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Sen. Patrick Leahy

President Pro Tempore of the Senate and Senator for Vermont

pronounced PAT-chrik // LAY-hee


Leahy is the senior senator from Vermont and is a Democrat. He has served since Jan 14, 1975. Leahy is next up for reelection in 2022 and serves until Jan 3, 2023.

He is also President Pro Tempore of the Senate, a party leadership role. Party leaders focus more on setting their party’s legislative priorties than on introducing legislation.

Photo of Sen. Patrick Leahy [D-VT]

Analysis

Legislative Metrics

Read our 2020 Report Card for Leahy.

Ideology–Leadership Chart

Leahy is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot is a member of the Senate positioned according to our ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).

The chart is based on the bills Leahy has sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 3, 2017 to Jun 23, 2022. See full analysis methodology.

Committee Membership

Patrick Leahy sits on the following committees:

Enacted Legislation

Leahy was the primary sponsor of 108 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:

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Does 108 not sound like a lot? Very few bills are ever enacted — most legislators sponsor only a handful that are signed into law. But there are other legislative activities that we don’t track that are also important, including offering amendments, committee work and oversight of the other branches, and constituent services.

We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if at least about half of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

Leahy sponsors bills primarily in these issue areas:

Crime and Law Enforcement (20%) Government Operations and Politics (17%) Commerce (15%) International Affairs (12%) Immigration (12%) Agriculture and Food (10%) Armed Forces and National Security (7%) Taxation (7%)

Recently Introduced Bills

Leahy recently introduced the following legislation:

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Most legislation has no activity after being introduced.

As President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Leahy may be focused on his responsibilities other than introducing legislation, such as setting the chamber’s agenda, uniting his party, and brokering deals.

Voting Record

Key Votes

Leahy voted Nay

Bill Passed 72/26 on Sep 28, 2016.

The Continuing Appropriations and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017, and Zika Response and Preparedness Act (H.R. 5325) is an appropriations …

Leahy voted Nay

Bill Passed 76/16 on Dec 16, 2014.

Leahy voted Nay

Joint Resolution Passed 78/22 on Sep 18, 2014.

Leahy voted Nay

Motion Agreed to 81/19 on Dec 15, 2010.

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (Pub.L. 111–312, H.R. 4853, 124 Stat. 3296, enacted December 17, 2010), also known …

Missed Votes

From Jan 1975 to Jun 2022, Leahy missed 637 of 17,842 roll call votes, which is 3.6%. This is worse than the median of 2.3% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

We don’t track why legislators miss votes, but it’s often due to medical absenses and major life events.

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Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: