The Leahy Letter - June 4, 2009

Senator Patrick Leahy's Update from the Nation's Capital

Senator Leahy Meets With Judge Sonia Sotomayor

Senator Leahy met with Judge Sonia Sotomayor on June 2. Sotomayor was nominated by President Obama to replace Justice Souter as a Supreme Court Associate Justice.

As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Leahy will oversee the confirmation hearings of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be on the U.S. Supreme Court. On Tuesday, Senator Leahy and Judge Sotomayor met to discuss her nomination. You can click here to find out more about the upcoming confirmation process. You can also listen to or watch Senator Leahy's news conference that followed their meeting by clicking here.


New Law Protects Vermonters
From Unfair Credit Card Contracts

On May 19, the Senated passed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act by a vote of 90 to 5, and on May 22 President Obama signed the bill into law. Senator Leahy, along with Senator Sanders, voted for this bill that will make several reforms to the way credit card companies treat their customers. The reforms -- long supported by Senator Leahy -- change several unfair billing, marketing and disclosure practices and will protect Vermont consumers from excessive penalties, ever-changing interest rates and complex contracts. You can read Senator Leahy's full statement on this legislation here.


News You Can Use
Traveling To Canada This Summer?

On June 1, the U.S. government upgraded document requirements for travelers crossing the U.S. border by land and sea. U.S. citizens returning from Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean must now provide one of the following documents demonstrating proof of citizenship:

Click here for more information from the Department of Homeland Security's travel website.

U.S. Education Secretary
Visits Vermont

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited Vermont to give the keynote address at Saint Michael's College on May 14.  After the commencement ceremony, the Secretary enjoyed lunch with Senator Leahy and the students at Lawrence Barnes Academy in Burlington, where students talked with the Senator and the Secretary about their school lunch program, which features sound nutrition through local and sustainable Vermont foods. Senator Leahy recently secured $476,000 for Shelburne Farms and VT-FEED to continue their good work and to promote healthy eating in Vermont's schools. Secretary Duncan also visited Westford to talk with educators there about the challenges of teaching in a rural environment. 

Senator Leahy with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan during Vermont visit
Photo: U.S. Department of Education

Senate Introduces Health Care Reform Bill

Ensuring that no American goes without needed health care is a top priority for Senator Leahy and the Obama Administration. Senator Leahy joined 26 other Senators in introducing a resolution in support of a public option as part of comprehensive health care reform. He explained why Vermonters and Americans must have access to the affordable and comprehensive health care they deserve. You can read Senator Leahy's remarks from the Senate floor about health care reform here.   


Leahy Bill To Combat Financial Fraud
Signed By President

On May 20, President Obama signed into law the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (FERA), authored by Senator Leahy. The law increases the resources available to federal prosecutors to investigate and prosecute mortgage and financial fraud. It will also improve money laundering statutes to strengthen prosecutors' ability to combat reports of fraud. With cases of fraud at an all-time high, FERA provides resources for the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies to hire agents, analysts, investigators, prosecutors, and support staff to combat fraud. The law will also bolster the False Claims Act in order to recover money from government fraud, which amounted to the recovery of more than $15 billion from 2000 to 2008. Click here to read more about FERA.

Press Contact

David Carle: 202-224-3693