Minority News Releases

03.27.20

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


03.25.20

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


03.24.20

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


03.19.20

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


03.18.20

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


03.16.20

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


03.13.20

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


03.05.20

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


03.04.20

Leahy Releases Bipartisan Coronavirus Supplemental Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON (WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2020) - Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) WEDNESDAY released the bipartisan, bicameral, coronavirus emergency supplemental Appropriations bill. Leahy was a lead negotiator in the $7.8 billion package to address the expanding public health crisis as the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States and the globe. The agreement also includes a $500 million authorization for a telehealth program over a 10 year period. … Continue Reading


02.25.20

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


02.14.20

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


02.13.20

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


02.13.20

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


02.13.20

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


02.03.20

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


01.27.20

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


01.24.20

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


01.17.20

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


01.16.20

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


01.14.20

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

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