Minority News Releases

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


12.19.19

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


12.16.19

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


12.05.19

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


11.21.19

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


11.21.19

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


11.21.19

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


10.31.19

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


10.31.19

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


10.28.19

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


10.22.19

Statement Of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)

Today, we begin consideration of a bill containing the fiscal year 2020 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill, the Agriculture Appropriations bill, the Interior Appropriations bill, and the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill. All four of these bills are the product of hard work and bipartisan cooperation by each of the subcommittees, and were reported from the Appropriations Committee unanimously. They make critical investments in affordable housing, in… Continue Reading


10.16.19

REAX Of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) To President Trump’s Veto Of The Joint Resolution Of Disapproval Of President Trump’s Declaration Of a National Emergency

President Trump's veto once again confirms his willingness to sell out our armed forces by stealing $6.2 billion from our men and women in uniform. He is ignoring the explicit will of Congress in order to build his "big, beautiful," and useless vanity border wall. This should alarm every member of Congress, and the Appropriations Committee will not forget this as we continue our work to complete the fiscal year 2020 appropriations process. Congress is a coequal branch of government that canno… Continue Reading


09.26.19

SUMMARY: Fiscal Year 2020 Senate Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill

Washington, D.C. -The fiscal year 2020 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill provides $3.593 billion in discretionary budget authority, excluding items pertaining solely to the House, which total an additional $1.499 billion. Total funding accommodated in the bill is $5.092 billion, which is $256 million more than the fiscal 2019 enacted level and $197 million less than the budget request. The bill provides critical funding for the operations of the Government Accountability Office, the Unite… Continue Reading


09.26.19

Senate Republicans Reject Leahy/Tester Amendments To Invest In Real National Security, Protect Funding For Our Troops, And Constrain President Trump’s Cruel And Ineffective Immigration Policies

WASHINGTON (THURSDAY, Sept. 26, 2019) - Senate Appropriations Committee Republicans Thursday rejected a series of amendments offered by Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) aimed at investing in real national security, protecting funding for our troops, and reining in President Trump's cruel and ineffective immigration policies. Leahy said: "This administration has dem… Continue Reading


09.26.19

Statement Of Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Amendment to Remove Transfer Authority for ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations

My amendment is simple. It ensures that the Department of Homeland Security cannot use its general transfer authority to increase the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) budget above what Congress provides. For two years, the level of funding for ICE detention beds has been carefully negotiated. It is one of the most contentious issues we deal with in the DHS bill and is usually one of the last issues to be agreed upon. And for two years the Trump Administration has brazenly ignored t… Continue Reading


09.26.19

SUMMARY: Fiscal Year 2020 Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Bill

Washington, D.C. - The fiscal year 2020 Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Bill provides a total discretionary level of $70.725 billion, of which $17.352 billion is provided for Disaster Relief, as defined by the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act, and $190 million is provided for Coast Guard Overseas Contingency Operations funds. After excluding these two amounts, the net discretionary appropriation for DHS is $53.183 billion, $3.772 billion more than the fiscal year 2019 en… Continue Reading


09.26.19

SUMMARY: Fiscal Year 2020 Senate Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill

Washington, D.C. - The fiscal year 2020 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Bill provides a total of $70.8 billion in discretionary funding, consistent with the Subcommittee's 302(b) allocation. This amount is $6.7 billion more than fiscal year 2019 and $1.1 billion more than the President's request. In addition, under the terms of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019, there is an additional cap adjustment of $2.5 billion for the 2020 Census, bringing the total d… Continue Reading


09.26.19

SUMMARY: Fiscal Year 2020 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Bill

Washington, D.C. (Thursday, September 26, 2019) - The bill provides $55 billion in discretionary budget authority, including $8 billion for overseas contingency operations (OCO). The allocation is $11.6 billion above the President's request as scored by CBO, and $782 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level. U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, said: "The President sent us a budget … Continue Reading

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