|U.S. Senate, Vermont|
|January 3, 1975-Present|
|January 3, 2017|
|Years in position||39|
|Predecessor||George D. Aiken (R)|
|President pro tempore of the Senate|
|December 17, 2012 - Present|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 2, 2010|
|First elected||November 5, 1974|
|Next general||November 2016|
|Bachelor's||Saint Michael's College|
|J.D.||Georgetown University Law Center|
|Birthday||March 31, 1940|
|Place of birth||Montpelier, VT|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Committee assignments
- 3 Key votes
- 3.1 113th Congress
- 3.2 Previous congressional sessions
- 4 Issues
- 5 Elections
- 6 Campaign donors
- 7 Personal Gain Index
- 8 Analysis
- 9 Personal
- 10 Recent news
- 11 See also
- 12 External links
- 13 References
- This article is about the U.S. Senator from Vermont. For the 2014 Massachusetts State Senate candidate, see Patrick Leahy (Massachusetts).
Patrick Leahy (b. March 31, 1940, in Montpelier, VT) is a Democratic member of the United States Senate. Leahy was first elected to the Senate in 1974. He is the current President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate.
Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Leahy is an average Democratic member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Democratic Party on the majority of bills.
After earning his J.D. from Georgetown University, Leahy was admitted to the Vermont bar. He practiced law and was state's attorney for Chittenden County for eight years before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1974.
Leahy serves on the following committees:
- Judiciary Chair
- Subcommittee on Oversight, Federal Rights and Agency Action
- Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security
- Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry
- Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, Poultry, Marketing and Agriculture Security
- Subcommittee on Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Food and Agricultural Research
- Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources
- Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
- Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
- Subcommittee on Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
- Subcommittee on Department of Homeland
- Subcommittee on Department of Defense
- Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
- Rules & Administration
Leahy served on the following committees:
- Judiciary Chair
- Administrative Oversight and the Courts
- The Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights
- Immigration, Refugees and Border Security
- Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry
- Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources
- Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Food and Agriculture Research
- Livestock, Dairy, Poultry, Marketing and Agriculture Security
- Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies
- Homeland Security
- Interior, Environment and Related Agencies
- State, Foreign Operations, and Related Agencies Chair
- Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
- Rules & Administration
Senate Judiciary Committee
Leahy was first appointed to the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1978. In 1997, Leahy became the ranking Democratic member on the committee. Leahy served as ranking member from 1997 to 2001 and again from 2003 to 2007. Leahy first served as the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee from 2001 to 2003 and was re-appointed as chair in 2007 when Democrats regained control of the U.S. Senate.
Leahy has participated in the confirmation hearings for Chief Justices William Rehnquist in 1986 and John Roberts in 2005. Leahy has also served in the confirmation hearings of Associate Justices Sandra Day O'Connor in 1981, Antonin Scalia in 1986, Robert Bork in 1987, Anthony Kennedy in 1988, David Souter in 1990, Clarence Thomas in 1991, Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 1993, Stephen Breyer in 1994, Samuel Alito in 2006 and Sonia Sotomayor in 2009.
Leahy serves on the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security.
Senator Leahy is the longest-tenured Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee with 31 years of service. Orrin Hatch of Utah is the longest tenured member with 33 years of service on the committee.
The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1 percent) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session. The Senate has confirmed 16,878 out of 19,009 executive nominations received thus far (88.8 percent). For more information pertaining to Leahy's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.
John Brennan CIA nomination
Leahy voted against the confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on March 7, 2013, with a vote of 63 - 34. Most Democrats supported the nomination, while Republicans were somewhat divided with roughly one-third supporting the nomination.
On February 4, 2014, the Democratic controlled Senate approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill. It passed the Senate with a vote of 68-32. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that will kick in if or when prices drop; however, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states. Leahy joined with 46 other Democratic senators in favor of the bill.
On January 16, 2014, the Democratic-controlled Senate approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014. The Senate voted 72-26 for the 1,582 page bill, with 17 Republicans and 55 Democrats voting in favor of the bill. The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations. It included a 1 percent increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency and left the Affordable Care Act without any drastic cuts. Leahy voted with the Democratic Party in favor of the bill.
No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013
Leahy voted for H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.
- See also: United States budget debate, 2013
During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies. The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Leahy voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.
Leahy voted against Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.
Violence Against Women (2013)
Leahy voted for S.47 -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, with a vote of 78 - 22. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.
