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Press Releases

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


Chamberlin School, South Burlington, VT

On November 18, 2015, Senator Leahy hosted an online chat with the Chamberlin School of South Burlington. The Senator was impressed with the engagement of the fifth grade classrooms, and enjoyed their rendition of their school song. The Senator also enjoyed answering their questions on his long term projects in the Senate, like his work on the USDA Farm to School grant program.… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On the Need to Support Refugees Fleeing Violence

[Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Wednesday on the need to support Syrian refugees. Leahy, who is also the Ranking Member of the State Department's budget committee - the State Department and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee - has long led efforts to support assistance for refugees. He is the coauthor of the bipartisan Graham-Leahy Middle East Refugee Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act to respond to the refugee cr… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Hearing on “National Adoption Month: Stories of Success and Meeting the Challenges of International Adoptions”

Next week, millions of families in this country will gather around a table to give thanks for the many blessings they have received. For proud parents and grandparents, this of course includes their children and grandchildren. It is fitting that this month we also recognize National Adoption Month, which honors the adoptive families who selflessly open their hearts and homes to children from the United States and around the world who are in need of a safe and loving family. Today we raise … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), In Support of the Administration’s Clean Power Plan

(Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015) - The Senate Tuesday passed two resolutions disapproving the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, an historic initiative led by the administration to combat the effects of climate change and benefit public health by reducing carbon emissions and encouraging a cleaner energy future. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has long warned that the threat of climate change is now at our doorstep and called the resolutions an attempt to roll back one of the most meanin… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Speaker Shap Smith

I spoke with Speaker Smith today and conveyed the heartfelt hopes, wishes and prayers that Marcelle and I have for him, Melissa and their family. Throughout his career in public service, Shap has worked to keep his priorities in order, striving to do the right things, for the right reasons. That has been a mark of his character, and a reason for the deep respect he has earned across our state. In this difficult decision, he has done that again.… Continue Reading


Leahy: Vermont Nets $125,000 To Connect Schools And Local Farms

(Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015) - A program long championed by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will invest $125,000 in bolstering efforts to bring local agriculture into the classrooms and cafeterias of schools across Vermont. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the Farm to School grants Tuesday to connect child nutrition programs with local farmers. Leahy said: "Tying local agriculture to our schools not only provides our children with healthy meals and improved nutrition, it e… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Judicial Nominations

Today, we will vote on the nomination of LaShann Hall to be a Federal district judge in the Eastern District of New York. She was nominated over a year ago, and her nomination was voted out of the Judiciary Committee by unanimous voice vote more than five months ago. Ms. Hall is an outstanding African American attorney who will fill a judicial emergency vacancy. There is no reason Senate Republicans should have delayed her confirmation for this long. The Senate this week should also vote on … Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Terrorist Attacks In Paris

Vermonters and all Americans, and people of goodwill the world over, stand shoulder to shoulder and heart to heart with the people of France in sorrow and solidarity. The repugnant and perverse impulses that misguided movements use to degrade human beings to commit such acts of barbarity have no place in the civilized world.… Continue Reading


NYT Editorial: Senate Republicans Are Undermining The Justice System

(Friday, November 13, 2015) -Senate Republicans are on pace to confirm the fewest number of judges in more than a half century. The Republicans' poor record has led to increased vacancies in courts throughout the country, and a backlog of judicial nominees pending on the floor. In an editorial Friday, the New York Times noted this obstruction "undermine(s) the justice system, and the biggest victims are ordinary Americans who cannot count on fully functioning courts." Among the nominees pendi… Continue Reading


Sens. Franken, Leahy Urge President Obama to Take Action Against Forced Arbitration Clauses That Strip Away Americans’ Rights

[11/12/15]-Today, U.S. Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) pressed President Obama to take action against forced arbitration, which is when companies-from cell phone carriers to banks-slip fine print into consumer and employment contracts that strip away rights from millions of Americans. Earlier this month, the New York Times ran a several-part series exposing the dangers of this practice. In a letter sent Thursday, Sens. Franken, Leahy, and 14 others asked the President to do… Continue Reading


