WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) released the following statement after Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, announced his intention to retire.

“In a successful decades-long career serving the people of Vermont and our nation, Senator Leahy has left an important mark on our country. He leaves behind a strong legacy—from championing nutrition for millions of American families to preserving civil liberties and privacy to leading transformative investments as the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee. Senator Leahy brought his passion for justice, his commitment to serving his constituents, his sharp eye for a great photograph, and his dedication to our country to Washington. Whether on the Judiciary or Appropriations committees, whether traveling with family or on Senate business, Senator Leahy was always available to offer advice and encouragement, and he will be sorely missed in the Senate.

“Senator Leahy offered me welcome and memorable advice on how to navigate the Senate when I arrived in 2010, and his wife, Marcelle, has been a great friend and mentor to Annie.  Senator Leahy and Marcelle included Annie and me in many events over our early years in the Senate, and we will always be grateful for their friendship, advice, and fellowship over the past decade that we have served together.  We have enjoyed serving and traveling together and will miss them as colleagues and friends.  Annie and I wish Patrick and Marcelle well in their future together.”