Leahy gets brief break at home before return to DC

Published: Jul. 17, 2020 at 6:10 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 17, 2020 at 9:31 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - The coronavirus has altered everyone’s world, and It’s no different for Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy. Joe Carroll caught up with Leahy for a one-on-one one interview to find out how he’s adjusting to the new normal in this most unusual year.

Vermont’s senior senator hasn’t seen much of his home state this year. He blames his absence from the Green Mountains on the COVID crisis and the lack of high speed internet at his home in Middlesex.

“Of course the amount of time I’ve spent in Washington is very helpful because we were working seven days a week on appropriations bills -- my staff and I -- we did this remotely,” Leahy said.

The 80-year-old who has served Vermont in Congress since 1974, drove up from the DC area in early July with his wife Marcelle. He has an office in the federal building in Montpelier that allows him to keep in touch with his staff. With the continuing COVID crisis throwing life and travel into flux, he says he doesn’t know how he’ll balance his time between Washington and Vermont.

“That’s a good question, we’ve been wrestling with it. I will be there when I have to be for votes like that. And so far -- knock-on-wood -- I’ve tested negative for COVID and we’ll have to decide,” Leahy said.

Since the coronavirus shut down much of Washington, the senator says he’s only worked out of his Senate office two or three times. “You miss being able to talk to people face-to-face,” he said.

Leahy will be flying back to Washington when Congress reconvenes next week. "I'm not sure how it's going to go. The next three weeks in session, then we will be out of there in August. I'm hoping things will get better," he said.

We know Senator Leahy is rarely without his camera. He snapped a photo of Joe Carroll at the end of the interview.

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