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

05.08.14

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

Today, we are again voting to overcome Republican filibusters of four highly qualified judicial nominees. The nominees are Judge Robin Rosenbaum to fill an emergency vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit; Indira Talwani to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts; James Peterson to fill an emergency vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin; and Nancy Rosenstengel to fill an emergency vacancy on the U.S. Distr… Continue Reading


05.08.14

Police Officer Saved By Bulletproof Vest To Testify Before SJC Next Week

(Thursday, May 8, 2014) - A female police officer whose life was saved because she was wearing a bulletproof vest will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday. Officer Ann Carrizales of the Stafford, Texas, Police Department was shot twice during a routine traffic stop last year. One shot grazed her face and the other struck her chest and was blocked by her protective vest. Carrizales heroically pursued the suspects in her squ… Continue Reading


05.07.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Action by the House Judiciary Committee to End Bulk Collection

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Wednesday after the House Judiciary Committee approved a modified version of the USA FREEDOM Act to end bulk collection. 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 Judiciary Committee Wednesday is based on the bipartisan legislation that Leahy and Sen… Continue Reading


05.06.14

Leahy, Graham Introduce Bill To Launch Commission To Evaluate Army Budget Changes Proposed By The Administration

(TUESDAY, May 6, 2014) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), co-chairs of the Senate National Guard Caucus, are leading a bipartisan group of 19 senators in introducing the National Commission on the Future of the Army Act, to establish an independent panel that will be responsible for analyzing the major changes to the U.S. Army proposed in the President's budget. Leahy said, "The Army's budget for Fiscal Year 2015 puts us on a path to major, irreversible change… Continue Reading


05.06.14

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

"I applaud the administration for making available to all Senators the Justice Department memo regarding Anwar Al Awlaki. All members of the Judiciary Committee were previously able to review this memo, and I am glad all Senators will have the opportunity to do so now. "Senate Republicans have consistently blocked most of President Obama's judicial nominees so it comes as no surprise that they continue to do so with this nominee. David Barron is a brilliant lawyer who is committed to public s… Continue Reading


05.06.14

Leahy To Chair Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing Next Week On Life-Saving Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program

(Tuesday, May 6, 2014) - The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing next week on the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, a life-saving program whose charter expired in 2012. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) sought earlier Tuesday to pass legislation reauthorizing the program, but was blocked by a Republican objection. "No one can dispute that this program saves lives," Leahy said. "Through compelling testimony at next week's hearing, I hope Republicans will finally end their obstr… Continue Reading


05.06.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy Unanimous Consent Request Seeking Passage of S.933 The Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization Act

Next week we will commemorate National Police Week, a time when the nation pays tribute to the sacrifices made by all who serve in law enforcement, particularly those who have lost their lives in the line of duty. These law enforcement officers risk their lives every day to protect our communities, and we often speak eloquently here in the Senate about supporting law enforcement and their families. Although such tributes are important and well-deserved, the police officers in our communities d… Continue Reading


05.06.14

Ahead of Police Week, Leahy TODAY Will Urge Senate to Renew Life-Saving Bulletproof Vest Program

(Tuesday, May 6, 2014) - Ahead of National Police Week next week, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will seek a live unanimous consent request today, at 11:30 a.m., to reauthorize the Bulletproof Vest Grant Partnership Program, a federal grant program that helps state and local law enforcement agencies purchase lifesaving vests. Leahy coauthored the original law establishing the matching grant program, which since 1999 has issued more than one million vests to state and… Continue Reading


05.05.14

Leahy REAX On House Judiciary Committee’s Bipartisan Agreement To End Bulk Collection (NSA) --

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Monday after House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) announced a bipartisan agreement on legislation to end bulk collection. Leahy is the lead Democratic coauthor of the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act, a bill he introduced jointly with Sensenbrenner in October. The new agreement unveiled in the House today … Continue Reading


05.02.14

Senators to NRC: Do Not Exempt Decommissioning Nuclear Reactors from Emergency Response and Security Measures

(May 2, 2014) - In a letter sent today to Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Allison Macfarlane, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), and Senators Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) called on the agency to stop the "unwise policy" of issuing exemptions for emergency response regulations to decommissioning nuclear reactors which house decades-worth of spent nuclear… Continue Reading


