Leahy In The News

Leahy In the News

In addition to Op-Eds that Senator Leahy periodically writes for Vermont and national newspapers, you will find profile stories and links to articles written about issues important to Senator Leahy.


The Clock Is Ticking, And The People Are Watching

Once again Congress finds itself lurching toward another manufactured made-in-Washington crisis. We are four months into a new fiscal year, and our government is still operating under last year's fixed funding levels with little flexibility to adapt to today's world. We have not reauthorized the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), putting the health care of 9 million children, including more than 4700 Vermont children, at risk. And 800,000 DREAMers live under a cloud of uncertainty an… Continue Reading


Clouds On The Horizon: The Public’s Right To Know Is Under Attack

This is the first Sunshine Week, since it began in 2005, when the public's right to know has been under direct assault, and on several fronts. "Fake news," "alternative facts," retaliatory restrictions of press access by the White House, and demonizing attacks on the working press are eroding the public's access to real facts and real information about what their government is doing. Next week the Senate Judiciary Committee will convene for crucial hearings to consider the nomination of Judge … Continue Reading


America’s next president must continue Obama’s progress on clean energy

So much of America's future is at stake in the 2016 presidential election. But let's focus for a moment on just one area - energy and the environment - where the Obama administration has made startling progress that could be reversed if either of the GOP front-runners becomes president. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, arguably President Obama's best Cabinet appointment, has been leading a quiet revolution in clean-energy technology. Innovation is transforming this industry, costs are plummeting … Continue Reading


A Bad Effort in Congress to Thwart States on Food Labels

The Senate could soon join the House to try to make it harder for consumers to know what is in their food by prohibiting state governments from requiring the labeling of genetically modified foods. This is a bad idea that lawmakers and the Obama administration should oppose. In July, Vermont will become the first state to require the labeling of genetically modified food. Many food companies and farm groups say such laws are problematic because they could dissuade consumers from buying foods th… Continue Reading


Giving voice to the disadvantaged

(Leahy for several years has led in Congress in pressing for justice reforms such as his bill with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to curb mandatory minimum sentencing.) http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/sep/17/theodore-mccarrick-patrick-leahy-pope-francis-supp/ (published today in The Washington Times) By Theodore McCarrick and Patrick Leahy When Pope Francis comes to Washington this month, he will give a voice to the many disadvantaged, poor and incarcerated individuals who often struggle to… Continue Reading


The Iran Agreement: Why We Should Give The Peaceful Solution A Chance

Two years of arduous negotiations now have produced an agreement to seal off Iran's path to producing a nuclear weapon. I will have questions in the detailed briefings and hearings ahead, as I'm sure others will. But we already know quite a bit. We know that this process already had succeeded in freezing Iran's nuclear development in place. Now we have an agreement to also roll back Iran's program. We know this is the most rigorous monitoring and inspection regimen ever included in a non… Continue Reading


Editorial: Curbing spy powers


Time is now to restore privacy rights

We are coming down to the wire today on a hard-fought effort to restore Americans' privacy rights. The nation's libraries, often on the front lines as privacy issues are debated, once again are in the vanguard in advocating for a solution that protects Americans' civil liberties. Librarians and like-minded legislators in Washington have worked together for almost two years to ensure that the National Security Agency cannot engage in the bulk collection of Americans' phone records and other pers… Continue Reading


Tanning: The Ticking Time Bomb Of Skin Cancer

It's (finally!) the start of summer, and May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month -- a good time to take note that skin cancer is on the rise, but that we can protect ourselves and those we love. As I explain before groups large and small, I am a melanoma survivor, and a Registered Nurse. But my most significant credential is as a mother and grandmother, and here is my current "public service announcement" for my family, and yours. Skin cancer has reached epidemic propo… Continue Reading


Short memories

[The following is an excerpt from Barrie Dunsmore's guest column in the Times Argus on rewriting the history of Iraq. The full article can be found on the Times Argus website here. Barrie Dunsmore is a former foreign correspondent for ABC News and lives in Charlotte, Vt.] "The Islamic State is but one of the Middle East's problems of recent years. The hopes for a more democratic region engendered by the Arab Spring, have been dashed. Egypt is now more of a military dictatorship than it was und… Continue Reading


