Minority News Releases

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


07.08.20

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


06.30.20

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


06.26.20

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


06.17.20

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


05.15.20

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


05.15.20

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


05.11.20

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

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