Previous congressional sessions
Leahy voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by an 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.
On The Issues Vote Match
- See also: On The Issues Vote Match
On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Leahy is a Moderate Liberal Populist. Leahy received a score of 58 percent on social issues and 34 percent on economic issues.
The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.
|On The Issues Vote Quiz|
|Economic Issues||Social Issues|
|Legally require hiring women & minorities||Favors||Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right||Opposes|
|Expand ObamaCare||Opposes||Comfortable with same-sex marriage||Favors|
|Vouchers for school choice||Strongly Opposes||Keep God in the public sphere||Strongly Opposes|
|Absolute right to gun ownership||Strongly Opposes||Human needs over animal rights||Strongly Opposes|
|Higher taxes on the wealthy||Opposes||Stricter punishment reduces crime||Opposes|
|Support & expand free trade||Strongly Opposes||Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens||Strongly Opposes|
|Stricter limits on political campaign funds||Opposes||Maintain US sovereignty from UN||Strongly Opposes|
|Prioritize green energy||Opposes||Expand the military||Strongly Opposes|
|Stimulus better than market-led recovery||Opposes||Stay out of Iran||Opposes|
|Privatize Social Security||Strongly Opposes||Never legalize marijuana||Strongly Opposes|
|Note: Information last updated: 2014.|
Restrictions on surveillance programs
Leahy appeared at the Georgetown University Law Center on September 24, 2013, and strongly endorsed a series of restrictions on U.S. surveillance programs — from ending the bulk collection of Americans’ phone call logs to creating new oversight mechanisms to keep the National Security Agency in check.
In his remarks he said the government “has not made its case” that the ability to collect Americans’ phone records en masse under the PATRIOT Act is “an effective counterterrorism tool, especially in light of the intrusion on Americans’ privacy rights.”
In August 2013, Leahy called for Attorney General Eric Holder to address conflicts in marijuana laws between states and the federal government. With an increasing number of states legalizing the drug for recreational use, Leahy wrote in his statement to Holder: "It is important, especially at a time of budget constraints, to determine whether it is the best use of federal resources to prosecute the personal or medicinal use of marijuana in states that have made such consumption legal."
It was later announced that a hearing on the issue would be held with Holder and the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 10, 2013. Leahy called for Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to serve as a witness on a mandatory drug minimum panel.
To view the full congressional electoral history for Patrick Leahy, click [show] to expand the section.
The below chart from Find The Best tracks the fundraising events Leahy attends.
Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.
Comprehensive donor information for Leahy is available dating back to 2004. Based on available campaign finance records, Leahy raised a total of $7,495,946 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 25, 2013.
|Patrick Leahy's Campaign Contribution History|
|2010||U.S. Senate (Vermont)||$4,869,504|
|2004||U.S. Senate (Vermont)||$2,626,442|
|Grand Total Raised||$7,495,946|
To view the breakdown of campaign funding by type click [show] to expand the section.
Leahy won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Leahy's campaign committee raised a total of $4,869,504 and spent $4,104,770.
|U.S. Senate, Vermont, 2010 - Patrick Leahy Campaign Contributions|
|Total Raised by General Election Opponent||$232,549|
|Total Spent by General Election Opponent||$231,114|
|Top contributors to Patrick Leahy's campaign committee|
|Girardi & Keese||$72,000|
|Walt Disney Co||$45,400|
|Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee|
Personal Gain Index
- See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)
- See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)
The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a four-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have prospered during their tenure as public servants.
It consists of four different metrics:
- Changes in Net Worth
- The Donation Concentration Metric
- The K-Street Metric
- The Stock Oversight and Trades Metric
PGI: Change in net worth
Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Leahy's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $49,007 to $210,000. That averages to $129,503.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic Senate members in 2012 of $13,566,333.90. Leahy ranked as the 94th most wealthy senator in 2012. Between 2004 and 2012, Leahy‘s calculated net worth did not change. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.
|Patrick Leahy Yearly Net Worth|
|Year||Average Net Worth|
|Growth from 2004 to 2012:||1%|
|Average annual growth:||0%|
|Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.|
PGI: Donation Concentration Metric
Filings required by the Federal Election Commission report on the industries that give to each candidate. Using campaign filings and information calculated by OpenSecrets.org, Ballotpedia calculated the percentage of donations by industry received by each incumbent over the course of his or her career (or 1989 and later, if elected prior to 1988). In the 113th Congress, Leahy is the chair of the Judiciary committee. Leahy received the most donations from individuals and PACs employed by the Lawyers/Law Firms industry.
