020, the President requested $8.6 billion for his wall, and Congress specifically chose to provi… Continue Reading


Vice Chairman Leahy Statement On The Fiscal Year 2020 Agreement To Fund The Federal Government

This week we reached a bipartisan, bicameral agreement to fund the federal government in fiscal year 2020. The agreement rejects the devastating and short-sighted cuts proposed by President Trump, and makes historic investments in the American people and working families. It fully implements the bipartisan budget agreement and allows us to invest an additional $27 billion in non-defense programs that will benefit our nation's children, improve our educational institutions, protect our environ… Continue Reading


Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy Releases Fiscal Year 2020 Funding Agreement

WASHINGTON (MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2019) - The House Monday released a $1.4 trillion bipartisan, bicameral agreement to fund the federal government through fiscal year 2020, rejecting the devastating and short sighted cuts proposed by President Trump, and making historic investments in the American people and working families. The agreement took shape late last week when Chairman Shelby, Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairwoman Lowey, and Ranking Member Granger met in Leahy's Capitol office, m… Continue Reading


Statement Of Vice Chairman Leahy On The Trump Administration Continuing To Withhold Aid to Puerto Rico

It has been 810 days since Hurricane Maria destroyed the homes, businesses and lives of countless American citizens of Puerto Rico, and for 810 days President Trump and his administration have been dragging their feet on delivering aid that the island desperately needs. Implementing appropriations passed by Congress and signed into law is not optional. It is not left to the whims of a President who holds a petty political grudge against the American people of Puerto Rico. Today marks 90 days… Continue Reading


Statement Of Vice Chairman Leahy (D-Vt) On Passage Of The Continuing Resolution

Fully funding the federal government through December 20 will allow Congress to continue to negotiate in good faith and complete the fiscal year 2020 appropriations process. Importantly, this bill provides the necessary funds to carry out the decennial census, a pay raise for the women and men of our military, and blocks a looming and devastating cut to an important infrastructure program that every state in our country relies on. At stake in the coming weeks are decisions on how to invest… Continue Reading


Remarks of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Opposition to the Paul Amendment

The Paul amendment imposes a 1 percent across-the-board cut below last year's funding level, to the vast majority of discretionary spending for the duration of the CR, and I urge all members to oppose it. This means arbitrary cuts to defense and other national security programs, cuts to veterans' healthcare, education, child care, and opioid prevention programs, just to name a few. Across-the-board cuts are simplistic tools that ignore the complexities of our federal budget, and they are no… Continue Reading


Statement of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The One-Month Continuing Resolution

Today, we have before us a continuing resolution to fully fund the federal government through December 20. While I wish this step was not necessary, I urge all members to vote AYE. I am disappointed we have to pass a second continuing resolution. I wish we were further along with our work. It is not for a lack of trying. It is no secret what is holding up negotiations-the President's demand for $8.6 billion more for his vanity wall along the southern border. Despite the fact that he alrea… Continue Reading


Statement of Vice Chairman Leahy Opposing the Motion to Proceed to the Defense, LHHS Appropriations Bills

Today, the Senate will vote on whether to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to a package of appropriations bills that will include the Senate Defense Appropriations bill and the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-HHS) Appropriations bill. I strongly urge all Senators to vote "no." I am disappointed that the Republican leadership by taking this step - bowing to the demands of President Trump - is continuing to delay funding for our troops. This delay is because… Continue Reading


Vice Chairman Leahy Statement on Final Passage of the Senate Minibus Appropriations Bill

Today, we will vote on final passage of the fiscal year 2020 Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill, the Agriculture Appropriations bill, the Interior Appropriations bill, and the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill. I urge members to vote aye. These are good, bipartisan bills. They show that despite the political atmosphere we operate in, the Appropriations Committee can put partisan politics aside and do our work on behalf of the American pe… Continue Reading


Paul Amendment #1019 Would Violate The Bipartisan Budget Agreement

The Paul amendment would slash spending below the Bipartisan Budget Act by over $14 billion. The four bill minibus complies with the limits on spending contained in the Bipartisan Budget Act. Examples of such cuts follow: Census: Overall, the Bureau of the Census would be $3.8 billion below the FY 2020 Senate level and $2.4 billion below the President's FY 2020 budget request. Practically speaking, at this level it would not be possible to hold an accurate and complete count, and this cut wo… Continue Reading

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