Leahy delivers farewell speech in Senate

Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 7:38 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 20, 2022 at 1:48 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WASHINGTON (WCAX) - Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy on Tuesday delivered his farewell speech on the Senate floor.

The Democrat has served on Capitol Hill since 1974 -- one of the so-called “Watergate babies.” He was the first Democrat Vermonters ever elected to the Senate.

After nearly half a century in office, Leahy will return to Vermont at the end of the month.

Leahy urged his colleagues Tuesday to return to the bipartisan cooperation he says was the norm back when he first arrived in Washington. “I fear those days may be gone, but I pray just temporarily, because if we don’t start working together more, if we don’t respect each other the world’s greatest deliberative body will sink slowly into irrelevance and heaven forbid become our own version of the House of Lords,” Leahy said.

Leahy said representing Vermonters as a Senator was something he could not have imagined when he visited the chamber back in law school. “I used to walk to the Capitol in my time here as a law student at Georgetown University Law Center. I’d sit in the gallery, I’d watched transfixed as the Senate debated the most pressing issues of the day. Back then, I could have never imagined that I would one day etch my name into one of these desks,” he said.

Click here for the full text of Senator Leahy’s farewell speech.

After his speech, senators including Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, and Chuck Schumer, D-New York, lined up to sing Leahy’s praises.

Leahy’s speech comes as the Senate prepares to consider the appropriations bill for the fiscal year 2023. The $1.7 trillion bill was Tuesday morning with both major parties calling it a win. Senator Leahy, as Appropriations Committee chair, was one of the key negotiators on that bill.

Related Stories:

You Can Quote Me: Dec. 18, 2022

Sen. Patrick Leahy: ‘Time to come home’

Leahy laments loss of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill

Leahy staffers reflect on the senator’s time in office

Newsmaker Interview: Senator Patrick Leahy

The Senate’s most senior member prepares to retire

Leahy receives tribute from GOP’s McConnell

Sen. Leahy prepares to leave behind a legacy of cooperation

One-on-one with Sen. Patrick Leahy

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy won’t seek reelection