05.01.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On White House Big Data Review and Reform of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act

I commend the Obama administration on its review and its careful consideration of both the costs and benefits of "big data." In particular, I welcome the President's support of bipartisan legislation that I have authored to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). Since its enactment three decades ago, advances in technologies and the way we communicate has far outpaced the privacy considerations that ECPA sought to accomplish. I am working with Senator Lee and many others in C… Continue Reading


05.01.14

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Supporting Victims And Urging Passage of the Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2013

Last year, the Senate came together to pass meaningful legislation that was supported by victims of violence, law enforcement, and those committed to working to end domestic and sexual abuse. That bill, the Leahy-Crapo Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, had the support of all Senate Democrats and a majority of Senate Republicans. It cleared the Republican House overwhelmingly and it was signed into law one year ago. In a divided Congress, this historic reauthorization was made possible… Continue Reading


04.30.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Supreme Court’s Decisions Regarding Campaign Finance, Voting Rights, and Democracy

Earlier this month, the United States Supreme Court once again chose to dismantle campaign finance laws which had protected hardworking Americans for decades. In McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, a sharply divided Court held that aggregate limits on campaign contributions are a violation of the First Amendment. These were the same five justices who, just four years ago, reversed a century of precedent in Citizens United by declaring that corporations have a First Amendment right to en… Continue Reading


04.30.14

SJC Chairman Leahy Chairs DEA Oversight Hearing

(Wednesday, April 30, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is chairing an oversight hearing this morning of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Administrator Michele Leonhart is testifying before the panel. 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 Of The Drug Enforcement Administration April 30, 2014 I welcome Admi… Continue Reading


04.29.14

Roxbury Village School

On April 29, Senator Leahy held his second online chat of 2014 with the 4th and 6th grade students of the Roxbury Village School. Senator Leahy answered their questions about what led him to become a United States Senator, and how his years as a Vermont prosecutor helped him throughout his career in Congress.… Continue Reading


04.29.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Scourge of Landmines

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I have spoken several times in the past few weeks, and a great many times over the past two decades, about the scourge of landmines. These inherently indiscriminate weapons are triggered by the victim, and often it is an innocent civilian who is either killed or horribly maimed. Although the United States has not exported, produced, or used anti-personnel mines for more than 20 years, we are not among the 161 nations that have joined the international treaty bannin… Continue Reading


04.29.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Recent Developments in Egypt Senate Floor

[Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) chairs the State Department and Foreign Operations Subcommittee -- the Appropriations Committee panel that oversees the State Department's budget as well as foreign aid programs. In his role as chairman, Leahy has put a hold on the Administration's April 25 request to obligate $650 million in military assistance for Egypt that was provided under the Fiscal Year 2014 Appropriations bill enacted early this year. Leahy has worked on writing current and previous cong… Continue Reading


04.29.14

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

More than two weeks ago, the Senate voted to end the filibuster on the nomination of Michelle Friedland of California to fill a judicial emergency vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. That vote was the fourth time this year that the Senate had to overcome a Republican filibuster of a highly qualified circuit court nominee. In stark contrast, the Senate confirmed 18 of President Bush's circuit nominees within a week of being reported by the Judiciary Committee. The Nint… Continue Reading


04.28.14

LEAHY, BLUMENTHAL CALL ON FDA TO EXPEDITE REVIEW OF PAIN KILLERS WITH ABUSE-DETERRENT PROPERTIES

LEAHY, BLUMENTHAL CALL ON FDA TO EXPEDITE REVIEW OF PAIN KILLERS WITH ABUSE-DETERRENT PROPERTIES (Washington, DC) - In a letter to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) urged the agency to expedite review of pain killers with built-in properties to curb abuse. Last year, the pain killer Zohydro ER was approved by the FDA despite lacking abuse-deterrent properties a… Continue Reading


04.28.14

Leahy Nets 1st Award For Social Media Use In Congress;

(MONDAY, April 28, 2014) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday netted two more awards for his use of the Internet in his Senate work. In their latest report and citations for the current 113th Congress, the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF), whose evaluations of congressional websites have become the standard, awarded Leahy a Silver Mouse Award for his website, and a Gold Mouse Award For Citizen Engagement On Social Media - the first time the group has assessed congressional use of soc… Continue Reading

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