Minority News Releases

04.10.18

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.): Statement On New Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)

I want to commend Senator Shelby as the new Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Senator Shelby and I have served side-by-side in the Senate since 1987. Marcelle and I count Dick and Annette as dear friends. I have enjoyed working with Senator Shelby on the Appropriations Committee for more than two decades. As a senator, he hews to the tested values that keep this chamber running, and he has always remained true to his word. These are qualities he shares with Senator Cochran, … Continue Reading


03.23.18

Comment Of Appropriations Committee Vice Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The President’s Veto Threat For the Omnibus Appropriations Bill, Which Cleared Congress Early This Morning

"Now the President threatens to abandon $700 billion for the troops, and health care for 7 million veterans, for his misbegotten border wall that he said Mexico would pay for. That is NOT Making America Great Again. "I have this message for President Trump: Mr. President, you terminated protections for DACA recipients, you cynically held them hostage for your costly boondoggle of a wall, and you have undercut every bipartisan attempt to fix the mess you created. You can fix this. Or at th… Continue Reading


03.23.18

Statement Of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Passage Of The Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

[WASHINGTON (Friday, March 23, 2018) - Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) early Friday morning released the following statement on passage of the fiscal year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which passed the Senate by a vote of 65 to 32. Leahy earlier released a summary of the bill and paid tribute to Chairman Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) who is retiring in April. Leahy's full statement on the bill from the Senate Floor Thursday afternoon can be found here.] By lifting the spending caps set in pl… Continue Reading


03.22.18

Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Statement On The Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Act

After months of intense negotiations, tough choices, and good-faith compromises, we have reached a bipartisan agreement to fund the government for this fiscal year, make renewed investments in the American people, and protect our national security. The Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill provides $1.3 trillion in discretionary spending, including $700 billion for defense programs to support our men and women in uniform, and $600 billion for non-defense programs that will help us inves… Continue Reading


03.21.18

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Releases Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON (Wednesday, 21, 2018) - Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday released a summary of the fiscal year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill that totals $1.3 trillion in discretionary spending in compliance with the 2018 Bipartisan Budget Agreement. The bill includes $700 billion in defense funding, including $71 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding, and $600 billion in non-defense spending, including $12 billion in OCO. Leahy sai… Continue Reading


03.05.18

Statement Of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Retirement Of Chairman Thad Cochran (R-Miss.)

Marcelle and I count Thad among our dearest friends, and his leadership on the Appropriations Committee and in the Senate will be sorely missed. Despite being on opposite ends of the political spectrum, over the years Thad and I crossed the aisle to work hand-in-hand for the American people. Together, we championed the Farm-To-School Act. We worked together to pass the FY17 Omnibus, and he has been a steadfast partner as we moved through the FY18 appropriations process. Throughout all of thi… Continue Reading


02.12.18

Statement Of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On President Trump’s Budget Proposal And Infrastructure Plan

A budget is where we lay out our priorities as a nation. The priorities identified in this budget are not the priorities of the American people. By making drastic cuts to our domestic priorities, President Trump is abandoning the bipartisan budget deal reached by Congress and signed -- by the President -- last week. This is not a serious proposal; it is divorced from reality. And it would continue the Trump administration's full-on retreat from American global influence and leadership. Fu… Continue Reading


02.08.18

Senate Floor Statement Of Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Leahy On The Bipartisan Budget Deal

The consequences of the Budget Control Act sequestration cuts since 2011 have been devastating and will last for generations. Its impact on military readiness led Defense Secretary Mattis to say that no enemy on the field has done more to harm our military than what we have done ourselves through sequestration. By not investing in our domestic priorities, we allowed our infrastructure to crumble, care to our veterans to be delayed, and investments in education to fall behind. The bipartisan b… Continue Reading


02.08.18

Highlights of the Third Emergency Supplemental

The third emergency supplemental provides more than $89.4 billion to help communities impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as communities devastated by wildfires in the west. The bill is $8.4 billion above the House bill, and provides twice the assistance compared with the Trump administration's request of $44 billion. The bill provides relief for Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, California and other communities impacted by disaster, and it will help be… Continue Reading


02.07.18

Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) REAX On The Bipartisan Budget Deal

The consequences of the Budget Control Act sequestration cuts since 2011 have been devastating and will last a generation. Its impact on military readiness led Defense Secretary Mattis to say that no enemy on the field has done more to harm our military than sequestration. By not investing in our domestic priorities, we allowed our infrastructure to crumble, care to our veterans to be delayed, and investments in education to fall behind. This bipartisan budget deal is the first step toward pr… Continue Reading


01.30.18

Statement Of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Need For A Bipartisan Agreement