A Step Closer to Banning Landmines Editorial

The Obama administration has vowed not to use the weapons outside the Korean Peninsula. Now it should close that exception. Anti-personnel landmines have been repudiated for the heavy toll they take on civilians and the lingering threat that buried munitions pose long after hostilities have ceased. Yet, the United States is among the few countries that have not signed a 1997 treaty banning their use. The Obama administration took a long overdue step this week by agreeing to destroy the bulk of… Continue Reading


Bad Times for Big Brother

It has been a long week for the National Security Agency. Last Monday, a federal judge ruled for the first time that the agency's continuing sweep of Americans' phone data -- a once-secret program legally sanctioned for seven years and illegally conducted for five years before that -- was very likely unconstitutional. Judge Richard Leon denounced the agency's activities in collecting data on all Americans' phone calls as ''almost Orwellian.'' Two days later, the Obama administration released a … Continue Reading


Protecting Citizens, and Their Privacy

In NYT Op-E, All 5 Members Of President's Review Group On NSA/Surveillance Endorse A Key Element Of The Leahy-Sensenbrenner USA FREEDOM Act: End The Domestic Program For Storing Bulk Telephone Metadata… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy on watching JFK's funeral cortege

Below is the LINK to a Washington Post/Witnify video interview with Senator Leahy, about his recollections from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, 50 years ago this Friday. Patrick Leahy at the time was a law student at the Georgetown Law Center, and he and wife Marcelle were in Washington as they lived through the trauma that roiled the nation. Senator Leahy on watching JFK's funeral cortege… Continue Reading


Leahy: Arguments of Convenience Block Judicial Appointments

During nearly four decades in the Senate, I have served with Demo­cratic majorities and Republican majorities, through both Republican and Democratic administrations. I have always believed in the Senate's unique protection of the minority party, even when Democrats held a majority in the Senate. Yet, over the past five years, Senate Republicans have changed the tradition of the Senate with an escalating obstruction of judicial nominations. These actions threaten the Senate's ability to do … Continue Reading


For Freedom's Sake

On Tuesday Senator Pat Leahy introduced the USA Freedom Act. It would dramatically curtail the National Security Agency's dragnet domestic surveillance programs by creating privacy advocates in the FISA Courts, requiring transparency of the secret court's decisions, and obligating the government to justify the collection of Americans' communications before doing so. A companion bill was introduced in the House by Wisconsin Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R). The House bill is particularly no… Continue Reading


An e-mail loophole Congress needs to close

By Editorial Board, Published: July 10 EVER SINCE former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden dropped a slew of classified documents into the public's view, the country has reengaged in a vigorous debate about some - but not all - of the authorities the U.S. government claims to eavesdrop on electronic communications. But there is at least one loophole written into law that makes Americans vulnerable to unnecessary intrusions, is much more unsettling than a lot of the Snow… Continue Reading


Military Says Law Barring U.S. Aid to Rights Violators Hurts Training Mission

New York Times article (6/21/13), "Military Says Law Barring U.S. Aid To Rights Violators Hurts Training Mission," on the Pentagon's challenge to the longstanding Leahy Amendment, the U.S. government's key human rights tool, first enacted in 1997 and made permanent in subsequent years.… Continue Reading


George Will Writes About The Leahy-Paul Justice Safety Valve Act, And The Problem Of Mandatory Minimum Sentencing –

Link to George Will's column, "Seeking Sense On Sentencing," here. Information about the Leahy-Paul bill, here.… Continue Reading


A Tax For Crossing The Northern Border? This Vermonter Just Says NO

Last month the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) made a misstep in including in its budget proposal a request for appropriations to study charging people admission for crossing the border into the United States. It does not take a study to know that charging Canadian relatives, friends, tourists, business people and shoppers a fee to enter the United States is a bad idea. I do not intend to let this half-baked idea see the light of day. I will be fighting this on all fronts. This week, a… Continue Reading

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