From 1989-2014, 30.36 percent of Leahy's career contributions came from the top five industries as listed below.
|Patrick Leahy Campaign Contributions|
|Chair of the Judiciary|
|Top five industries that contributed to campaign committee|
|Securities & Investment||$317,156|
|% total in top industry||9.1%|
|% total in top two industries||17.69%|
|% total in top five industries||30.36%|
The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.
Leahy most often votes with:
Leahy least often votes with:
Ideology and leadership
Lifetime voting record
According to the website GovTrack, Leahy missed 545 of 15,093 roll call votes from January 1975 to July 2014. This amounts to 3.6 percent, which is worse than the median of 2.0 percent among current senators as of July 2014.
Congressional staff salaries
The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Leahy paid his congressional staff a total of $2,417,121 in 2011. He ranked 8th on the list of the lowest paid Democratic senatorial staff salaries and ranked 31st overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Vermont ranked 45th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.
National Journal vote ratings
- See also: National Journal vote ratings
Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Click the link above for the full ratings of all members of Congress.
Leahy ranked 25th in the liberal rankings in 2013.
Leahy ranked 24th in the liberal rankings in 2012.
Leahy ranked 11th in the liberal rankings in 2011.
Voting with party
Patrick Leahy voted with the Democratic Party 95.7 percent of the time, which ranked 21st among the 53 Senate Democratic members as of August 2014.
Patrick Leahy voted with the Democratic Party 95.6 percent of the time, which ranked 20th among the 52 Senate Democratic members as of June 2013.
Leahy and his wife, Marcelle, have three children and five grandchildren.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Patrick + Leahy + Vermont + Senate
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Social media:
- Political profiles:
- Financial (federal level):
- Interest group ratings:
- Issue positions:
- Public statements:
- Voting record:
- Works by or about:
- Media appearances:
- Media coverage:
- Official Senate website, "Biography," accessed November 26, 2011
- Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 18, 2013
- 'Senate Judiciary, "List of previous members"
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
- Project Vote Smart, "PN 48 - Nomination of John Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
- Senate.gov, "H.R. 2642 (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013)," accessed February 12, 2014
- NY Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
- Politico, "Senate approves $1.1 trillion spending bill," accessed January 20, 2014
- U.S. Senate, "January 16 Vote," accessed January 20, 2014
- Roll Call, "House Passes $1.1 Trillion Omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
- Project Vote Smart, "HR 325 - To Ensure the Complete and Timely Payment of the Obligations of the United States Government Until May 19, 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
- The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
- Senate.gov, "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "S 47 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
- U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
- On The Issues, "Leahy Vote Match," accessed July 7, 2014
- The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers.
- Politico, "Patrick Leahy backs sweeping NSA restrictions," accessed September 25, 2013
- Politico, "Patrick Leahy calls for Eric Holder pot hearing," August 26, 2013
- San Francisco Gate, "Big marijuana news: Senate to hold hearing on muddled pot laws," accessed August 27, 2013
- Politico, "Patrick Leahy taps Rand Paul to fight drug sentences," accessed September 13, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1992," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 1986," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 1980," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 1974," accessed March 28, 2013
- Open Secrets, "Donor history for Patrick Leahy," accessed April 25, 2013
- Open Secrets, "Patrick Leahy 2010 Election Cycle," accessed November 26, 2011
- OpenSecrets, "Leahy, 2012," accessed January 14, 2014
- This figure represents the total percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below).
- This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
- This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
- This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
- OpenSecrets.org, "Sen. Patrick Leahy," accessed October 2, 2014
- OpenCongress, "Patrick Leahy," accessed August 20, 2014
- GovTrack, "Patrick Leahy," accessed August 20, 2014
- GovTrack, "Patrick Leahy," accessed July 3, 2013
- GovTrack, "Leahy," accessed August 20, 2014
- LegiStorm, "Patrick Leahy"
- National Journal, "Congressional Vote Ratings," August 20, 2014
- National Journal, "Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
- National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," accessed February 23, 2012
- OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
- OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
|U.S. Senate - Vermont
| Succeeded by|
Daniel Inouye (D)
|President Pro Tempore- U.S. Senate
| Succeeded by|