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Search Senator Leahy’s press releases, floor statements, and Committee speeches by date or by subject.

06.10.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On the “Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act”

Tomorrow, the Senate will vote to proceed to a bill that I am proud to cosponsor, to allow students to refinance their student loans at lower interest rates. We must take this commonsense approach to allow those with student loans to take advantage of historically low interest rates. It should go without saying that student loan costs should not rise so high that students cannot repay. Yet in recent years, average college tuition rates have climbed faster than inflation, far outp… Continue Reading


06.10.14

Leahy, Grassley Introduce Legislation to Reauthorize Soon-To-Expire Satellite TV Law

(Tuesday, June 10, 2014) - U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced legislation Tuesday to reauthorize the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act, a law known as "STELA" that provides certain consumers access to distant broadcast television content by satellite. STELA's current authorization expires at the end of the year. In order to ensure a timely reauthorization so that satellite custo… Continue Reading


06.09.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Committee On The Judiciary, On The Department Of Justice’s Initiative To Ensure Access To Voting For Native Americans and Alaska Natives

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Monday praised the Department of Justice for taking steps to ensure that those living on tribal lands have access to voting. Leahy is the author of the bipartisan Voting Rights Amendment Act.] "I welcome Attorney General Holder's comments about starting a conversation with sovereign tribes to address the very real obstacles that the American Indian and Alaska Native populations have in casting their vote. Whether it involves inacces… Continue Reading


06.09.14

Leahy Praises Inclusion Of Commission On The Future Of The Army In Defense Authorization Bill

(MONDAY, June 9, 2014) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), co-chair of the Senate National Guard Caucus, praised the inclusion of a provision to establish a National Commission on the Future of the Army in the Senate Armed Service Committee's mark of the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act. The independent review panel will evaluate major changes proposed in the President's budget for the Army and National Guard. In the meantime the proposed law will freeze the transfer of most A… Continue Reading


06.05.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Sanders-McCain VA Bill

"I commend Senator Sanders and Senator McCain for putting veterans' needs above all the partisan finger pointing. We need to put things right in the VA health system, we need to do it promptly, and that can only happen if we work together."… Continue Reading


06.05.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Government Surveillance And Senate Consideration Of The USA FREEDOM Act

"One year after Americans first learned that the government was secretly collecting massive amounts of Americans' phone records, I am pleased that there is now a groundswell of support for the USA FREEDOM Act that I introduced with Congressman Sensenbrenner last year. The House took an important step last month by approving a modified version of our bill, but at this historic moment, we cannot stop there. We must restore the nation's role as a beacon of individual freedoms, under the rule of l… Continue Reading


06.05.14

Remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy Full Committee Mark-up Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill

I very much appreciate the hard work of Senators Mikulski and Shelby to protect so many important programs for law enforcement, victims, and other key issues in the fiscal year 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. I would like to thank the Chairwoman Mikulski and Ranking Member Shelby for including additional resources for state task forces working to combat the emerging heroin crisis that has particularly impacted Vermont. It is a crisis that impacts too m… Continue Reading


06.05.14

[BREAKING --] Leahy: Key Panel Thursday Advances Bill To Set Up New Federal Agency Anti-Heroin Task Force And Fund New Anti-Heroin Grant Program For State Task Forces

The Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday approved a new anti-heroin grant program for state-based drug task forces and directs the Justice Department to produce an interagency action plan at the federal level. The unprecedented steps targeting the sharp rise of heroin and opioid addiction in New England states like Vermont and in communities across the nation reflect top priorities of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) in the annual Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations … Continue Reading


06.04.14

Leahy Introduces Transparency In Cost Of Veterans Care Act

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday introduced legislation to close what he said is a wasteful loophole in Veterans Administration' (VA) construction project accounting. He said his bill would save tax dollars and improve veterans' access to convenient health care when VA facilities are closed for renovation or expansion. Speaking Wednesday on the Senate Floor, Leahy said, "As various techniques for gaming the system used by too many VA employees have come to light, one truth is acknowle… Continue Reading


06.04.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Needed Reforms at the Department of Veterans Affairs

Mr. President, following the resignation of Secretary Shinseki last week, it is time for some deep soul-searching about the future of the Department of Veterans Affairs. As details slowly emerge from the inspector general's investigation, I am struck by a disturbing aspect of organizational culture within the VA that prioritizes meeting goals and checking boxes instead of providing true quality care for veterans. Secretary Shinseki himself was a decorated veteran, and I am sure he must have been… Continue Reading


