|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 Issues
- 3.1 Legislative actions
- 3.1.1 113th Congress
- 3.1.2 National security
- 3.1.3 Economy
- 3.1.4 Immigration
- 3.1.5 Social Issues
- 3.1.6 Previous congressional sessions
- 3.2 Senate Judiciary Committee
- 3.1 Legislative actions
- 4 Elections
- 5 Campaign donors
- 6 Analysis
- 7 Recent news
- 8 Personal
- 9 External links
- 10 References
He practiced law and became State's Attorney for Chittenden County for eight years before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1974.
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.
Leahy is 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 was 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
The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1%) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14% 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%). For more information pertaining to Leahy's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.
Restrictions on surveillance programs
Leahy appeared at the Georgetown University Law Center on September 24, 2013, in which he 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.”
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.
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 suspended 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.
Completion of fence along Mexico border
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.
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.
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 a 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.
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 Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee from 2001 to 2003 and was re-appointed as Chairman in 2007 when Democrats regained control of the US 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 Democrat 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.
Leahy has issued strong criticism of the GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, claiming that they are dragging their feet with judicial conformations. 
To view the full congressional electoral history for Patrick Leahy, click [show] to expand the section.
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|
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|
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 544 of 14,640 roll call votes from January 1975 to April 2013. This amounts to 3.7%, which is worse than the median of 1.7% among current senators as of April 2013.
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 ranks 8th on the list of the lowest paid Democratic senatorial staff salaries and ranks 31st overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Vermont ranks 45th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.
Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Leahy's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $49,007 and $210,000. That averages to $129,503, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2011 of $20,795,450. His average net worth did not change from 2010.
Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Leahy's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $49,007 and $210,000. That averages to $129,503.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2010 of $19,383,524.
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. Leahy ranked 24th in the liberal rankings in 2012.
- 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. Leahy ranked 11th in the liberal rankings.
Voting with party
The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus. According to the website, Patrick Leahy has voted with the Democratic Party 95.6% of the time, which ranked 20th among the 52 Senate Democratic members as of June 2013.
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.
Leahy and his wife, Marcelle, have three children and five grandchildren.
- 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
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress, accessed September 5, 2013
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity," December 9, 2013
- Politico, "Patrick Leahy backs sweeping NSA restrictions," accessed September 25, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "PN 48 - Nomination of John Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
- 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
- Project Vote Smart, "S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Voting Record," 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
- 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.
- "Senate Judiciary" List of previous members
- "Senate Judiciary Committee" List of Subcommittees
- Leahy Statement on GOP ‘Obstruction’
- U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"
- U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004"
- U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998"
- U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1992"
- U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 1986"
- U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 1980"
- U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 1974"
- Open Secrets "Donor history for Patrick Leahy" Accessed April 25, 2013
- Open Secrets "Patrick Leahy 2010 Election Cycle," Accessed November 26, 2011
- OpenCongress, "Patrick Leahy," Accessed August 8, 2013
- Gov Track "Patrick Leahy," Accessed July 3, 2013
- GovTrack, "Leahy," Accessed April 11, 2013
- LegiStorm "Patrick Leahy"
- OpenSecrets.org, "Leahy, (D-Vermont), 2011"
- OpenSecrets.org, "Leahy, (D-Vermont), 2010"
- National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
- National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," February 23, 2012
- OpenCongress "Voting With Party"
|U.S. Senate - Vermont
| Succeeded by|
Daniel Inouye (D)
|President Pro Tempore- U.S. Senate
| Succeeded by|