Veterans Day Message From Senator Patrick Leahy

It is fitting that on the eve of Veterans Day, the Senate passed an annual VA funding bill that takes further steps toward fulfilling our commitment to those who have served and sacrificed for this nation, for each of us. There is much that is good in this bill. These budget gains are not enough, but they are an improvement, and they will make a difference. Budgets are a reflection of our priorities. Honoring our commitments to America's veterans must always be a top priority - every year, … Continue Reading


Leahy: Senate Republicans Should Confirm All Consensus Judicial Nominees Before End Of Year

(Tuesday, November 10, 2015) -Senate Republicans are on pace to confirm the fewest number of judges in more than a half century, and yet, the Republican majority will once again not hold a confirmation vote this week for any one of the 21 consensus nominees pending on the executive calendar. Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday urged Republicans to reverse course and quickly schedule confirmation votes on these nominees before the end of the year. "The American p… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Detention of Hossam Bahgat

[On Monday, November 9, a statement by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on the detention of Egyptian journalist and human rights defender Hossam Bahgat, and on the continuing attacks on freedom of expression in Egypt, was published in the Congressional Record. Upon learning of Bahgat's release earlier today (Tuesday), Leahy said: "I am pleased that the Egyptian government has decided not to proceed with its attempt to silence Hossam Bahgat. I hope this is a sign that the government recognizes i… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Judicial Nominations

After finally scheduling a few confirmation votes on Federal judges last month, Senate Republicans have reverted back to holding up the confirmation process for no good reason. The American people and the entire Federal justice system depend on the members of this body to fulfill our constitutional duty of providing advice and consent on judicial nominees. This Senatorial duty is one we cannot neglect. However, that is exactly what has happened since Senate Republicans took over the majority … Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) To The President’s Decision On The Keystone XL Pipeline

This has been a long time coming, but the President has made the right decision. Taking either a long view or a short one, this misguided project is not in the national interest of the United States. Keystone XL represents the energy past. This inherently dirty tar sands project would be a wasteful diversion from the cleaner and more sustainable energy future and energy security that we want for ourselves and our children. It has no place in the energy future and the energy economy that we … Continue Reading


Sanders, Merkley, Leahy Introduce Bill to Ban New Drilling on Public Land

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 - Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced legislation today to help accelerate the transition to clean energy by ending all new federal leases for oil, gas or coal extraction on public lands and waters. "Worry less about your campaign contributions and worry more about your children and grandchildren," Sanders told Republicans who continue to deny the science on climate change. "We are taking on the Koch brothers and… Continue Reading


Leahy, Franken Press Arbitration Agencies For Answers Following NYT Report Highlighting Harmful Impact Of Forced Arbitration On Consumers

(Wednesday, November 4, 2015) - Following a three-part investigation series by the New York Times highlighting the impact on consumers and workers of forced arbitration clauses that prevent individuals from seeking justice in court, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) are calling on the leading providers of arbitration services to address concerns about the use of such agreements. "We have grave concerns that forced arbitration thrust… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins Effort To Block Expansion Of Unwanted Robocalls

(WEDNESDAY, Nov. 4, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday joined Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and others in introducing The HANGUP Act, which would repeal changes to the federal statute that limits automated telephone calls to consumers without their consent. Recent changes exempted robocalls made for federal debt collection from the consent requirements of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). In June, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took steps to clarify consume… Continue Reading


Leahy Leads Bipartisan Group of 13 Senators In Introducing Resolution On Political Oppression By Government Of The Maldives

(TUESDAY, November 3, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday led a bipartisan coalition of 13 senators in calling on the Government of the Maldives to release former President Mohamed Nasheed and all other political prisoners in the country. The bipartisan bill expresses the sense of Congress that the Government of the Maldives should guarantee due process for all the people of the Maldives and respect their human rights. Leahy is the senior most member of the Senate Appropriations Comm… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy on Senator Chuck Grassley Casting His 12,000th Vote

I've had the privilege of serving with several hundred Senators in this body over the years I have been here. And Senator Grassley has been a very special friend during that time. He has represented the voices of Iowans for nearly three and a half decades. I think we have been friends for that three and a half decades. When I think of Senator Grassley - 12,000 votes, hundreds of hearings, countless Tweets, and probably four dozen sweater vests later - he's the same, down to earth Iowa farmer… Continue Reading

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