Minority News Releases

07.20.17

Senate Appropriations Committee Democrats Offer Alternative Allocation To Invest In The American People

WASHINGTON (THURSDAY, July 20, 2017) - Senate Appropriations Committee Democrats Thursday demanded an increased investment in the American people and an increase in defense spending by rejecting topline spending numbers offered by Committee Republicans and putting forward their own detailed proposal. Offered by Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the Democrats' proposal would increase defense spending in fiscal year 2018 by $54 billion above post-sequester spen… Continue Reading


07.20.17

SUMMARY: Senate FY2018 Energy & Water Development Appropriations Bill Advances

WASHINGTON (THURSDAY, July 20, 2017) - The Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday approved the Energy and Water Development fiscal year 2018 appropriations bill that totals $38.4 billion, which is $629 million more than the fiscal year 2017 level and $4.1 billion above the President's requested level. There is a $1 billion increase for defense activities, while non-defense activities see a decrease of $415 million, demonstrating the fundamental imbalance in the current approach to funding th… Continue Reading


07.20.17

SUMMARY: FY2018 Senate Agriculture Appropriations Bill Gains Committee Approval

WASHINGTON (THURSDAY, July 20, 2017) - The Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday approved the fiscal year 2018 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies bill that provides a total discretionary funding level of $20.525 billion, which is $352 million below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $4.8 billion above the President's request. The bill does not contain poison pill riders. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Ranking Member of the Agriculture, Rur… Continue Reading


07.20.17

Vice Chairman Leahy Statement On the FY 2018 Agriculture Appropriations Bill And Energy & Water Appropriations Bill

Today we mark up two appropriations bills, the FY 2018 Agriculture Appropriations bill and the FY 2018 Energy & Water bill. We will also consider the allocation offered by Chairman Cochran. Before I comment on the Chairman's allocations, I want to talk briefly about the two bills under consideration today. I thank Chairman Hoeven and Ranking Member Merkley for their hard work on the Agriculture Appropriations bill. While this bill is $352 million below last year's funding level, it … Continue Reading


07.18.17

SUMMARY: Senate Subcommittee Approves FY2018 Energy & Water Development Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON (TUESDAY, July 18, 2017) - The U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development Tuesday approved fiscal year 2018 funding legislation that totals $38.4 billion in discretionary budget authority, which is $629 million more than the fiscal year 2017 level and $4.1 billion above the President's requested level. More than $1 billion is for defense activities, while non-defense activities see a decrease of $415 million, demonstrating the fundamental imbalance in th… Continue Reading


07.18.17

SUMMARY: Senate Subcommittee Approves FY2018 Agriculture Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON (Tuesday, July 18, 2017) - The fiscal year 2018 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies bill provides a total discretionary funding level of $20.525 billion, which is $352 million below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $4.8 billion above the President's request. The bill does not contain poison pill riders. U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Ranking Member of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Re… Continue Reading


07.13.17

SUMMARY: MilCon-VA Appropriations Bill Approved by Senate Appropriations Committee

WASHINGTON (THURSDAY, July 13, 2017) - The fiscal year 2018 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill provides $192.8 billion in total funding, including $88.9 billion in discretionary funding, $6 billion more than fiscal year 2017 enacted and $568 million less than the President's budget request. Mandatory funding, which is provided for veterans' compensation, pension and education benefits, totals $103.9 billion, $1.4 billion more than fiscal year 2017 en… Continue Reading


07.13.17

Leahy Statement On the FY 2018 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill

Good Morning Chairman Cochran and members of the Committee. I am pleased to be here and look forward to my first Appropriations Committee markup as Vice Chairman. I am particularly pleased to be sitting next to my good friend from Mississippi, Thad Cochran. He and I have been friends for many years, and I look forward to working with him this year to move these bills forward in a bipartisan manner, which has been a hallmark of this Committee. Chairman Cochran and I are both committed to ret… Continue Reading


07.13.17

Senate Appropriations Committee Democrats Offer $1.6 Billion Amendment To Care For Nation’s Veterans

WASHINGTON (THURSDAY, July 13, 2017) -- Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday offered a $1.6 billion amendment that would have supported the health care of thousands of veterans across the country and bolstered the Department of Veterans Affairs. The amendment, which was offered by Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), was rejected in Committee by a vote of 15 to 16. The amendment was the first of a series to be offered by the Appropriations Committee Democrats to demand parity… Continue Reading


07.12.17

MilCon-VA Appropriations Bill Approved by Senate Subcommittee

WASHINGTON (WEDNESDAY, July 12, 2017) - The fiscal year 2018 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill provides $192.8 billion in total funding, including $88.9 billion in discretionary funding, $6 billion more than fiscal year 2017 enacted and $568 million less than the President's budget request. Mandatory funding, which is provided for veterans compensation, pension and education benefits, totals $103.9 billion, $1.4 billion more than fiscal year 2017 en… Continue Reading


06.27.17

Vice Chairman Leahy Statement On The President's FY 18 Funding Request For The EPA