06.03.14

Leahy Holds Hearing On Constitutional Amendment To Rein In Massive Campaign Spending

(Tuesday, June 3, 2014) - The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently holding a hearing titled "Examining a Constitutional Amendment to Restore Democracy to the American People." The hearing's focus is on a constitutional amendment in response to the Supreme Court's decisions regarding campaign finance and money in politics. It also marks the first time ever that the Majority and Minority leaders in the Senate will testify before the Judiciary Committee to speak on a policy matter. Testimony, me… Continue Reading


06.02.14

Canaan Elementary School

On June 2, Senator Leahy held an online chat with Canaan Elementary School. The Senator discussed with both the teachers and the students about how laws are made and the difficult elements of being a United States Senator. This online chat was held on one of 25 computers at Canaan that were donated through the Computers for Schools program, which is run by the United States Senate Sargent at Arms. Each year, Computers for Schools distributes used computers to different schools across the count… Continue Reading


06.02.14

Leahy Praises EPA’s Historic New Limits On Pollution From The Power Sector

(MONDAY, June 2) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday praised the historic announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and President Obama of a plan to cut carbon emissions from the power sector by 30 percent by 2030. The move is the latest step under President Obama's Climate Action Plan and will reduce carbon pollution from power plants, which are the nation's largest source of carbon pollution. Leahy has long championed clean air and water policies and has been the Senate's… Continue Reading


05.30.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Resignation Of Veterans Affairs Secretary Shinseki

With the resignation of Secretary Shinseki, it is time for deep soul-searching at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Secretary Shinseki is himself a disabled veteran, an experienced leader and an ardent patriot. He oversaw some notable achievements during his tenure that are benefitting veterans. But the fact that he was unable to lead the VA to a place where it can routinely provide the quality, timely care our veterans earned should be deeply troubling to all of us. Systemic reforms, suff… Continue Reading


05.29.14

Leahy Posts Official Notice Of June 4 Confirmation Hearing For Vermont Chief Justice Crawford, Nominated For Vermont’s Upcoming District Court Vacancy

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy Thursday formally announced the confirmation hearing for the Vermonter nominated to fill the state's upcoming U.S. District Court vacancy. The hearing, on Wednesday, June 4, will focus on the nomination of Vermont Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Crawford, as well as on three nominees to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The President officially nominated Justice Crawford on May 20, after earlier indicating his intention to nominate him. Leahy h… Continue Reading


05.22.14

SENATORS URGE A RETURN TO DEMOCRATIC RULE IN THAILAND FOLLOWING MILITARY COUP

Today, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following statement on the military coup in Thailand. Senator Cardin is Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Senator Menendez is Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Leahy is Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related programs. "We are deeply disappointed by the coup carried out … Continue Reading


05.22.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Nomination Of David Barron to the First Circuit Court Of Appeals

Today, we are voting on the confirmation of David Barron, who has been nominated to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Yesterday, were able to overcome the unjustified Republican filibuster of this extraordinary nominee. Currently a professor at Harvard Law School, he is a nationally recognized expert on constitutional law, the separation of powers, administrative law, and federalism. He clerked on the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice John Paul Stevens. Justice … Continue Reading


05.22.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On House Passage Of The USA FREEDOM Act

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Thursday after the House approved a modified version of the USA FREEDOM Act. Leahy is the lead Democratic coauthor of the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act, a bill he introduced jointly with Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) in October. The legislation approved by the House is based on the bipartisan legislation that Leahy and Sensenbrenner have championed since last year.] "I applaud the House of Repr… Continue Reading


05.21.14

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Patent Legislation

We have been working for almost a year with countless stakeholders on legislation to address the problem of patent trolls who are misusing the patent system. This is a real problem facing businesses in Vermont and across the country. Unfortunately, there has been no agreement on how to combat the scourge of patent trolls on our economy without burdening the companies and universities who rely on the patent system every day to protect their inventions. We have heard repeated concerns that the H… Continue Reading


05.21.14

SJC Chairman Leahy Chairs FBI Oversight Hearing

(Wednesday, May 21, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is chairing an oversight hearing this morning of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Director James Comey is testifying before the panel for his first oversight hearing since he became the Bureau's new director last year. Testimony, member statements, and a webcast of the hearing are available online. Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing On Oversight O… Continue Reading

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