There is considerable speculation that Democrats could take control of the U.S. Senate in November. During an event in downtown Burlington this afternoon, WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley asked Vermont’s senior U.S. Senator Democrat Patrick Leahy how optimistic he is that the Senate could change hands.
“I've been there when it’s gone back and forth probably half a dozen times. So, ah, I think it has a good chance of it. Certainly if we do change I think every Democrat should say thank you to Donald Trump for it because his campaign is turning more and more people toward us.”
Bradley: “If it does switch over what are some of the issues you'd like to see immediately addressed?”
Leahy: “Well you know in the Senate, Pat, when I was chairman of judiciary passed a comprehensive immigration bill. The House made a terrible mistake. They refused to take it up. It would have passed. I think, I've already started talking to key Republicans key Democrats, I think next year no matter who's in charge we should be trying again for that. We need something. Instead of a stopgap measure we need a comprehensive immigration policy.”
Bradley: “It may be too early for you to think about this but the last time you had a chance to, you know, switch chairmanship. Would you still stay on judiciary or would you…”
Leahy: “I would, I would have the opportunity to be chair of either agriculture, appropriation or judiciary and I can assure you I'll pick one of ‘em.”
Patrick Leahy has served in the U.S. Senate since 1975 and is seeking his eighth term. He is being challenged by Republican Scott Milne.