Chairwoman Murkowski and Ranking Member Udall, this is an important hearing. The Trump administration has demonstrated its clear contempt for the critical work historically done by the Environmental Protection Agency to protect and preserve our environment. I wonder how you can look at this Committee and defend this as a plan to uphold the Agency's mission. Where we should be doubling down on our investment to protect our environment and curb the effects of climate change, this administrat… Continue Reading


06.26.17

Dem Leaders Urge Path Forward As Funding Deadline And Sequestration Loom

WASHINGTON (MONDAY, June 26, 2017) -- Senate Democratic Leader Charles E. Schumer and Senators Patrick Leahy, Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Dick Durbin, Patty Murray and Debbie Stabenow Monday laid a path forward to complete the annual appropriations bills and to lift the irresponsible, post-sequester spending caps before the September 30 deadline to fund the government for fiscal year 2018. In a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Appropriations Committ… Continue Reading


06.22.17

Vice Chairman Leahy Statement On The FY 18 Budget Request For The National Institutes Of Health

Thank you, Chairman Blunt and Ranking Member Murray, for holding this important hearing today, and for the opportunity to make a few brief remarks. Welcome, Dr. Collins. Unfortunately, the President's proposed budget displays a fundamental lack of understanding of the role of government of, by, and for the people, in supporting the middle class, lifting up the most vulnerable among us, and serving our values and interests as a nation. Sequestration has had devastating consequences for both d… Continue Reading


06.21.17

Vice Chairman Leahy Statement On The President's FY 18 Funding Request For The U.S. Department Of Energy

I want to thank Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Feinstein for having this hearing today to discuss the administration's Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Request for the Department of Energy. Secretary Perry, the Energy Department is one that has a wide array of responsibilities and roles in this country and internationally. Secretary Perry on your first day on the job you challenged the Department's employees to "go change the world." You remarked how you were quickly learning what a consequent… Continue Reading


06.20.17

Vice Chairman Leahy Statement On The FY 18 Budget Request For The Federal Communications Commission

Thank you, Chairwoman Capito and Ranking Member Coons, for the opportunity to make brief remarks. The Trump budget proposal for FY 2018 cuts funding for the FCC's core budget by 5 percent. If implemented it would require a reduction in over 100 full-time employees. While this proposed cut may pale in comparison to the drastic cuts President Trump proposed for other agencies, it is a significant for an agency whose budget has been flat-funded since FY 2009. Perhaps this is a reflection of an… Continue Reading


06.20.17

Leahy Statement On FY 18 FDA Budget Request

Thank you, Chairman Hoeven and Ranking Member Merkley, for holding this hearing today to examine the President's Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal for the Food and Drug Administration. And thank you, Commissioner Gottlieb, for joining us here today. I thank the Chair and Ranking Member for giving me the opportunity to offer a few opening remarks. The Food and Drug Administration has an enormous responsibility to ensure the safety of all Americans. From our food supply, to pharmaceuticals and … Continue Reading


06.15.17

Vice Chairman Leahy Statement On The President's FY 18 Funding Request For The Department Of Health And Human Services

Thank you, Chairman Blunt and Ranking Member Murray, for holding this important hearing today, and for the opportunity to make a few brief remarks. Secretary Price, welcome to the Appropriations Committee. I appreciate you reaching out to my office prior to this hearing, and I am sorry that given the schedule of the week, we were unable to connect. The purview of the Department of Health and Human Services is wide in scope and touches the lives of every American. But, as with other dep… Continue Reading


06.14.17

Vice Chairman Leahy Statement On The President's FY 18 Funding Request For The Department Of Defense

Thank you, Chairman Cochran and Ranking Member Durbin, for the opportunity to make these brief remarks. Welcome to Secretary Mattis and General Dunford. This Committee benefits from your expertise and your candor. It has been almost 3 months since you last testified before this Committee, and there has been no shortage of world events in that short time. American missiles have targeted and struck Syrian forces. A massive ransomware cyberattack spread around the globe. North Korea has tested n… Continue Reading


06.13.17

Vice Chairman Leahy Statement On The FY 18 Request For The U.S. Department Of Agriculture

Chairman Hoeven, congratulations on your new role leading this Subcommittee. We have worked together on the Senate Agriculture Committee, and our states understand the importance of agriculture to our economies and rural communities. Of course, as a top barley producer, North Dakota plays an important part in Vermont's award-winning craft beer industry, and as the country's top wheat producer, North Dakota grows much of the wheat that goes into the specialty flours at Vermont's King Arthur Flour… Continue Reading


06.13.17

Vice Chairman Leahy Statement On Hearing On FY 18 Funding Request For The U.S. Department Of Justice

Thank you, Chairman Shelby and Ranking Member Shaheen, for the opportunity to make these remarks. Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, I won't mince words: You are not the witness we were supposed to hear from today, and you are not the witness who should be sitting behind that table. That responsibility lies with the Attorney General of the United States. Attorneys General of the past did not shy away from this Committee's questions, regardless of the topic. Attorneys General of the past … Continue Reading

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