Minority News Releases

11.10.20

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


09.30.20

Senate Approps. Vice Chairman Leahy On The FY 2021 CR

Today the Senate will vote on a continuing resolution to keep the government funded through December 11, 2020. I strongly urge all members to vote aye. The last thing our country needs is a government shutdown in the middle of a global pandemic and an unprecedented economic crisis. The bill we are considering passed the House by a wide margin, a rarity these days in Washington. It provides funding for the government through December 11 at fiscal year 2020 funding levels and under the same te… Continue Reading


09.24.20

Senate Approps. Vice Chairman Leahy Statement On The Motion To Proceed To The Continuing Resolution

In a few moments we will vote on the motion to proceed to H.R. 8337, the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and other Extensions Act of 2020. I urge all members to vote aye. This bill provides funding for the government through December 11 at fiscal year 2020 funding levels and under the same terms and conditions contained in the fiscal year 2020 appropriations laws. It also includes several authorization matters to extend programs that otherwise would expire, including important health and… Continue Reading


09.21.20

Statement of Appropriations Vice Chairman Leahy On The Continuing Resolution

I am glad that the House introduced a continuing resolution today. I strongly urge Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate to take it up and pass it as soon as possible. The last thing our country needs is a government shutdown in the middle of a global pandemic and an unprecedented economic crisis. But make no mistake, the urgent need for this continuing resolution is a symptom of a dysfunctional Congress. It's a senseless and entirely avoidable made-in-Washington crisis. Th… Continue Reading


09.08.20

Senate Approps. Vice Chair Leahy On Need For COVID Relief Bill

We are in the middle of a public health crisis, and the American people are hurting. Nearly 190,000 people have died. Millions have lost their jobs and are struggling to make ends meet. People are being evicted from their homes and struggling to feed their families. And the virus is still not under control. The need for another emergency funding bill to address the COVID crisis is clear. Yet four weeks ago, the Trump administration and Senate Republican Leadership walked away from the neg… Continue Reading


08.25.20

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy Announces Cancellation Of USCIS Furloughs

WASHINGTON (TUESDAY, August 25, 2020) - After repeatedly pressing the Trump Administration, Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Tuesday cancelled its scheduled furlough of more than 13,000 dedicated, public servants. The furlough was set to take effect on August 30. Leahy said: "It is welcome news that these women and men will be able to continue to assist the thousands of United States Citizens, em… Continue Reading


08.08.20

REAX Of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) To President Trump’s Coronavirus Executive Orders

The President wants to reopen schools, but opposes funding for schools to make them safe. The President thinks the virus will just disappear, but opposes funding for testing and tracing. The President promises that vaccines will be available by November, but opposes funding for vaccine development, distribution, and to make the vaccine affordable to everyone. The President says that the virus "is what it is," but he opposes funding for hospitals and other health care providers to support the … Continue Reading


07.29.20

Vice Chairman Leahy On The Republican COVID-19 Proposal And The Cost Of Continued Inaction

It was 75 days ago today, the Democratic-led House passed the HEROES Act -- a comprehensive and bold bill to address the very real needs facing this country as we struggle to contain the coronavirus. For 75 days, Democrats have pressed Republican leadership to take up the HEROES Act in the Senate, and for 75 days we have been told no. For 75 days we watched the virus spread and the death toll rise as President Trump stood by denying the severity of the crisis, attacking the science, and assur… Continue Reading


07.27.20

REAX Of Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy To The Inadequate McConnell/Trump COVID-19 Proposal

Since Democrats united around the Heroes Act, and it passed the House on May 15, President Trump and Republican Leadership opted for a "wait-and-see" approach, because they did not feel a "sense of urgency." Well they waited, and the American people have seen the results of their delay. In that time, confirmed cases in the United States have more than doubled and 56,000 more Americans are now dead. It is now clear that over the last 73 days while thousands more became infected and died, an… Continue Reading


07.24.20

Leahy Announces That USCIS Is Postponing Furloughs Of 13,000 Public Servants

(FRIDAY, July 24, 2019) - Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday announced the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agreed to postpone its scheduled furlough of more than 13,000 public servants through Aug. 31. The action affects 1,109 Vermonters who earlier had received furlough notices effective Aug. 3. The announcement came after Leahy pressed the organization to reverse course on its intended furloughs after he made public the fact that new … Continue Reading


07.21.20

With A Projected USCIS Surplus, Leahy & Tester Call On The Agency To Postpone Its Planned Furloughs

WASHINGTON (TUESDAY, July 21, 2020) - Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) Tuesday called on Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Deputy Director For Policy Joseph Edlow to postpone plans to furlough 13,000 USCIS employees after revised revenue estimates show the agency will end the fiscal year with a s… Continue Reading


07.21.20

Leahy, Durbin, Murray And Tester Call On President Trump To Increase PPE And Testing Capacity

WASHINGTON (TUESDAY, July 21, 2020) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) Tuesday released a letter calling on president Trump to utilize resources already passed by Congress and signed into law to increase production of personal, protective equipment (PPE) and testing capacity. Leahy is Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee and Durbin, Murray and Tester also are leading Democratic members of the panel. In a letter to Presid… Continue Reading


07.17.20

The Mounting Cost Of COVID Inaction: Foreign Aid

COVID-19 On July 17, 2020 U.S. Infections - 3,483,832 | U.S. Deaths - 136,938 U.S. Unemployment - 11.1 Percent | Since House Passed Heroes Act - 63 Days How Much Does The United States Spend On Foreign Aid? Contrary to popular belief, foreign aid makes up less than 1percent of the federal budget. Among other things, these funds support humanitarian disaster relief, global health, economic development, and programs that protect American security interests abroad. Global COVID Fact On Jul… Continue Reading


07.16.20

The Mounting Cost Of COVID Inaction: Rent

COVID-19 On July 16, 2020 U.S. Infections - 3,416,428 | U.S. Deaths - 135,991 U.S. Unemployment - 11.1 Percent | Since House Passed Heroes Act - 62 Days What Is Rental Assistance? Rental assistance is financial help from a nonprofit organization, state, local or federal government agency to help families and individuals in need of assistance pay their rent and remain in their homes in order to avoid homelessness, which can be far more expensive problem to solve. Rental Fact Our country ha… Continue Reading


07.15.20

The Mounting Cost Of COVID Inaction: Child Care

COVID-19 On July 15, 2020 U.S. Infections - 3,355,457 | U.S. Deaths - 135,235 U.S. Unemployment - 11.1 Percent | Since House Passed Heroes Act - 61 Days What Is A Child Care Desert? A child care desert is a region, often in poor, minority, or rural communities, which lacks access to quality child care. Child care deserts were a problem before the pandemic. A 2018 study conducted by the Center for American Progress estimates that more than half of Americans live in a child care desert. C… Continue Reading


07.14.20

The Mounting Cost Of COVID Inaction: United States Citizenship And Immigration Services

COVID-19 On July 14, 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 The United States Citizenship And Immigration Services (USCIS)? The USCIS is the chief agency responsible for adjudicating and processing requests for immigration benefits, American citizenship, asylum and refugee status, other forms of humanitarian protections, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications. USCIS … Continue Reading


07.14.20

The Mounting Cost Of Inaction: Food Insecurity

COVID-19 On July 7, 2020 U.S. Infections - 2,886,267 | Days Since House Passed Heroes Act - 53 U.S. Deaths - 129,811 | U.S. Unemployment - 11.1 percent What Is Food Insecurity? American families experience food insecurity when they lack consistent access to the food they need to maintain a healthy, active life. Food Insecurity Fact Even before the pandemic, 1 in 9 Americans were food insecure including more than 11 million children. Since the pandemic, the cost of food has increased … Continue Reading


07.13.20

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


07.10.20

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


07.09.20

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

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