The Fiscal Year began on October 1st of last year. Four months have passed-122 days-since the start of the Fiscal Year, and we still do not have a budget deal that will allow us to finish the FY 2018 Appropriations bills. Recently, President Trump has taken to Twitter accusing Democrats of holding up funding for our troops. The idea that Democrats are holding up defense spending does not pass the laugh test. Last July-nearly seven months ago-I called for bipartisan budget negotiations. I pu… Continue Reading


01.21.18

Leahy Statement On The Need For A Bipartisan Agreement

There is only one person who wanted a government shutdown, and he got exactly what he wanted. It was President Trump who said the country could "use a good shutdown." It was President Trump who said a shutdown would be "good" for him politically. It was President Trump who tweeted yesterday that the shutdown was a "nice present" to himself. This is shameful. People are suffering under the Trump Shutdown and the leader of the country is only thinking of himself. In fact, between rubbing shou… Continue Reading


01.20.18

Statement Of Senate Appropriations Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Trump Shutdown

Mr. President, months ago, President Donald Trump called for a government shutdown, and through his leadership of chaos and his inability to govern or keep his word, he got exactly what he wanted. Make no mistake, it is the Majority's responsibility to produce a bill to send to the President. If they cannot get 60 votes because they refuse to negotiate with Democrats, that is THEIR responsibility. All they needed was nine Democrats, and they could not get it done - in fact they lost four of … Continue Reading


01.18.18

Senate Appropriations Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Statement Opposing The Fourth Continuing Resolution

Mr. President, here we go again. In 1995, Republicans shut down our government - seeking to recklessly cut education programs and environmental programs and raise Medicare premiums on millions of senior citizens. In 2013, Republicans once again sought to strip the health care of millions of Americans by shutting down the government in a failed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. An effort they continued this summer instead of negotiating a bipartisan budget deal that could have averte… Continue Reading


01.10.18

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Statement On Budget Negotiations

Just last week we began the Second Session of the 115th Congress. It is 2018 and we should be talking about what we can accomplish for the American people in the New Year. Instead, we face a long list of unfinished business from 2017, and a very short window in which to get it done. We are four months into Fiscal Year 2018, and we still do not have a budget deal. Our agencies are operating under last year's funding levels with little flexibility to adjust for the problems of today. We stil… Continue Reading


12.21.17

Statement of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Supporting The Continuing Resolution

Governing by crisis must come to an end. Since March, I have been calling for a bipartisan budget deal, based on parity, that would pave a path toward responsibly funding the government and averting this 11th hour Republican shutdown crisis. I have not lost faith that such a deal can still be reached. So, tonight I voted "aye" on the Continuing Resolution to keep the government open into January. A government shutdown helps no one. This will allow us one more month to reach a bipartisan b… Continue Reading


12.21.17

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Statement On A Continuing Resolution Through January 19, 2018

Mr. President, this is not how we should govern in the United States Senate. We have once again found ourselves on the edge of a manufactured, made-in-Washington crisis. Once again, we are forced into political games at the 11th hour by the imminent threat of a Republican shutdown. This time that threat has fallen right before Christmas and the holidays. There is no reason we should find ourselves in this situation. There has always been a proven path forward to avoid this crisis, and tha… Continue Reading


12.13.17

Why Budget Parity Matters: The Need For Investing Equally In Our Military And Our Communities

Democrats and Republicans agree that we must fully fund and support our military. But our military readiness is being hampered by artificial and unrealistically low caps on defense spending, as a result of the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011, and that law's required spending cuts known as "sequestration." In July, Defense Secretary Mattis testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee that "for all the heartache caused by the loss of our troops during these wars, no enemy in the field h… Continue Reading


12.07.17

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Statement On A Continuing Resolution Through December 22, 2017

The current spending caps set in place by law will not responsibly fund the government or alleviate the consequences of sequestration on our domestic priorities or our military readiness. Since March, I have constantly repeated that we must reach a bipartisan budget deal that is based on parity, free of poison pill riders and not waste taxpayer dollars on President Trump's useless border wall. But with the current continuing resolution expiring tomorrow, we are running out of time to reach an a… Continue Reading


12.05.17

Appropriations Vice Chairman Leahy Statement At Subcommittee Hearing On Addressing The Opioid Crisis In America: Prevention, Treatment & Recovery

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Here's a startling statistic: last year alone, drug overdoses claimed the lives of 64,000 people. This is the latest figure in a shocking rise in overdose deaths, driven by the opioid epidemic that has hit every corner of our country, and plagues every community. This is a public health crisis. We need to start treating it like one. We need to allocate every necessary resource to finally - and meaningfully - confront it. Vermont has made tremendous strides by l… Continue Reading

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